If you know anything about us, you know that we are dog people.
Like, we love animals. We have a soft spot for them – all of them – and basically cannot say no if one needs us. Early in our relationship, we decided to rescue our first pup. Enter Delilah. As we got closer to the birth of our son, we decided we wanted him to grow up with a puppy. Enter Dakota, who joined us 2 months before Jude was born. Somewhere along the way, we picked up #3, Daisy May, who showed up and wouldn’t leave us. Honestly, it’s been one of the greatest joys for us as a family. Jude is obsessed with his doggies. He plays with them. He looks for them. He giggles when they wake him up in the morning. He even insists on feeding them twice a day.
It’s a process. He goes to gather the bowls, stacks them, and goes to the garage door so we can help him. Then, he’ll wait for one of us to fill the bowls with food, and dutifully bring them back inside and put them down where they go. If the dogs aren’t waiting for a meal, he’ll herd them and insist that they come eat.
It’s a highlight of my day, honestly. He’s learning to care for creatures that need to be cared for. And his little heart just loves to love them.
When my dad died back in September, we had recently met his Akita and fell in love. We already had three dogs. I’d imposed a strict three dog limit in our house – honestly, I have enough to keep alive. In talking to my dad’s wife, though, I offered to help out with the dog if she needed it.
Turns out, she did.
It happened the week that we had to make a hard decision with our first baby, Delilah. Delilah had a hard time adjusting to the chaos in our house as our family grew, and began snapping at kids. After snapping at Jude twice in one day, we made the call to give her to a safer home for everyone. My heart was broken.
The evening we went to drop her off, we said “Girls, in your houses!” like we do every single time we leave. She jumped in to her crate, snuggling up to Dakota. They always shared a crate – all three of our girls. We never forced them to get in together, but they always chose to cuddle. We had to pull her out, knowing that we wouldn’t be bringing her home, and my heart shattered into a million pieces. Sometimes, the right decision is hard.
Three days later, though, we made the trek to North Carolina to pick up my dad’s Akita. The whole situation was nerve wracking. Had we made the right call with Delilah? Did we try hard enough? And was bringing this massive beast into our house the right call?
Yes. Yes, it was.
Curly has lived with us for about two weeks now. Animals can be healing, and his presence in our house has been so calming. Seeing Delilah happy in her new home, and seeing Curly adapt seamlessly to being a family dog has been so wonderful. The girls didn’t even bark at him when we brought him into the house for the first time. He loves people, and he comes out on adventures to the Marietta Square with us. I’m writing this as he lays at my feet in a coffee shop, waiting patiently for people to come love on him.
He sleeps in Jude’s room during nap time every day, laying on the gray sheepskin beside his crib and guarding him for as long as he sleeps.
He has a mission now. Thanks, Susan, for letting him be a part of our pack.