1.5 years old
Lovingly adopted from Operation Kindess
Craig and I started off our Saturday by meeting with the ceremony and reception site person along with our mothers, MeMa and aunt. We had a long list of stuff that I needed to cover - a meeting to nail down a few more specifics so that I could have a general idea of what to be looking for in the next few months. Like I've said so many times before...I am a planner. I definitely walked away from the meeting feeling much more confident and sure of myself. We still have so many details to iron out, but at least I have a better idea of what to expect and what I need to procure in order to have a beautiful wedding day. I think it was also nice for our families to be able to walk their way through our wedding as well.
Afterwards, Craig and I went and ate lunch with his mother, MeMa, Aunt Kay, sister and sister's friend at Olive Garden. Craig really loves and dotes on all the women in his life...he understands the importance he holds in the family. I think that was part of the reason that I fell in love with him, but at the same time I can also see him making the transition from son to husband and with that comes a change in all relationships. I'm thankful for the devotion and fierce loyalty he has to his family because I know that he will put that towards me and our children as well.
Speaking of children...we now have one. Albeit a child with four legs that slobbers a bit...but something to love and take care of nonetheless. I have been patiently waiting for the day that Craig would decide we were finally ready to get a dog. For months on end I have been trying to convince him of how much I not only wanted a dog...but needed a dog. On those weekends that he is working the tournaments, I get lonely. On those nights that he is coaching basketball practices, I get lonely. I wanted something to follow me around, to cuddle and to listen to all the random things that come out of my mouth. Basically...I wanted something to do everything that Craig won't! Ha, ha, ha. Craig kept putting me off: after Spring Break, maybe during summer, if babysitting your parent's dogs goes well. I finally stopped pushing him and was just keeping my fingers crossed that Andy and Annabelle behaved themselves while at our house.
Today as we were leaving the restaurant, he turned left into a parking lot of a big strip mall and said "I'm going to be nice to you today." Uh...well...okay. Sometimes Craig's sense of humor can be taken a little far and I thought that maybe he was going to tell me something nice, or buy me something off my registry (we were by Bed, Bath and Beyond). Then he mentioned how there was a PetLand in the shopping strip. I instantly welled up with tears which were quickly squashed with his "we're just looking" comment. Hmph. We'll see about that. We went into the pet store and there were lots of cute little purebred puppies just waiting to be taken home - but for $250!!! After being the proud owner of a beautiful, well mannered, good natured mutt that we rescued from the church parking lot named Gigi for 14 years, I couldn't in good conscience buy a "designer" dog. I knew I had to rescue one. We went home, did a little research on the internet and found an Operation Kindess, which is a no kill shelter, just a few cities away and it was open until 5:00 today! We plugged the address into my GPS and we were on our way to find a dog.
I was so nervous when we got there because I knew these people were serious - they don't like to give dogs to people who can't take care of them properly. What if they didn't think we were going to be suitable owners?! There were so many dogs there and if Craig would have let me...we would have taken every single one. I can't imagine a person looking into the eyes of any of these creatures and being able to give them away, treat them poorly or dispose of them on the side of the street.
We "test drove" one dog named Truffles who was a very...ahem...sturdy Basset Hound mix, but she was a little bigger than I wanted and also shed...a lot. On our list of "must haves" for getting this dog was: a calm demeanor, easy fur maintenance, little to no barking. I must have peered into every kennel and read all the information for every dog, and of course I pictured myself taking each and every one home with me. But since there could only be one, I knew I had to choose wisely. I came across a brown little pup with big brown eyes who was sitting quietly in her kennel. I read her bio while she patiently and quietly watched me with interest. Her name was Marie and she was one and a half years old. She was described as a sweet natured dog who wanted lots of love. I took her out and test drove her around the path outside. She seemed shy and nervous but took a liking to me very quickly after a few loving pats on the back. I asked Craig what he thought...he had generally been taking a back seat to the dog selection because he knew that it would really be MY dog. He reached down to pet her and she immediately went into the submissive position and rolled on her back. It was clear to both of us that she had really been mistreated and most likely by a man. At that moment, my heart broke and I knew that I could love her back to good mental health. As we were walking her back in, I was still hemming and hawing about the decision between dogs because I knew Craig liked Truffles the Basset Hound. I bent down close to Marie's head with my hair falling around her and looked into her eyes. I could tell she was hooked on me and demonstrated this with a big lick on my chin. I stood up with tears in my eyes and told Craig - I want her. And she is the one we got.
While waiting for the last bits of paperwork to be processed, she was brought to us in the adoption center and promptly took a place on my lap. Although dogs cannot speak, I could tell she was thankful...and a bit nervous but showed her appreciation with many licks on our fingers. Afterwards we took her to Pet Smart to buy all the necessary items for bringing a new puppy home to our house. Over a hundred dollars later we had a crate, a bed, a toy, food, shampoo, a collar and leash and a brush. All during the ride to the store and then the ride to the home she was in my arms and desperately fighting the intense desire to sleep. I figured we would get her home and she would sack out just from the stress of the day. I was wrong. She pranced into our house, took a few laps around and began playing visciously with her new pink pig. She was overjoyed to have a new family and a new home full of things for her to explore.
I love her and I love Craig for understanding how important having a dog means to me. She already met her cousins, the Westies Dirk and Nash this afternoon but she was a bit nervous. Maybe she'll have more fun in the future when she's more confident. Tomorrow I am taking her to my parent's house for Father's Day and she will meet Andy and Annabelle!