Though we were once adamant we wouldn't get a dog (well, mostly my husband), we recently adopted an adorable Newfoundland puppy that we have all fallen in love with.
Having a pet is a great experience that brings along many responsiblities. Part of that was asking my family to pick their chores: let the dog out, take her for walks, pick up her droppings, feed her and brush her. My daughter chose to brush our new ball of fur, and the other two chose to deal with getting her outside.
The family voted unanimously that I would be in charge of picking up her "business". As I have changed many a diaper in my day, they must have figured I was a good fit for the job. Amazingly though, one of my kids has cleaned, on his own, a few of the messes left behind by our puppy since she arrived.
The first night she was with us, our puppy was a bit sad. Having just left her previous owners, parents and family, she didn't see the upside of hanging out with us. When the time came to put her in her huge cage for the night, the kids couldn't leave her and offered to sleep at her side so she was comfortable. So there we were, blowing up the air matress. It seemed to work, as the pooch cried very little that night, perhaps having tired herself out in her new home. That wasn't the case the next night, when our new family member treated us to a concert of sounds. At that point I asked the kids to head to their rooms, as they had school the next day.
"Who is going to stay with Kakmuq?" my son Benjamin wanted to know.
All the kids were looking at me intently, waiting for my answer. Finally caving under the pressure, I said: "Uh, me."
Without a word, the kids headed to their rooms as I prepared for a sleepless night.
I GIVE UP
After three nights of hell, I gave up: Kakmuq would not sleep in a cage, and me, I just wanted to sleep, period. I had my share of all-nighters when my kids were babies, and I wasn't going to start over with our dog. Kakmuq would have to sleep in my room.
The night I made this decision, the kids were thrilled. The dog, for her part, was already getting cozy at my side.
Ah, that's better!