Before now, the kids have begged and begged for a puppy to love and cherish. Over and over again I have refused this request because we all know where the responsibility will fall. On me. Plus, we were military enlisted folk and vet bills were nowhere in my monthly budget. When I would get fussed at by others for "not letting those babies of mine have a pet", I was quick to respond "I already have three to take care of...why add more?!?"
Paige has stated many arguments in the past years on why she and her siblings need an animal. There have been many pros listed and very few cons. (I swear that girl is going to be a lawyer one day.) This past Christmas she asked for two things: Ipod Touch and a puppy.
*The following paragraph is about MY personal feelings and thoughts. I'm only speaking for me. Okay? Okay.*
The Ipod Touch was out of the question. My child is fifteen and I *personally* am not comfortable with giving a teenager unlimited access to the internet with practically no supervision. To me, that's asking for trouble and I don't know about you out there in Internet Land, but if I can avoid trouble? Then I'll do my level best to do so. Maybe we'll change our minds in the future, but today's society is a scary thing and I am responsible for my children.
That left a puppy. Dangit. That was another thing I didn't want to get. I called an old friend I consider an "older sister" to have a talk. She listed pros AND cons to having a family member added to our home. By the end of the conversation, I stated that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea, but it would take a Christmas miracle to find a puppy we could afford that would make my teenager proud. We got off the phone with her promising to keep her ears open.
Five minutes later she called back and told me "I've found you a puppy!"
It was definitely a Christmas miracle. An old acquaintance from high school had a cherished Shih Tzu that she decided to breed one time. A lovely litter of 6 puppies resulted. I called her and we talked for over an hour about this breed and how her own Zoey saved her life. She had suffered from depression and this sweet puppy walked in and saved her. I have to believe this was all a "God Thing" because she lived near my parents. Here we were in Georgia and there was this litter of puppies right down the road from my parents. Wow. So began Operation: Shock the Mess Out of Paige Christmas 2009.
The Man reluctantly agreed that this might just be the thing for us to do. We were moving into our own home. Finances would allow proper care of a family pet. It was time.
It was on then. Miss Hope figured that if we were going to do this? We were going to do this right! I started shopping.
Talks with the owner had us realizing that this sweet puppy wouldn't be ready for a big red bow on Christmas Eve. The litter was born on Thanksgiving weekend and needed time to grow and be weaned. Really, this worked out perfectly overall as we were moving right after Christmas and needed time to get all that worked out.
What could we do to make this amazing?
I figured it out quick like. It was decided that we would be getting a girl. They had a better temperament and all I heard about was how Paige wanted a girl so she could "name her Prissy and put bows in her hair...make her the ultimate Diva Dog". I found the cutest tiniest pink leather collar with a heart of rhinestones on it. I wrapped it up in a jewelry box all pretty and fancy.
My father is very strict about how things are done. He has a schedule of events on Christmas Eve and Day that must be followed. We all go along with it because it makes him happy and works for us. I had to buck tradition and be the Rebel.
Gift opening starts at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Because the owner of the litter had her own plans, we went over to my parent's around noon. (Paige stays there when we visit because she has to be up her Nana's butt.) I asked everyone to come in because something was going on. I made this lovely speech about how Daddy has his way of doing things, but this time Hope had to change things up a bit. Everyone was clueless as we hadn't told anyone about this particular present.
We made Paige open her present and she was right confused and a little scared. She saw that collar and started shaking. She asked what it was. I asked her what did it look like. She asked what it was. I asked her again what it looked like. The Man and I then told her Merry Christmas and to get dressed...she was going to pick out her baby.
It was an amazing afternoon. The owner, Carissa, was so sweet and considerate. We went to her house where Paige was able to pick out the one she wanted. Then we spent a good hour or so letting her hold her and love her. Zoey was unsure of all of this because someone was holding her baby. The collar went on this tiny puppy and she was named from that moment on.
A couple of weeks then passed with lots of text messages between Carissa and Paige. Paige received almost daily updates on how Prissy was doing. Paige anxiously awaited her baby's arrival and faithfully studied the book Santa brought her on the care and loving of a Shih Tzu. She could recite facts left and right on this breed and had a plan in mind on how to train and raise her "baby". Did I mention that Santa brought Prissy a starter goody box full of things to get her started. He's so cool like that.
Then, it was time. Aunt Lu was coming to visit and she was bringing that baby with her. Friday night when she got here, we accepted a new member into our family. I thought it was perfect timing with a three day weekend, so Paige could really get into training and bonding.
She is now in school with a lot less sleep and a whole new appreciation for parents who potty train. Heh heh.
The Boy has found a partner to chase him all over the house and he is thrilled. Prissy isn't tall enough to climb stairs at a whopping 2 1/2 pounds yet, heck she has trouble getting into the back door that is 3 inches off the ground. She is all decked out with all a puppy should need (curse you Petsmart!).
It really is like having an infant in the house. Since I've started this post, we've been outside to potty (and she did!), a used band-aid has been rescued from her mouth, and we're going to head back outside because around 9 is "poop time". Whew. What have I gotten myself in to????
Really, though? How can you NOT love a face like this?
Yeah, we've all been suckered in by this sweet face. Any dog raising advice you might have? Please share! We're a clueless bunch finding our way here. I see a whole new family portrait in our future.