It all started so innocently. It was a Saturday morning. I had a television shoot for a client in a remote Oregon suburb. I took my daughter, since the news segment featured children and they needed some extras for B-roll shots. After the shoot, we had some time to enjoy, so I took her to some antique stores. To a great coffee/book shop. And heaven help me, to the local pet store.
I’m anti pet-store. I really am. But this being a little farm town, it seems they operate a little different here. They work only with local breeders. Their contacts only breed litters once a year. They have a track record for having clean, reliable sources. And dangit, they have some really, really cute dogs.
We already have the awesome and handsome Gus. He was a spontaneous addition to the family more than seven years ago. But he was pretty much full-grown when we adopted him. Somewhere deep inside, I was wishing for at least one puppy experience in my life. One time for me to try to raise a little fluff ball from the beginning. To love it’s tiny little helplessness and to train it into the kind of dog we want as a family member. Yes, it was a dream in the back of my mind, but I didn’t think I’d really turn it into a reality in the foreseeable future.
And then I saw him. I mean, it was so completely love at first site I could hardly stand it. There was something in his eyes I just couldn’t resist. Helplessness, yes? A little mischief, of course. But a sweetness too – something that just said he was supposed to be ours. So, after a few different visits back and forth to the store, after many calls with the store owner, after investigating the breeder, and after FINALLY convincing my darling husband, I bit the bullet and brought home our new Bichon Frise.
The kids have named him Sarge. (Our son is a huge fan of HALO and of pretty much all things military.) As he’s gained some weight (he’s a hungry boy), we’ve discovered that his little stomach sometimes can be more wide than his body is long. So he’s earned the name “Sargent Waddles.”
Gus is not exactly what you would call thrilled. But today he seemed to accept his new roommate. And Gus is starting to treat us like normal as well. It’s been a rough few days for him – he’s not even looked us in the eyes. But that seems to be changing.
I’m sure I’m going to have moments of panic. Moments where I think “WHAT HAVE I DONE?” But right now, when Sarge is asleep on my lap and I smell his sweet puppy smell, or when I watch my son and daughter play with him on the floor, I realize that Sarge is more than something cute to watch. He’s teaching my kids responsibility. He’s teaching them discipline. And of course, he’s bringing them one of the true joys of being a child: having a puppy of your own! Welcome Sarge. We’re sure you’re going to be a great adventure for us all!