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Challenge: We love our pets

OMG I have a dog!

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OMG I have a dog!

Last Christmas I told my mom and dad that I thought we were going to get a dog. I saw their eyes grow wide and they didn’t even need to say what they were thinking. I had seen that look before. Like when I had told them I was joining the Peace Corps. Or that time I told them I was moving to Arizona. Or when I told them I was moving back to Illinois. And when I announced my subsequent pregnancies. I knew what they were thinking: “Really, Renee? Do you really need one more thing on your plate?!”

After we got our new puppy I had stumbled across one of her tootsie roll sized poops and said out loud, “Oh my gosh, we have a dog!” My son said “Mom, you mean Cookie? Yeah. We’ve had her forever!” It had been maybe a week but she sure fits into our family like she’s been there all the while.

My husband and I had wanted to get her hoping to make her a therapy dog for our then 2-year-old daughter. She just loves dogs and there is something so special about the joy on her face when she is around them. Sure enough, this dog has certainly motivated her and they have become fast friends.

What I didn’t expect was that this dog is actually more of a therapy dog for me. We’ve had a hard couple of years trying to figure out what is going on with our daughter who has special needs. I didn’t realize how consumed I was in worry until we got this little pup. Because of Cookie, I take breaks all day long and go outside and breath fresh air and run a little. She’s just what I needed. Funny how that works.

All of those decisions I’ve made in life that have given my parents the wide-eyed look have been decisions that even I knew may not be the safest decision, but I just felt it was right. And bless my parents, they supported me through every one. As I get older making those decisions becomes harder; I’m more cautious, unfortunately. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I have other living beings to consider. Getting Cookie has reminded me to trust my gut and as scary as the thought rolling through my head may be, at least consider it. Better yet, just do it. The craziest decisions I’ve ever made have brought me the most in life!

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