We've had our dog longer than we've had our kids. She has brought so much joy and fun into our lives it's ridiculous.
Biscuit has also brought the crazy. She's a lab/hound mix so the energy level was really high until she was about 8, and then she mellowed a little bit. When we went to the dog park she'd run amok and egg on other dogs to chase her.
Our kids would read to her when they were little and learned how to help take care of her. We definitely went through a period where she gained 5 pounds due to some serious over treating.
I remember when our son, about 2 at the time, heard that her stomach was upset because she ate something she shouldn't have. He plopped down on her bed next to her and gave her a hug. A few years ago my daughter had her tonsils out. Biscuit didn't leave her side for two days.
She brings joy to my parents, who have been pet-less for 10 years, but absolutely love having her visit (and then leave).
Our lives with Biscuit have also had its share of tears and fears. As a puppy she hopped out of the car, ran across a parking lot and through a busy street. My husband and I were beside ourselves but the words of the trainer we had been seeing flashed in our heads. Don't chase her. Call her and run to where you want her to go. She wants to be with you, he said. And you know what? It worked! Scariest 5 minutes of my life to that point.
She's a 12 year old puppy today. A little arthritis, skin cancer, a small tumor, very gassy and a little more grey around the eyes and chin but still a puppy at heart. I can't even measure the amount of fun and smiles she has brought to our lives, and I can't imagine our lives without her.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.