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April 19, 2010

Three Dogs and a Cat - A Cautionary Tale (Tail)

FridoSlink

Two years ago my oldest, ultra-responsible, plan and goal-oriented daughter was finishing up her freshman year in college and moved into an apartment. There she got the brilliant idea she needed a puppy.

I received a phone call that went like this:
RESPONSIBLE DAUGHTER: cheerful, excited voice “Mom, I’ve been researching puppies. I want a miniature dachshund. It’s a perfect breed for me and now I’m in an apartment I can have one.”

ME: stunned silence, then… “Gee honey, I don’t think that’s such a good idea. You’ll be tied to your apartment, and what about the Fall when you have to travel for athletic events?”

RESPONSIBLE DAUGHTER: a little deflated
“I’ve got it all figured out. X and Y promised to help me and they’ll keep it when I’m gone.”

ME: “Bad idea.”

Then she tried her father who said, “That’s STUPID.” Then she tried her younger sister who also said, “That’s stupid.”

No communication for a couple of days. Then we received a long email from Responsible Daughter, outlining her lifelong history of responsibleness and her action plan involving future puppy which included puppy class she already attended at local pet store, names of people who would help with puppy, etc.

We responded with email saying how much we loved her and appreciated her responsibleness but that getting a puppy was still a bad idea.

Four days of silence. In cell phone/text/email world we all know this is an ominous sign. Then we received text with photo of puppy. He is darling and we say so.

The weekend goes by. Late Sunday night my phone rings.
RESPONSIBLE DAUGHTER: sobbing hysterically “I don’t know if I can do this. I think I made a big mistake. This puppy follows me everywhere. He always wants to be held. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS LIKE! I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself.”

ME:  “Gosh honey, I’d have no idea about that.”

As all of us moms can relate to, after the initial shock of having a totally dependent being rely on you for everything Responsible Daughter settled down and ended up doing a fabulous job raising a loving, obedient, housebroken dog, named Slink. Six months later he came to stay with us because her travel schedule did turn out to be too much. We already had our old lab, Ginger, who we thought would be leaving the world soon. But it’s two years later and little Slink revived Ginger who is still going strong. Old cat, Bob, also likes Slink.

I loved Slink so much I wanted a doxie for myself. A year ago I received a call from a real estate agent friend searching for a good home for another miniature dachshund. Which is how Friedl came into our lives. Now Slink and Friedl are BFFs. They are a package deal and when Responsible Daughter graduates they will go live with her. I will be heart-broken.

And that is how in the first year of becoming an empty-nester, my nest got filled up with fur. Beware!

Addendum I ran this post by Responsible Daughter and she asked me to add this: "When I first read this I was not very happy, considering I felt like the biggest screw up that first week when I thought I was going to have to give Slink back to his breeder. Luckily, thanks to the support of my mom, I was able to pull through. Training him was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do but he was well worth the time and effort. My brother once said, 'Slink was the best decision I ever made.' I think my family might agree."


This is an original 50-Something Moms blog post. When Nancy isn’t letting a dog in or letting a dog out or scooping poop or emptying the litter box she is blogging at Just the Right Things. (Pictured in photo is Friedl, left, and Slink, right.)

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