Once upon a time, there was a family that just kept growing … first through children, then through pets. Until, one day, the mother put up her hand and said, “Enough.”
If you haven’t guessed already, that family is mine. You see, while I know I am blessed God gave me several very unique individuals to raise, each of whom teach me in their own way where I still need to grow as a person, there came a point in my life when I wanted sippy cups, diapers and naps behind me. So, when number five arrived, my husband and I put the brakes on more mouths to feed.
Which really only lasted about three years.
That’s when my youngest, and only daughter, began to ask for a pet. Which is exactly how we again began to take on additional members … first in the form of low maintenance, colorful fish, then in the shape of larger, furrier, higher maintenance pets like puppies and guinea pigs. I mean, who can resist a cute little kid asking for a pet?
Believe me, I am learning.
At this moment we have two dogs, two guinea pigs, and we recently buried a fish named Fred.
Our latest addition is named Mayhem. When we brought this puppy home a few weeks ago, we “gifted” our eldest miniature dachshund to my mom, because together we decided the companionship would be great for her, and even I knew three dogs under our roof was a completely insane idea.
So, Mollie has moved on to the wonderful care of Grandma and now we have “just” two mini dachshunds … Mischief (3 years) and Mayhem (2 months), as well as twin brother guinea pigs named Gypsy and Pippen.
I don’t know how, but I actually forgot what it was like to have a baby in the house. Who knew 2 pounds could make so much noise? The first few weeks with Mayhem have been a blur. The difference between a newborn and a puppy is with a pregnancy you have those uncomfortable weeks at the end where you can’t sleep … which is really God’s way of helping you adjust to sleep deprivation. But, with a puppy you’re just sort of thrown into a crying-all-night-long nightmare.
And, maybe we should have named the dogs something other than Mischief and Mayhem. I mean, what else could we expect than complete craziness? If we’d called them Mellow and Mature likely we’d be much better off.
Oh well, at some point the puppy will adjust to sleeping in the crate at night, and I do have to say she’s done a pretty good job figuring out where to do her business. Mayhem also seems to want to do anything she can to keep up with her “big” (10-pound) sister, which is truly a blessing!
None the less, I am officially putting my foot down on any future animals. As my mom said when I called her to let her know we’d picked up the new puppy, “Kim, you know at some point you’re going to have to stop buying pets, just like you stopped having children, right?”
My response …”Yes Mom, I know, no more puppies and no more tattoos either. Promise.”
What can I say, I am a nurturer at heart. And, I think I am going to encourage my daughter to become a zookeeper, she’ll fit right into that career.
Kimberly Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five and author of “My Mothers Footprints: A story of Faith, Calm, Courage, Patience and Grace.” To see more of her work or to contact her, visit www.realifemom.com.