On a Sunday, Kyle and I noticed that as we were waiting to turn onto our street something unusual was happening. A man was outside of his vehicle and looking under it. Then I saw a small, dark furry creature running from under that car to a parked one. We pulled into the driveway, and Kyle rescued the tiny puppy from the street. My first response to Kyle saying “my puppy” was to ask what the plan was to find her another home. When we looked her over, we found she had ticks. So we worked together to remove them and then bathe her. She was so vulnerable and needed love and care. Our neighbor gave us some dog food and loaned us a crate his dog had outgrown.
Kyle put up signs in the neighborhood about the found puppy, but we didn’t hear back. She seemed well taken care of minus the ticks, so we figured she had a home. We were surprised when no one called.
The longer she stayed, the more I tried to figure out if it was really possible to keep a puppy and be expecting a baby in a few weeks. She was absolutely thrilled to see us. There was just something comforting about having her fall asleep next to me while I read or worked on the computer. She was getting the hang of crate training. She even was doing well with figuring out that outside was the best place to relieve herself. Food time was delightful as I never heard “I don’t like this. Can I __ instead?” Nor did it take her over an hour to eat since she wasn’t happy with the food I made.
The things I struggled with were being up in the middle of the night since she needed to relieve herself. Sometimes she wasn’t ready to go back to her crate straight away, and her cries kept me up. Pregnant women struggle with sleep as it is, but being up with a puppy really wasn’t helping.
So, although we had grown quite attached to this bundle of joy, we realized the timing wasn’t right. After seven days of very interrupted sleep, I didn’t see how a puppy needing my attention and a baby needing it too would be healthy for our family. A puppy is like a baby in so many ways. I didn’t want to resent the puppy once the baby came. I also didn’t know what it would look like to have a baby who is often on the ground a lot of the time until she learns to walk and to have a puppy wanting to be in that same space. Plus, a puppy has to learn not to bite, and I was not up to having my baby endure bites from a puppy. My girls found they could run and jump on a chair when they’d had enough or the puppy was in an extra playful mood, but a baby doesn’t have that luxury. Some may wonder why I wouldn’t just put the puppy outside. Well, as we tried to figure out what kind of dog she was, we found that we think she is a Chihuahua. She often shivered moments after being outside in the morning and in the middle of the night. She isn’t suited to being an outside dog all the time. Then there was the question of what to do when we traveled. It can be challenging to find child care, but how was I to ask a friend to care for a puppy who might pee on her carpet and wake her in the middle of the night? We travel to see extended family several times a year, and boarding her wouldn’t work well with our budget.
So, with many tears shed on my part and Natalie’s, we found a loving family to care for the wee pup. She is being showered with love by her new family. I miss her dearly and think of her often. I am thankful that she is bringing joy to her new family, and they have had experience with Chihuahuas.
Maybe one day we will have a dog, but that day is likely to be a couple years out.