I did not grow up with dogs. We got a cat when I was 10, and then my parents got two cats when I was about 19 or 20. We were a cat family.
I knew I wanted a dog. My husband and I talked about getting one for years. We would get a dog but when? In the craziness of little kids and the military, it never seemed like the right time.
One day, about 8 years ago, my husband came home and said a friend of his had a one-year-old dog he needed to rehome. He asked if we were ready? And I said I wasn’t sure. I had never had a dog, and he had.
He said he thought she would be a good dog for us to have. So I agreed that we would bring her home. Our first dog together.
My boys were 3, 7, and 9 years old at the time and were so excited about getting a dog. I had some fears, particularly my son with Autism. Would he like the dog? What if he didn’t?
But…we really didn’t have much to worry about. Gwen joined our family in 2014 at the age of one, and fit in so perfectly. We all fell in love.
She became my co-worker, our playmate, and protector. But, as the years went by I started to wonder if we should add another dog to our family. I wasn’t sure though because Gwen was so perfect for us, what if bringing another dog in messed that up? What if they were just too much work?
Then this summer we started talking seriously about getting a second dog, a puppy this time. Again I wasn’t so sure but I knew that the boys could help with a puppy. I also knew I wanted another dog, I just wasn’t sure what kind.
I started watching the local animal shelter’s page. Every day. We wanted a male puppy and a smaller breed than Gwen was. There were a few that looked like they might be a good fit but I still wasn’t sure. Then one day I was.
I was looking at the new pups that came in and saw him. My little guy. I sent the photo to my husband and he asked if I really wanted him. I said yes, and he said go for it. I still wasn’t 100% sure but there was just something about this puppy.
Later that afternoon, they posted a photo of him on Facebook and he was getting a ton of likes. “Oh no! Someone is going to adopt him!” I thought. I called the shelter immediately. I wasn’t totally sure of the process but 15 minutes later I had adopted him with plans to pick him up the next afternoon.
I am not the type of person to do something like that, but that dog already had my heart.
That night I ran to Target and the pet store to get all the puppy things. Then the next day my 14-year-old and I drove to the shelter to pick him up.
They placed him in my arms and I knew he was ours. We took him home, my son sitting in the back with him, and started puppy life. We were told he was a border collie and blue heeler mix, but we are not so sure on the border collie part.
He is now almost five months old and we have had him for almost three months. It seems hard to believe. I feel like he is growing every day.
Max fits in perfectly with our family. The boys have been rockstars with him, and he and Gwen are becoming BFFs. He plays, and runs, and then crashes hard! We love him so much!!!
I am finding that being a two-dog family is much different than a one-dog family. There is a bit more excitement and more care required, but I can’t imagine life without our Max. He has made us so happy and is so very loved by all of us.
I am not sure I will ever own another cat in my life. But I do know there will always be dogs!