Earlier in the year I wrote about our miniature daschund Mischief.  We have now had this dog for almost a year and all I gotta say is, thank God she's cute because she would have been gone a L-O-N-G time ago! Here is a picture from the day we brought her home (incidentally, we bought her at a flea market because everyone knows you find quality dogs where you find great home decor and dip mixes)...

The kids begged their dad for this dog.  Tom even videotaped them promising to feed/walk/pick up after her ON A DAILY BASIS.  Not that viewing the piece of video over and over has made a difference in their level of assistance with her.  I went along with the kids that [fateful] day because (a) I love puppies and (b) I thought our dog at home needed a friend.

Mollie (age two at the time) appeared bored and I thought she would make a great "mother".  Turns out I was wrong.  Mollie made a horrible mother.  Mollie hated her new friend and resented my bringing her home.  How do I know this you ask?  Mollie would not come near me (prior to this new member introduction she was attached to my hip...or my ankle anyway since she is a 10 lb wiener dog).  And for months after Mischief came home Mollie was lukewarm towards me, and frigid to Mischief.

So here we are a year into the "we have two dogs" journey and it seems as though every week either Tom or I is saying "Who's up for taking the dogs to the humane society tomorrow?"  To which all of the kids (or the three still living under our roof anyway) say in unison "NOOOOOO!"  Then one of us says, "Okay then, who will go outside and pick up their poop?"  Or [as was the case tonight] "who will clean up the dog puke on the freshly cleaned family room carpet?"  Both of these questions illicit one of two responses..."EWWWWW!!!!" or dead silence [insert crickets chirping].

We have tried puppy training, rewards (Mischief LOVES string cheese), praise, and patience, but we still cannot trust her in the house for more than 10 minutes...and that is with someone actively playing with her.  Consequently, Mischief spends 95% of her time between the laundry room (a lovely 8'x8' space) and the backyard.  Thank God we live in a climate that has a mild winter.  But it is no life for this super cute, lovable pup-a-dup!

Oh, and not once, but twice in July we entertained Animal Control at our door because a neighbor complained of her barking.  Thanks to some friends on FB, we got her a citronella collar which nipped her bad habit in the bud.  If you knew Mischief's personality you would be impressed to learn that after only a handful of squirts in the face the barking ceased.  She is cute as hell, but dumb as a box of rocks.

Neither Tom nor I is into making idle threats.  There are days when we feel at the end of our rope and I know there are times I feel as if I have failed as a pet owner.  (Thank God Tom has given up rubbing my face in this little addition to the family...it was getting hard to continuously apologize).  But, then we think about the days that do go well and all the fun we have with the two of them...

Mia has never been a big fan of dolls, but she loves to dress up the dogs!  Here is Mollie in her Halloween costume:

And here is Mischief in her holiday dress...

The fact that Mollie never lets me take a nap alone, the love and loyalty the dogs give the kids and the kids give to the dogs...

Every time we think seriously about throwing their occupied crates in the back end of the minivan for a one-way trip to adoption we pause, and decide we just cannot give up.  I have never felt dogs were on the same playing field as children (sorry if that offends some...) but, for whatever reason, I am compelled to keep employing faith, calm, courage, patience and grace until eventually it all works itself out.

Mischief is the ultimate test for me, I thought it was Maddux...but I was wrong.

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