This is Mayhem.
Our newest family member.
She’s an eight-week-old miniature dachshund who weighs in at two pounds, six ounces. Yes, she is small….but, believe me, she is capable of a great deal of noise and mess.
Why did we, a family with five kiddos (three still under the roof), two other mini dachshund, two guinea pigs, and a fish named Fred decide to get yet another dog?
This is what I was pondering last night while listening to Mayhem whine in her crate and trying to settle myself down enough to sleep.
Our family animal journey began six years ago in May, shortly after moving from Wisconsin to Texas, when we got our first dog. A “mini wienie” we named Mollie. Our youngest, Mia (four at the time), had been asking for a dog for a while when one day we just happened to come across a local farm that had a new litter of pups in a playpen on the side of the road. Of course we had to stop, and, eventually bring one home.
About a year after Mollie joined our family, we had to move. We lived in that home for a year, then we moved again (same neighborhood, larger home with a pool…a real asset in Texas). Once we were in that home for a year, and about the time Allen-Michael went off to college, I decided Mollie seemed lonely (she would drive me nuts, following me around all day long), so the kids and I talked Tom into another “mini wienie” whom we named Mischief.
Mischief has lived up to her name since day one when we brought her home and she puked on me four times in the car.
Thinking Mollie would love this new smaller version of herself, and take to training her like a mother does her child…we could not have been more wrong. Mollie wanted nothing to do with Mischief (or me for that matter, she was pissed and would not even come near me for weeks). We (essentially I, for the most part) worked with Mischief for the first year…then I had a heart-to-heart with Tom.
“This dog is not trainable. I think I made a mistake. I can’t take it, I think it’s best if we try and find her a new home.”
“Are you kidding me?! No way, uh uh. YOU wanted the dog. What if this was one of our kids Kim? Would you just get rid of him (or her).”
So, obviously I continued to work with Mischief. And, by the time she had turned two she was a much better dog. Even Mollie learned to tolerate her more active personality, and all was well.
Then, we moved, again. (Same neighborhood, different house and pool).
That Christmas, after a four month campaign by Mia (now eight), Santa brought two guinea pigs. It was the only thing she wanted for Christmas, and since it wasn’t an electronic device, we ended up caving. While Gypsy and Pippen were much less trouble, they also require a lot of cleaning (and nagging by mom to do so).
A few months after the guinea pigs arrived, we moved. This time for good. Seriously!
So, last fall (prior to our last move), we spent months remodeling our “new-to-us” home. It was a busy time. We moved in just before Christmas. In March of this year we started a backyard project, including a pool, which is still only 80% complete.
This is the cycle we’ve been living for the past six years. But, really it’s the cycle we’ve been on for our entire marriage (23 years). Prior to the new house-new animal cycle, we did seventeen years of new house-new baby.
Call me silly, but it seems to me Tom and I have some kind of unconscious desire to create chaos in our lives. In all honesty, I have directly accused Tom of this in the past…but, I see I am a major contributing factor to this cycle.
Back to Mayhem…
So, last Friday, after calling my mom to make sure she was fully on board with adopting Mollie (my mom had talked about what a great companion she thought Mollie would be for her) we bought Mayhem. Now we have Mischief and Mayhem under our roof. And Mollie is five minutes away at Grandma’s house.
Do you know what my mom said to me during that phone call?
“Kim, you know at some point you’re going to have to stop getting puppies, just like you stopped having babies, right?”
Yes mom. I promise no more puppies, just like I promised no more tattoos after my last one.
I haven’t slept well since we brought Mayhem home, it’s only been six nights, but it feels like a year. The term “let sleeping dogs lie” may make sense for an actual sleeping dog, but the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” actually means to leave something alone lest it result in trouble or complication”….(according to UE: UsingEnglish.com).
So here’s the BIG question….what am I trying to avoid, or, what is the payoff I get from creating constant outer change or additional work to my life? What’s going on inside of me that prefers to have something to keep me busy, so I don’t have the time to concentrate on myself?
Am I the only one who creates outside issues/drama to avoid what might be in the bigger picture? How do we get past this cycle?
Share your thoughts in the comments section, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you.