Have you ever looked back on a decision you’ve made with regret? Fortunately the big decisions in my life…motherhood at 18, marriage at 23, moving to Texas to escape the bitter Wisconsin winters, a return (with conviction) to college at 40 are all things I would never change. But one, seemingly small and less life altering decision, has plagued me for the past two months. Let me explain.
The first weekend of every month there is this really great flea market in Canton, Texas called First Trade Days. It is here that you can purchase anything from art and furniture to clothing and food items. In November we decided to pack up grandma and the kids for a day of exploration at the flea market.
Not sure why they call it “Trade Days”, but we have attended a number of times and always seem to bring home something interesting. We also always end the day in the exotic animals area (okay, so it’s how we bribe our kids to go…). Anyways, this trip was no different, except, I have to admit, that day I had a bit of an agenda.
We have a 2-year-old miniature daschund named Mollie. Mollie is very social, kid-friendly, and has been a great addition to our family. But lately, since the kids went back to school and Allen-Michael off to college, she has been driving me crazy. Mollie has been following me around all day looking for attention. And when I had to leave the house for any reason, she would follow me to the door and give me pitifully sad eyes so that I felt horribly guilty for leaving her alone at home. Because of this behavior, I felt she was bored and needed a playmate. She just wasn’t getting enough love and attention from the family so another dog would surely cure that, right?
After making the rounds through the other areas, we began to look at the booths in the animal area until we stumbled on one that housed a tiny black miniature daschund with caramel accents. AND it was a girl! If I could have chosen a perfect match for Mollie, this would be it. So I began to get the kids on board with the idea…Mollie will be like a mother to this puppy, she will be so happy, they will play nicely together, they will snuggle and nap together…the whole nine yards. My husband Tom is NOT amused with the idea at all. In fact he tells us all over and over why it’s a bad idea…beginning with how financially challenging another dog will be, all the way down to how busy we are and how much time a puppy requires. Don’t we remember? He even goes so far as to text our son at college and ask him to help convince us.
This went on for quite some time, until my husband finally relented. But, there was a bottom line price. He would only pay a fraction of what the breeder wanted. Tom told the kids that if they wanted the dog that badly they would have to do the negotiations as this could be another learning lesson for them. So the kids, armed with money in hand, start the negotiation process with the breeder. Meanwhile, my mom stands on the sidelines playing Switzerland. She’s smart enough to stay out of the situation.
The kids go back and forth until they cannot negotiate any more, and it looks like we are not going home with a new puppy. I decide my husband is probably right and this just isn’t meant to be, when all of a sudden, Brigham steps up and says, “we’ll give you all the money we have in our own pockets ($22.00) to get the puppy.” This surprises us both and the breeder loves how dedicated my kids are so….you guessed it, for better or worse (and I’ll let you decide what decision I’ve come to here), we have a new puppy.
Here’s how the ride home goes….Tom giving me dirty looks, mixed with smiles like we’ve both gone nuts (again). Kids and grandma are throwing names out, Brigham is even texting his friend back in Wisconsin for name suggestions…dozens of ideas flying back and forth until we come up with the “perfect” name. One that fits and is fun to boot….we name the tiny bundle “Mischief”. Within a few minutes of that revelation, she lives up to her name and proceeds to get carsick on me…not once, not twice, not three times but FOUR times during our car ride home. How can a cute puppy that weighs only 2 lbs have so much in her? What the hell have I gotten myself into?!
Fast forward several weeks…Mischief lived in our master bathroom until Tom and I were both so tired of our toes doubling as chew toys we were ready to kill her. She currently resides in the laundry room where the other day I opened the door to find she had taken clean clothes from a basket and mixed them in her poop. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Oh and did I mention, Mollie barely tolerates this new addition to our family and the kids only reluctantly chip in with the duties that come with a new dog.
So now what? I have mentioned in passing maybe this was not a good idea and we should cut our loses and find her a more suitable home. My husband says, “What kind of message does that send our kids?” Right, again…so, I am going to put my heart into puppy training class, making the kids go with me, in the hopes that what I traded at the flea market (which I realize wasn’t just the money, but also my sanity for a 2 lb. puppy) will eventually be a decision I won’t regret. Why didn’t we name her “Mellow”?????