About 7 years ago, Dick told me that his mom wanted us to come over because she had a surprise for us. The kids were thrilled to see a 4 month old basset hound puppy sniffing around Memaw's front yard and even more excited to find out that she was ours. She was an outside dog, but I still got mad because she knocked over Mandi all the time. She eventually outgrew that habit and the kids started playing with her more and were proud of her because she was so cute and funny.
By the time she was about 4 years old, we began letting her in the house when we were playing with her and she did fine. Grace started taking Rosie on regular walks and they all played with her more and dressed her up and played chasing games with her.
When Rosie was 6 years old, she was playing with the kids and hurt her back and became paralyzed in her back legs. What followed was 2 1/2 gut wrenching months of hoping, praying and working my tail off. I did things I never thought I could or would do, all because the vet said there was hope she might get better. Her last visit to the vet, was sad, but obviously had to be made.
Last week, I was talking to a friend, and realized for the first time, how much I appreciated all that Rosie taught me. She showed me that I was a stronger person than I thought I was. That I could see what needed to be done, find out how to do it and do it. I could do gross jobs. I could do a job, even if I wasn't an expert at it. It needed to be done and I was the one to do it. She stretched me as a person, in a different way than having kids did.
She changed my kids, too. They learned about compassion, first hand. They learned that Rosie was still the same Rosie, just not able to move her back legs. They also learned that we do what needs to be done, even if it is unpleasant. They learned how much Rosie meant to them and what a miracle the ability to walk is, even for a dog.
Now, in about one month, we will be bringing home an 8 week old boxer puppy named Lyla. We have been reading and watching videos about how to choose a breed, find a puppy, and train a puppy. I have gained an appreciation for a good breeder/owner who gives the puppy a good start in life. I keep finding myself being excited about things I never thought I would be excited about. And the best part is that I am sharing it with my kids. We are excited together and it is a beautiful thing.