I have never been a pet person. Nope, not me. I won a goldfish once at a school carnival. It died. Flush funeral. When I was very young, we had a dog . . . for about a minute. Actually, it was a puppy, but at the time it seemed like a man-eating, drooling, teeth-snarling monster. I was afraid of it. My sisters teased me mercilessly as I ran screaming around the house, Cujo at my heels. I don't think we had that dog for very long.
When I was a little older, my dad brought another dog home. Her name was Collette. She looked like a sheep dog. She was big and had long, thick hair. I loved her. One night she got out and found an open gate to our neighbor's backyard. In-ground swimming pool. No fence. Dark. I'll stop there. That was the saddest day of my childhood. I cried all the way to school. No more pets for me. No, thank you.
That is, until a year and a half ago. With our children nearly all grown and ready to leave the house, my husband comes home from school with a big smile on his face. He looks around to make sure the kids are within earshot and then he says that a family he knows from school needs to get rid of one of their dogs. We could pick the one we want. If we don't take one, they'll have to take it to the pound. Do we want to go look at them? Oh, please . . . a dog? Now? After all these years? And the kids leaving for college soon? And a small dog at that . . . who probably wants to live IN my house! My house will stink all the time, it'll chew up everything, and bark all the time. No way! My children (and husband) all know that I don't like dogs. I don't want a dog. No! "Oh, come on, Mom. Pleeeeeeezzzeee. We'll take care of her. You won't have to do anything," my 18 year old daughter says. Those eyes . . . My resolve was slipping. I am outnumbered. Oh fine, whatever. "Yea"!
The next day my husband, our daughter, and our "adopted" daughter went to look at the dogs. There was one among the three that they all loved at first sight. They brought her home. Home. In an instant this was her home. And in an instant, she made our home happier. And there was love. It was . . . weird. And now she is MY dog. And I get accused by my husband and children of loving her more than I do them! That's not true, but I do adore her!