Updated: Dec 5, 2019
Back in October, I finally acquiesced, and we got a puppy. After hiring a dog trainer, or owner-trainer, which is really what it is, she is a pretty good dog. She has lots of energy and requires a lot of care. One of our routines is walking our dog before we leave for the day, and once we arrive home. My youngest walks with me every day. It is one of my favorite times of the day because we walk, hold hands, and chat. Each morning, hot air balloons frequently are seen in our neighborhood, and she gets so excited when we see her favorite balloon. Our morning and evening walks are delightful times, most of the time. If we are running behind or I am feeling particularly rushed, or she is dragging her feet, these walks can be less sweet, and more of a “just get it done!”
A few weeks ago, we were walking our dog on a, particularly rushed night. It had been a long day at work, the girls were tired from the start of the school year, and everyone was hungry. I hustled us out the door to try to make it a quick walk, so I could get back and grab the food that was warming in the oven. We made it halfway through our walk when we came across one of our neighbors who had a very tiny puppy. He was sitting outside on the grass with the puppy who was trying to climb up on his leg and into his lap. She was licking his fingers, and her little tail was wagging away. As we approached our neighbor, my youngest, who is a big animal lover, saw the puppy and asked if she could pet the puppy. I wanted nothing more than to get home, finish dinner, and go to bed. "No" was on the tip of my tongue when I reminded myself of my challenge.
I looked at my youngest with her big eyes shining as she looked at this tiny, cute puppy, and I said, “yes.” She joyfully approached the man on the grass and asked if she could pet his puppy. He was happy to have my daughters sit on the grass with him, and he gave them turns to hold the puppy. It was sweet to see both of my girls light up with smiles and giggles as the little puppy made her way around their laps, licking their hands and trying to climb up the front of them to nibble on their ears and lick their cheeks. I stood there, taking the sight in, and I was filled with such happiness and gratitude.
The girls were so delighted by the experience, and I so appreciated our neighbor. We thanked the man and talked about the puppy all the way home. My daughters decided they would love one of these small puppies and stated they would take care of the puppy 100%. I laughed because that is what they said about caring for our dog before we got her, and surprisingly, I take care of her about 90% of the time.
Every time we take our dog on a walk, my youngest is quite hopeful that we will run into the neighbors with the little puppy again. It has happened here and there, and the smile on her face warms my heart. Her excitement and pure delight fuels my gratitude even when we are short on time, or the heat is unbearable. I am so thankful these neighbors of ours are so gracious and patient with my sweet little girl who desperately wants this tiny puppy to be her very own. I am also thankful that we have had so many opportunities to see this little puppy, so my daughter gets her fill until the next time. She is learning about disappointment too when we round the corner with great anticipation, and sometimes the little puppy isn’t outside. She will sadly walk hand in hand with me after missing the puppy, but resilient as she is, she will quickly turn her attention to another topic, and her sadness will slip away.
Messages to my daughters: Sometimes doing something when you don’t think you have time or you have something else that is pressing is just the perfect time to say “yes!” Life isn’t always about keeping a schedule or checking off a list. While there are things that need to be accomplished in life, there are also experiences that need time to be had. Those are the moments that register the memories, that fill your heart with warmth and love, and that keep your company when you are feeling alone. Embrace those moments and cherish them.