I promise it won't become all puppy all the time around here, but the first 24 hours deserve some documentation.
There's been a good deal of cleaning up Sugar's 'output' as we have started housebreaking/crate training. Between church and lunch today we stopped by the house to give her a potty break. We were too late. The mental image of my husband in a suit on his hands and knees in the driveway scrubbing the kennel while I tried to keep little poopy paws from jumping all over my church clothes...all to the delighted squeals of the children....well, that one will be with me for a while.
Because I can never resist a metaphor, it was a memorable little snapshot of the sin condition. We loved and cared for our little furball even though she was covered in smelly, foul mess. My husband--the physician, the deacon, in a nice suit--lowered himself to clean up a mess he didn't make. She was cleaned up and restored because of our love--and because of our knowledge that she wasn't intentionally making our lives a mess. She is just a puppy. It is her nature. That's what they do. She needs maturity, consistent teaching/modeling, patience and love. Sounds a lot like parenting...and the way God deals with His children too.
Sugar is good-natured and fairly low key for a lab. So far, while curious, the cats nor Haley seem very concerned about her arrival. I even caught her curled up next to Haley, both napping peacefully, late this afternoon.
Predictably, she has serenaded us nightly with a bit of crying from the kennel because she misses her 'pack.' Last night it led to K standing by my bedside at 4am asking me to please make the puppy be quiet. If only it were that easy. I have realized that I am old and tired. Potty trips in the chilly dead of night aren't my favorite.
I am loving how interested in taking care of her all three of my people have been--without any cajoling. I sometimes lament what our trio has missed by not ever getting to have a younger sibling in the home to care for. Having this new 'baby' has offered somewhat of a picture of those lessons. I love to sit one room away and listen to their giggles and the way they baby talk her.
And much like star-struck new parents, it has been hysterical to watch
the kiddos think everything she does make her the smartest puppy in the
world. Case in point, any time Sugar sits (not on command, mind you,
just because she's tired) P & R go ballistic. "Mom, she is SO smart!
She already has this whole sitting thing figured out!"
A few of my other favorite quotes so far:
"Mom, Sugar is rapidly licking me in the eyeball & I like it." -R
"I like how her tummy is like a warm chocolate chip cookie." -R
"Man, having a puppy is a lot of work!" -K
"I like each pet in our family for different reasons. Sugar's reason is just because she is little and cute." -K
"Mom & Dad, promise you will wake me up in the middle of the night to take her out? I really, really want to." -P
"This has been the best week ever. She's my favorite yellow lab in the world. I am so happy Sugar is in our family." -P
Like most things in 'real life' this endeavor is not clean or easy, but
it is definitely sweet.