A few weeks ago we decided to try getting a dog friend for our current dog, Frolic. We used to have two dogs and one of them died about two years ago. I have wondered if Frolic was lonely as she has started to have some separation anxiety when we leave her. Keep in mind someone is in our home nearly every minute of every day; we only leave her for brief periods. Still, I was worried. What do I have to do other than worry about the emotional well-being of our dog? Plus, I have been in this whole, "embrace the chaos" space, thinking I need to, you know, embrace the chaos of family life.
So, after months of endlessly searching for a dog, I found one listed on Craigslist that I thought would be a good fit for us. Similar size, the owner said she liked other dogs, spayed, shots, etc. I called up and we scheduled for the dog (Zazzy) to come stay for a couple of overnights. Just a trial period to see if our dogs got along. The owner seemed very nice and clearly loved Zazzy and had a hard time leaving her there. It was heartbreaking when he left and heartbreaking to watch Zazzy look out the window after him - "Where ya' going, Dad? Can't I come?"
The Mister and I devoted much of the hour or so to trying to get the dogs comfortable together. Zazzy wanted little to do with Frolic. Frolic, on the other hand, was determined to run, jump and bark at Zazzy until she got her to play. Our daughter found these antics hilarious, and there was soon a very noisy zoo in the house.
I went to cook dinner and left the dogs and my family to fend for themselves in the mayhem. I was hustling and bustling roasting chicken and potatoes and feeling pretty much like the perfect wife and mother when suddenly I heard a shriek and a thud. I look over to see that The Nugget had just fallen out of the chair she was sitting in. Onto her face. Hard.
Yes, people, this is the part where my daughter breaks her tooth. My perfect, 15 month old daughter, breaks her tooth. You can feel free to remind me that I am all about embracing the "less than perfect" in life, and I really, truly am, but in the moment all I could do was have the next several years of my poor, half toothed child's photos running through my mind. So sue me, I can't always be in a zen state! It's cute to me now, just horrifying in the moment.
And, oh, did she cry. And cry. And cuh-ry! Soon, I too was crying. The Mister was walking around proclaiming, "I am a horrible father", because he was the one who put her into the chair. Zazzy peed on the floor. Frolic continued to bark. The cats were in deep hiding and growling anytime the new dog came near. And soon all I could think was, "this dog has got to go." She hadn't been here two hours and I now had her associated with this catastrophe and I knew this was it for old Zazzy; she was heading back to her dad's!
So, the next day I called up the Zazzy dad and scheduled a foreshortened end to her play date with us. Before you get too mad at me, note that she was quite possessive and did poorly with our dog and The Nugget over the next 24 hours, so I didn't feel so bad. And now, Frolic is back to being an only dog. I suspect that she will stay that way.
And The Nugget? She couldn't be any cuter if she tried! She's pretty proud of how she looks now!