I grew up in a home where the humans were more affectionate towards the dogs than to each other. That’s just how my family was. We love our dogs. And we only kind of liked each other.
Our first dog was Happy. I named him after the dog in 7th Heaven. We had him for a year or so, but my little brother started having bad dreams and my grandmother said that it was because we had a dog (go figure 🙄). So my Mom and Dad gave him to my Aunt. I was angry and sad, but Happy loved my Aunt and we got to visit him regularly. He lived a long life before he passed about two years ago. I don’t have a digital photo of Happy. 😞
Our next dog was Dante. My older brother just started college when we got Dante and he just finished Dante’s Divine Comedy. Dante was a great dog, but he was always sickly. He had a skin disease and he eventually died of poor health before I graduated from college. It was hard for us, because even if he was smelly and sickly, he was so loyal and loving. 💔
Midway into college, Happy and his Wife (Hershey) had puppies and my Aunt gave us one. I named her Coco Chanel. She was a fluffy and smart dog! She used to go everywhere with my Mom—she would always be in the car when Mom picked me up from school. During my senior year in college, we moved to another house and a few months after the move, Chanel got out of our garden and we couldn’t find her anymore. All we could do was hope that someone kind found her and gave her a good home. 😢
Happy and Hershey had another batch of puppies and my Aunt gave us one again. It was the height of my Twilight fandom, so I named our new puppy Jacob (even if she was a girl 😁). Jacob still lives with my Mom. She’s very smart and also likes to make a lot of puppies.
A few years after we received Jacob, we were given another dog by one of my friends and he already had a name—King Caesar. I have to admit that Caesar is my favorite dog. ♥️ I think it’s because I spent the most time hanging out with him. He’s also a different breed from the other dogs and he’s chunkier and bigger. I’ve always preferred bigger dogs! I love Caesar because even though he’s the biggest dog at home, he’s also the most tranquil one.
There were other dogs after Caesar, but they are more my Mom’s dogs than family dogs. Right now, I think she has a total of four dogs at home– Jacob, Caesar, Lucille (daughter of Jacob and Caesar), and Happy Jr. (daughter of Lucille and my cousin’s dog). There may even be new puppies right now!
So, growing up, I always thought that the proper order of things was:
- Get married
- Have a dog
- Have a kid
Before Squishy, we had many conversations about having a dog. Mostly, we felt guilty about having a dog but only being able to spend time with him/her at night and during the weekends. Also, Mikey is very sensitive about dogs peeing on our couch (go figure 🙄). So we didn’t really get to settle the issue and before we knew it, there were two red lines on the stick.
Now, we’re expecting Squishy in about four months (😱) and I can’t help but feel like there’s something missing. A dog would’ve meant an instant sibling for Squishy. But I’m already kind of overwhelmed at the thought of taking care of a brand new human being. So pragmatically speaking, it’s probably good that we took it slow with the whole dog thing.
Still, my heart kind of aches when I see photos like this:
Apart from the drool worthy photos, maybe I’m also a little sad because I feel like we’re depriving Squishy of something special. Having a pet in the home can lead to some great teachable moments for kids! But more than that, a dog’s love is really something else—uncomplicated and pure. ♥️ But I suppose for now (and maybe until the next year or so), Squishy will have to make do with our love. Hopefully, it’ll be enough. ♥️
P.S. Happy 5th month in my belly, Squishy! Your landlord loves you oh so very much. ♥️