So it was Spring Break last week… as well as the last week of the month. So, between no school and Trav working every day, the kidos and I have had a lot of togetherness. With the 75 and 80 degree weather, our week included what turned out to be a delightful zoo adventure on Wednesday and a few trips to the park.
One afternoon at the park, there was a family there with a puppy - an adorable, fluffy little puppy. Gracie and Tessa loved the puppy. They petted it, played with it, held it, and were pretty high with "puppy fever" all the way home afterwards. Since we were also at the zoo that week, animals had been a recurring theme that day and so Gracie kept asking when we're going to get a puppy, and in the process reiterating her dismay over me "sending Mickey away".
Back Story: We used to have a dog. When we lived in Illinois Trav and I got a blonde cocker spaniel from a farm - Mickey. When we brought Mickey home, he too was an adorable, fluffy little puppy, and ever so precious - but that did not last. Mickey grew to be a gigantic cocker spaniel. He was stubborn and awful. He became extremely attached to Travis and had severe separation anxiety issues (we even tried to medicate him once). He barked ALL the time, and freaked out whenever anyone came over. Despite tons of money spent on preventing and treating them, he constantly had fleas, and would literally grab food off our plates while we tried to eat.
Over the 10 years we had him, I grew to literally hate that dog. And after Tessa was born, I just couldn't put up with him anymore, and finally... we gave him away. Now, we really did give him away. After weeks of begging Trav, I put an ad in the paper, and a very nice (and unsuspecting) couple came right off the bat to get him. I must say - I was beyond thrilled to see him go.
Gracie (who was 2 and a half and at the time and referred to Mickey as "Bad Dog") did not even notice when he left. It was months before she asked us about him. But when it finally came up (which was something like, "hey, what happened to our dog,") I told her that we just really couldn't take care of Mickey anymore and so we sent him where he would have lots of room to run, play, and bark. She never really bought it. I even once tried the old "I'm allergic" excuse... but she knew I just didn't like the dog.
So, while it comes and goes in spurts, Gracie gets on these "puppy" kicks. She'll sigh and in her best sad voice say, "I really miss Mickey, Momma." Or my favorite, "I sure wish I had a puppy like [insert the name of any number of children she knows]." I always smile and just tell her we just can't have a dog, and that some day when she's older and has her own place to live, she can get a dog if she really wants one. And while all you animal lovers are thinking I'm all terrible, let me just say I'm also serious! Dogs are fine as long as they don't live with me. No pets in my house again! Maybe a goldfish some day, if they're lucky.
The most recent "puppy kick", went on two days last week, and I had had enough! I finally told her we were not getting a puppy, and I didn't want her to ask me again! She reluctantly complied.
Now, one of Gracie's favorite things to do these days is just as I'm tucking her into bed, she begins to pepper me with questions - random questions about anything. She also likes to rehash her day and mention anything she's excited about or list any current grievances she may have - anything to stall the bedtime process. So last night after a whole list of "why's" were discussed, I was finally tucking her in and giving the good night kisses when in her sweetest voice she asked me this:
Gracie: Momma, how do puppies kiss??
Me: Well, I don't know. They probably rub noses or something. I'm not sure.
Gracie: Well, you know, if we had one, then you would know.