The first few days we had Ramsey were not as smooth and fun as we expected. She was getting used to a new home. She was exploring everything. And… she was an early riser! At 6am the “whiner alarm” would ring. I’ve heard that a baby’s cry is the most distressing sound to the human ear. I think a puppy’s whine has to be number two! It set our teeth on edge!
Morning of day two, I remember watching my neighbor get in his car to go to work. I was actually jealous of him. For months, all I could think about was coming home to work and getting a puppy; but, when my dream had come true, I felt tired and much more overwhelmed than I expected to feel. She was like a four-legged infant in many ways. However, I’m sure the early days of puppy-dom will seem like a weekend getaway when human babies actually come. ~smile~
Pets Bring Us Together
The evening of our third day with Ramsey, we took her to a local park so she could run around. Not noticing the “no dogs” sign, we took her onto a baseball field where she could trot off-leash. What a precious sight. As we all walked through the grass together, Eric said, “She’s with her pack.” It really did feel like our family had grown and now we had a little creature that needed us.
Now that she’s grown, she does not need as much attention or as much “direction” as she used to, but she continues to create an environment for connection. We enjoy playing with her, taking pictures of her in funny positions, and snuggling with her together. One of our favorite pastimes is cuddling with Ramsey in between us – a Ramsey sandwich. She gives us something to focus on together and she encourages us to play more. ~smile~
Pets, at least active ones that roam about, add an extra element of life to the home. They prance by with their own little personalities. They have their quirks. Rubbing their soft fur is therapeutic. Pets can belong to everyone in the home.
Pets Can Encourage Teamwork
She has fewer needs now, but in the beginning Miss Ramsey-face was a needy little booger! Especially when she got tummy aches. I can remember Eric taking her outside multiple times in the middle of the night due to an upset tummy. She ate three times a day. She could not be trusted with trash cans (which is still true), socks (also still true) or anything else that looked “gnawable.” She was a fluffy handful to say the least.
Taking care of her together, and even now, has been a team-building experience for Eric and me.
“You take her out to potty while I fix her breakfast…”
“If you’ll exercise her, I’ll take a trash bag around and collect her lawn deposits…”
And on rainy days…
“You stand at the top of the stairs, and I’ll stand at the bottom. You call her upstairs, and then I’ll call her down… (repeat forty or fifty times until the energetic dog is tired – we call it “the upstairs, downstairs” game. ~smile~)
She is the only living creature that has ever belonged to both of us, so we both feel a sense of responsibility to take care of her – giving us something to raise and care for together.
Pets Give the Feel of Children to Childless Homes
As many of you know, Eric and I have not yet been blessed with children, so Ramsey has filled quite a void in our hearts. She has given us something to love and nurture. There is something merry about the pitter patter of little paws – and I look forward to the pitter patter of little feet running alongside those paws.
Several years ago, I remember a co-worker telling me to get a dog before having kids. It is almost like a trial run, she said. They are not quite as needy as kids, but they give clueless people (like Eric and I were) the opportunity to discover what it is like to have a creature need you all the time. Until you are responsible to keep something alive, you don’t realize how life-changing it is. Thankfully, Eric and I have gotten used to considering Ramsey’s needs every day; so, even though kids will change our lives far more than Ramsey did, we are a little more prepared for the realities of parenthood. ~smile~ At least, I hope we are!
Eric and I dearly adore our family pet and we love visiting homes with pets. If there is a party, we are the ones in the corner petting the dog. ~smile~ After you get married and get settled into life, you may want to consider getting a pet. If you are too busy and away from home a lot, a dog may not be the best choice at first; but, there are cats, bunnies, or even chickens. ~smile~ Think about inviting a pet into your home. Hopefully your little sweetheart will bring you and your sweetie closer together just as Ramsey has brought Eric and me closer together. ~smile~
Did you have family pets growing up that brought you and your family closer together?