Mike and I went away for an impromptu overnight on Friday. We drove a little over an hour away to Edenton, North Carolina. Libby and Samuel spent the night at their grandparents and the twins and Peter were home with Rebecca.
It was nice to just get away. To not need to do any lifting and being able to baby my back. Being able to sleep without someone saying "Mama and Papa" a dozen times was a miracle.
Late Saturday morning we went to our favorite place in Edenton, The Garden of Readin', a fun place to look at books, read, write and drink coffee. And apparently a great place to get a new addition to our family.
I was thirsty and I had water bottles in the car so I went to the car and as I was about to re-enter the store I stopped. Just outside the door was a friendly looking couple. They had a laundry basket with them. A basket of puppies, 4 little black lab/terrier mix pups to be exact. They were all adorable. One struck my fancy immediately.
She was all black with a little white on her paws and her neck... and on the very tip of her tail. She was gentle and let me hold her without wriggling away. She licked my neck and stared at me with somber chocolate eyes and I fell in love.
Recently I had a conversation with Mike about how I hadn't let myself give my heart to a dog since Sophie. Sophie was a gorgeous basset hound that I had when I was a young teen. She was hit by a car the first day of summer vacation a few years after having her. I told myself, never again. Never again would I give my heart away.
And so here I am staring into the chocolate eyes of this little puppy and I couldn't help myself. I gave her my heart. I knew she was supposed to be our dog.
A month ago my parents and brother had to take our dog of 12 years, Allie, to the vet's to be put down. It was really sad. She was such a good and faithful dog. And as much as I cared about her and was sad for her to go... I felt more sad that I never let have her truly have my heart.
The puppy nuzzled into my neck and made sounds of contentment. I sighed. How would I get Mike on my team? and my parents?
So we left early from our get away because we no longer had a puppy with us. We bought puppy food on the way home and a nylabone for her to chew on. We had a cardboard box with us but I held her wrapped in a towel the entire trip home.
Several years ago I had friends outright tell me "do not get a dog" but it's been a few years now... so maybe it's okay. When I sent a picture of the dog to a friend she sweetly replied back, "You are crazy... officially".
And so, Penny is now a part of our home and our life as a family. The kids love her and have had fun picking her up, carrying her around, letting her chase them. Feeding her.
We're only two days in. It might be crazy to add another person in this house... but I see it as more to love and more joy to share.