Oh, honey. Whatcha thinkin', girl? Seriously?
Look. God bless you for your desire to be such an awesome mom - and you are. And I get your motivation. I'm all about enriching your kids' lives, giving them something to care for, from which to learn about responsibility, empathy, the whole life process, all of it. Good stuff, and bless your heart, you're doing it with EIGHT sweet, beautiful, wonderful, funny kids.
But still. You got two?
TWO of them? Two dogs. Really.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "But Cathy, don't YOU have two dogs?"
Why yes - yes I do, Kate. Two dogs who are great with kids, really great with my kids, and who have grown to be as much a part of our family as any one of us. Truly.
But here's the thing.
My dogs were here before the kids. Before. Be-fore. Their time with us in the years before our two kids came along bonded us with them, gave us time and space in our hearts to love them, memories to which to cling, reasons why they have a place in our home and our family unit for as long as they are on this planet.
My faithful readers can tell you, some of them, what happened when our first baby came home. The dogs, frankly, got booted RIGHT down the family ladder to the bottom rung. Sad, but true. Now, we still love them, we still care for them, we still do our best to meet their needs and make them feel loved. We do those things partly because we promised them we would when we adopted them. But there's another part. That whole aforementioned "before we had kids" time sort of bought them their life here with us.
If I brought in new dogs, as you've done? Now? New dogs, with whom I have no history, no love found, no bond - new dogs with new slobber, and pee accidents, poop accidents, and muddy paw prints, and rabies shots, and yearly shots, and heart worm tests, and heart worm pills, and $250/dog teeth cleanings, and licensing fees, and anal gland expressions (and the butt-dragging on carpet that precedes that process), and nail clippings, and baths, and wet stinky fur after baths, dog food messes, and trash cans that must be hidden or elevated, and chewed up Barbie heads, and chewed up toy trucks, and barking, and barking, and barking, and barking, and doghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdogdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghairdoghair?
New dogs? Those dogs wouldn't last a WEEK. Or I wouldn't. I'm not sure which.
And I have TWO kids, dear Kate. Just TWO. One, two. That's it. One Collin and one Hannah (OK, mine are Jackson and Samantha, but you get the idea), and there is NO WAY I could put up with my (good, full-grown, guaranteed-great-with-kids) dogs' unavoidable indogsanity and unstoppable dogtastrophes for ANY length of time if they walked in here post-kids.
Don't you have any friends with dogs? Didn't they give you the raised eyebrow at your suggestion that you'd be adding fur-babies to the mix? Didn't they? Because if they didn't, then maybe you need me to be your friend. (I would SO love to be your friend, you and I would be like peas and carrots, I'm telling you. But that's another blog.) Because I would have SO given you the eyebrow, along with a kind, quiet and yet slightly persistent response that was somewhere along these lines: "You sure you wanna do that, honey? Cuz' you know you have EIGHT kids in here, right? Oh, and you have NO big love for dogs - remember that 'I could go my entire life without having dogs' thing, Kate? Yeah, you should maybe rethink that whole dogs idea for just a sec or two, and here's why..."
But here we are, anyway. Here with Jon and Kate Plus Eight Plus Two More Who Will Poop All Over Everything You Own And Eat Whatever They Don't Poop On. Oh, Kate, I wish I could have warned you.
Now that I think about it, you have already proven yourself to be a stronger woman and cooler mom than I would ever be in your situation. Dead serious - no sarcasm of any kind in that.
So, now that I think about it more, I am pretty sure you just might pull it off. You might get these dogs integrated into the family and find a way to put up with all of the yucky dog stuff, and manage to NOT throw them in the river and drown them for being the stinky, dirty, expensive, noisy, destructive little buggars that nearly all dogs are.
And you can bet I'll be watching and rooting for you every second. And they really are adorable. But they aren't pooping on my rugs in my new house, so you know, I've got a slightly different perspective. Plus the adorable-ness is to keep you from drowning them when they poop all over creation, see? So between your awesomeness, Jon's awesomeness, and their cuteness which does create, in effect, an anti-murder forcefield, it will probably all work out OK.
Hang in there. And watch out for the sniper-pooping and the food stealing, those will drive you over the edge the fastest.