Over Spring Break, my kids and I met a whole pack of dogs.
At my aunt's house, there was a pack of dogs with personalities much larger than the actual pup. Oliver, a long-haired chihuahua and Sassy, a chihuahua-papillon mix, led the pack. Oliver was the least friendly and least petted. We would have forgotten about him lest for his high-pitched bark that wouldn't let us.
Let's be clear, though: it was Sassy who was in charge. Sassy who was too nasty to even meet the kids last year, but who has mellowed enough to allow the cautious kids a few pats on her regal, princessy head. They'd never met a small dog before, but even I was warming to Sassy before the end of our stay.
My aunt also has an old shetland sheepdog named Crockett. Crockett is the "fun police" of the house who barks madly at anyone who is laughing too loud, running too fast, and doing anything with a ball without him. He wants the fun to stop--or he needs to be invited to play.
Then it was on to my sister's house where a new Golden Retriever puppy in the house. This furry, big-pawed boy made us all swoon. Lucky for my sister, she managed to find a pretty calm pup who seems to already enjoy naps in the afternoon sun. Her puppy roams free much of the time when they're playing outside, which is a whole heck of a lot. His leash trails after him as he romps after this kid or that or just hangs out with the chaperoning adult. He is a-freaking-dorable and puppy fever set in fast for all four of us.
At the beach and on the car ride home, my kids and I talked about what puppy we'd like to get next. While they chattered endlessly about the pros and cons of big and little dogs and Lorelei rattled knowingly as she referenced her Gail Gibbons Dog book, I ignored them. I know who'll be taking care of the dog, and I know it'll be me making that decision. I'll admit to some daydreams about my next dog--but mostly I know it'll be middle to big and really well-behaved.
But for now, we've got Lulu.
Lulu is currently breathing on my feet, curled up just beside me. She moves slowly now in the morning. When I would get up to write at 5 AM a few years ago, she'd jump down and need food and to go out. Now she waits for the kids to get up an hour later before plopping down to the floor from her spot on the expensive sofa that is her bed. She's a blue weimaraner and she's a 13, which is pretty darn old for her size. But she was a stray before we rescued her, so we're just guessing on breed and age.
She's a good girl, that's all we're sure about and all we really need to know. I'm not sure how much longer our Lulu will be with us, but...I'm enjoying every day with her now.