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A Rose By Any Other Name...

Occasionally you just have to embrace the crazy.

This time, the crazy has four legs. And fur. Lots of fur.

Am I regularly behind on housework? Yes. Yes I am. Do I fall into bed each night, exhausted from motherhood and further drained by my portfolio of cancer treatments and prescriptions? Yup.

Embrace it.

London was the first member of the Pink Door House to rally for a furry family member. For the past year, any unattended dog or cat wandering through our yard would send her into a fit of tears...

But I wa-wa-wa-waaaaaaant a p-p-pppettttttt!!!

It once took 45 minutes to calm her down from one of these episodes.

And so never became maybe someday followed by simply maybe and suddenly she had one parent on board. (I'm not going to throw that parent under the bus...but it was totally Jason.)

In July we decided to visit Grant County Animal Outreach and meet the homeless pets. Just get an idea of what type of dog our family bonded the other two kids felt with the dogs. London was, of course, a slam dunk. But Eli was a wild card (Eli is always a wild card), and up until recently, Quinn had a deep fear of all dogs.

We had a wonderful volunteer take time talking to us about each of the dogs' personalities, introducing us to the ones his own son enjoys playing with. There was a frisky Border Collie mix who was this close to coming home with us. All three kids enjoyed tossing sticks and balls for him...Eli, in particular, had found his soul-pup.

Like I said, this close.

Considering each of my three children individually, I realized a different "dog-chakra" would suit each of them. London is my lover. My flower child. Needing a balance of gentle play and someone to snuggle. Eli is on his way from toddler to pre-schooler....Always learning. Always playing. Always busy. A match for Eli would run circles around the rest of us. Quinn plays independently, but is haunted by anxiety. A pup who senses her moods, is present and calming, would suit my Quinn.

It occurred to me that it's too much to ask any dog to be Everything to Everyone. And yet...what do I repeatedly expect of myself?

After being diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, I worked on having more grace with myself.

There's no prize at the end for the most-swept floors or giving up the last slice of pie. Martyrdom and Motherhood don't have to be a continuum. True friendship looks more like chipped pottery than the Queen's china. When someone offers help, I can accept it. I'm allowed to choose pajamas over ladies' night...drop out of MOPS if I want. And I have the right to bad days.

Being more vulnerable has allowed some of my friendships to grow to new depths. Others unravelled. It takes courage to peel back the dressing and show a friend your wounds. It also takes courage as a friend to lean in a look at that carnage, to not flinch or back away.

I'm not as strong as I once was. I don't Have It All Together. But it's not even that, really. I've given up running myself into the ground trying to look like I have it all together.

So...the dog.

Ultimately we made a rare and selfish choice, and adopted the dog that was best for Mommy and Daddy. The dog that leaned in to three small children hanging on her body. The one that was calm. Mature. A breed known for independence and moderate exercise needs. Because let'sbehonest about twice a day walks!

She was found as a stray wandering farm fields. The shelter named her Ingrid. The name is not exactly growing on me, and we've tossed around the idea of changing it. IngridRubyRemyBellaPyra is a Great Pyrenees. She had been skunked, was thin, and her paws needed to be partially shaved to remove all the weeds and stickers. We picked her up the day of her spay, and she's been slow to recover, requiring a second surgery four days later.

We are allowing her plenty of rest, snuggles, and food to catch up.

She is the sweetest thing I've ever met, and I am anxious for her to regain enough energy to play with her new fan club.

And as for Eli? One morning of funny cat videos YouTube, and now he claims he wants a kitten!

As London says, "Two-year-olds change their mind A LOT."

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