My joy for today is a dog’s 2nd birthday party.
A few days ago, we celebrated our Goldendoodle’s 2nd birthday. She enjoyed a homemade vanilla cake with peanut butter frosting, topped with dog bones and a number two candle. My two older kids picked out gifts for her, we sang “Happy Birthday” and helped her blow out her candle. She gobbled up her cake and enjoyed her new toys and then the humans enjoyed their own cake and watched a movie as a family. The living area of our home was decorated with homemade signs from my 6 year old and 4 year old. There were hearts and balloons cut from construction paper, as well as a banner that read “Happy Birthday NGO. We Love You. Love Noah.” Noah planned almost every detail of this party, right down to the placement of the bones on the cake.
Before NGO came into our lives, I never would have dreamed that I would have been throwing a birthday party for a dog. I am emphatically not a dog person. I have had an irrational fear of dogs for as long as I can remember. Even when our family had a dog when I was a teenager, I can only remember actually petting him once or twice. I admired Scooby from a distance, but was just not inclined to get too close. Of course, the husband and son given to me are very much dog people. Noah started asking for a dog to live at our house when he was about two years old. Motherhood squashes selfishness in so many ways, and this was no exception. I relented and the search began. NGO came to us from a rescue organization in Kentucky when she was a few months old.
Having a dog necessitates the performance of humbling duties. This is good for our souls. Serving something with no hope of reciprocation is a healthy exercise in selflessness. Having a dog also provides routine and a focus on simplicity, which is something that is easily lost for me.
I assumed I was getting a dog for my kids. They loved her instantly and rolled around in the grass and let her lick them. I kept my distance. But over time, I had to touch her. I was the only adult home and she was just a puppy. We bonded and I came to enjoy her company, despite the many disgusting jobs she added to my day. I said to my husband a few months ago, “I can’t imagine my life without a dog.” Anyone who has known me long would consider this shocking. But she brings joy, simplicity, companionship and happiness, for every member of our family. She magically knows to play very roughly with our 6 year old, more gently with our 4 year old, very gently with our two year old who literally climbs on top of her, and lay calmly and protectively on the floor by our 7 month old. She entertains and harasses the cat, and is a loyal and meaningful member of our family.
Thank you Noah and Chad for insisting on her arrival and for transforming me into a one-dog person. Happy Birthday NGO!
Enjoy your joys for today.