As Lesley mentioned last week, there is a new face in our household and a new member of the NHN pack. Meet Charlie, a perfect little scrunched-faced Rottweiler mix puppy. She came to us, or rather we drove to her, after a search that lasted much longer than I had anticipated. I’ve learned that adopting a puppy from a shelter online is much more difficult than going in — likely because they go so quickly and my own ignorance of not knowing how to do it. Who knew you had to apply through their website and not the Petfinder app! Luckily for me, and I suppose Charlie, I have a good friend who isn’t afraid to role her eyes and correct my misthinking.
The search for a puppy began about midyear this past year when I noticed that Savannah wasn’t joining in as many family activities and retreated earlier each night to her favorite chair. I worried that she was sick or getting old, but I started to realize that she was bored. Sure, we are fun and all, but playing Baby Alive just isn’t her thing. I also realized that while she may not be suffering old age yet, she was indeed getting older. She needed a friend, and I needed her to teach a puppy to be just like her. And so the Petfinder app ended up on my phone, and Lesley began receiving nightly pictures of puppies.
Riley and Maddie, of course, were all for the idea. We had a lot of conversations about everything I do to take care of Savannah and how much responsibility it is. It was Riley who made the executive decision that if we were to get a new puppy it would be theirs and Savannah would be mine. Which, she proudly explained, meant that all the responsibilities would be theirs. She was convinced, but, really, what mom believes that?
Well I should have. Charlie is indeed their puppy, and Riley has kept her word. She reminds me that Charlie needs to go potty, that she needs her medicine, and that she needs to go for a walk. She makes sure she has the toys she needs and is training her how to sit. She takes inventory of Charlie’s supplies and makes sure I know that she will need new treats the next time we go to the store. Charlie, in turn, thinks the world of them. And surprisingly, listens to Riley fairly well.
I may have delivered the perfect puppy, as Maddie calls her, to the girls, but Savannah needs a little more convincing. As the puppy hangs off of her collar, she looks at me as if to say, “I imagined her a bit bigger.” And though Savannah will need to wait for her to be more of a playmate and less of a bother, I am happy to see that Charlie is indeed taking her cues from her big sis. Soon enough, I am sure they will be inseparable.
I didn’t know how it would turn out when the decision was made for a new puppy, but, so far, we couldn’t be a happier expanded family.