Nine months before HeyMama was born, we adopted our first children: sheltie puppies named Mandy and Cameron. We didn't know I was already pregnant with HeyMama at that time, which is probably good. I'm not sure I would have willingly taken on pregnancy and dog training simultaneously. And morning sickness + dog smell = misery. But I think in retrospect, getting two dogs was one of the smartest things we've done for our family.
Lots of couples get a dog as their first "child." Now, as one mom on my local mommy list serve so helpfully pointed out during a debate about the presence of dogs in public, dogs are not really children and they can't be viewed as such. I guess that's why mine didn't enjoy breastfeeding so much... Kidding! I mean, DUH! I know they're not children! But that doesn't mean they don't demand love, attention, and a significant time and energy investment to help them be well-adjusted and happy family members. And they do ease you into the world of responsibility that prevents you from going out every night after work. And teach you about consistency in discipline. And child-proofing your home. And how to keep things in perspective when your belongings get destroyed. And your rug gets pooped on.
We didn't set out to get two dogs. We drove to the foster-family's house to choose one of the two. But we couldn't decide between them. And the poor skittish things were so happy together. How could we separate them?
Well, getting both was a decision I've never regretted. (BestestHusband occasionally does when he looks at vet bills...) They exercise each other by playing in the house. They entertain each other, and us. They keep each other company. And us. And they each have their own distinct personality that is a wonderful addition to our family.
I'll spend a few posts introducing you to Mandy and Cameron. They won't get mad at me when they're older for posting pictures of them on the internet...