For as long as I have known Rod, I've known that he is a 'dog person.' He made it clear that he wanted us to have a dog of our own as soon as possible. When we first married, we lived in an apartment for two years. Since he wanted a medium sized dog or larger, we knew we had to wait until we bought a house with a yard to get our dog. We bought a house with a nice little back yard in July of 2002 and Rod immediately started talking about dogs. Truthfully, at this point I wasn't too excited about the idea. I put him off for a while, but knew that this was something he really wanted and I couldn't deny him. In December of that year, I went to a local pound with my girlfriend Jennifer looking for a dog to give Rod for Christmas. There were a lot of dogs there to be adopted, but I immediately was drawn to a little boxer/lab mix puppy (since she was abandoned they didn't know her exact age, but estimated her to be about 3 mos.) The pound had given all of the dogs "Christmas-y" names in hopes of getting them adopted as Christmas gifts. She was named "Merry." I was sucked in and signed the papers that day. She had to get all of her shots and get spayed before I could take her home, so I still had to wait a week to actually get her. That year we had already made plans to celebrate Christmas with Rod's family on Christmas Eve at his sister Laura's house. I called Laura and asked a big favor. Between picking up our dog and Christmas Eve, it was 4 days. I asked if she would keep the dog at her house until I gave her to Rod. She agreed and Christmas Eve when we arrived at her house, Rod went on a scavenger hunt I had arranged for him. It ended in Laura's backyard where Stella was hidden under their swing set.
Rod was so happy with his gift! That night, he decided to name her Stella. She is a perfect Stella. Lady-like, but feisty! Rod was immediately in love, but that was no surprise. The bigger surprise was how quickly I fell for this little bundle of fur and love. She was absolutely adorable and sooo sweet. How could I have ever thought I didn't want a dog?
As we brought home the kids, she showed what a sweet, sweet girl she is. She is loving and protective of all of the kids. When Will was a baby, if she and I were in a different room than him and he started crying, she beat me there nearly every time. She puts up with the kids pulling her tail and ears, sitting on her, loving her a bit too roughly and never snaps at them. She is a great dog.
As I sit typing this, she is off at the hospital being treated. We hope and pray that the vets can figure out what is wrong with her and fix it. We want our sweet girl back soon. The horrible part of a veterinary hospital is that we can't stay with her. I'm sure that sounds crazy to people without pets-- heck it would have sounded crazy to me nine years ago! I just hate the idea of her being alone and possibly scared or in pain. The quads don't really understand what is going on or where she is. They have missed her and asked where she is, we just told them, "She is at the doctor." Will, however, has a better understanding. As soon as he heard that she had to go to the hospital, he wanted to make her 'Get Well' cards. He got his crayons and some paper and made a few. At bedtime tonight, he cried that she wouldn't be able to sleep with him (she sleeps in his room with him every night.) I hope that we get to celebrate her coming home soon. For us and the kids.
On top of the worry is guilt. I feel so bad that Stella has been put on the back-burner. I have five human children to take care of everyday and sometimes caring for one more living creature is too much. She gets a bit neglected. I also wonder if there were signs I would have seen sooner if I had paid more attention. I know that she is "only a dog," but she is our first baby. The first animal Rod and I ever loved and cared for together. She has been with us through infertility, pregnancies, babies and kids. We love her very much. If you could please pray that she will be okay, I would appreciate it.
(don't even try to tell me you've seen a cuter picture of a cuter dog. You haven't)