A little over a year ago, Madden was begging us for a dog. It was the one thing he wanted for his 8th birthday. After months of thought, analysis, and discussion, we decided to get him a dog.
We surprised Madden by driving to Kentucky on his 8th birthday to let him pick her out from the breeder. We had the first pick and we let Madden decide which one he wanted. Here she is and named her Maggie:
On the ride home, the boys fought over who would hold her.Little did we know how that desire would quickly change after we got home. Madden was going to help take care of her. He was going to help walk her, feed her, play with her, and train her. He did help. Madden helped for an entire week.
After the first week, everything changed and Madden’s desire changed. Madden didn’t want anything to do with her. I would ask him to get her out of the kennel one out of the ten times during a day and he would say “why do I always have to get her out?” I would wake up with her before anyone else was awake and feed her in the morning. I ask Madden to feed her in the evening and he would say “why do I always have to feed her?” I would take Maggie on a walk in the morning before anyone was awake. I would ask Madden to take her on a walk with me and he would say “why do I always have to walk her?”
Moreover, you can imagine the chaos of a puppy and three boys (ages 8, 7, and 3). When we let her run free, it was like putting a fox in a chicken coop. As well, visualize trying to wrangle her back up to get her back in her kennel. All five of us would attempt to command her. Of course, it never worked because she didn’t know our commands. She had no idea who to listen to and didn’t know what to do. The more we commanded, the more she ran and the more excited she became.
We felt beat down, discouraged, and exhausted. We didn’t think we manage the chaos. We were exhausted from trying to encourage Madden to help us take care of her and we were exhausted from having to actually take care of her. In addition to how we felt, Madden lost his desire for Maggie.
Nonetheless, we noticed something else change. We noticed Max begin to ADMIRE Maggie. Little did we know that he would be the one to fall the most in love with Maggie. He wanted to get her out of the kennel, he wanted to put her in the kennel, he wanted to feed her, and he wanted to walk her.
Even though it felt like a revelation that Max admired Maggie, the bad part was that he was the one that could be the least helpful. Max was the one that we could trust the least. Why did it have to be him? Why couldn’t Madden or Miles be the one? Let me give you a few examples to help you understand:
- Maggie needed to go in her kennel one night. When I told her to go to her kennel and began walking toward it, Max yells “I WILL DO IT” I let him do it, but that turned out to be a big mistake. The next morning, I woke and fed Maggie. An hour later, I went to let her out of her kennel and noticed she had vomited. She had vomited what appeared to be 4000 barrels of food and liquid. I noticed a sock on the ground next to her kennel that seemed out-of-place. We called the vet because it was more than a normal amount of vomit. The bet wanted to see her so we took her to the vet. Basically, the vet did a x-ray of her abdomen and noticed something in her stomach. Maggie had surgery and the vet found a sock in her stomach.
- The boys and I took Maggie on a walk. Max wanted to hold the leash so I let him which turned out to be a big mistake. After he held the leash for 10 seconds, I noticed him stop, reach down and touch her leash. I asked Max what he was doing. Before he could answer, Maggie took off. Max unleashed her and let her free. I asked him why he did that and he said “because she wanted to run.” She ran of course and so did each of us. After chasing her all over our neighborhood, entertaining all of our neighbors, and Maggie visiting every back porch, we finally caught her.
- One afternoon while Mariah was getting ready for work, Maggie was outside. It started raining. Max noticed the rain and decided to let Maggie inside. The problem was that he failed to clean her off. She was covered in mud and now that mud was from floor to ceiling in our house. It was a gigantic mess.
We never imagined that Max would love her as much as he does.
Raising boys is hard. Raising a puppy along with those boys is harder. We didn’t expect it to be easy. We had several fears, but we didn’t want to miss out on something great. We didn’t want the boys to miss out on something great. We decided to get a puppy because of Madden’s desire and we are glad we listened to his desire. We are glad we brought Maggie into our family. As she continues to grow and bond with us, we are all falling in love with her. We are all learning to admire her.