As if my house wasn’t already enough of a zoo, we added a new species to the mix just before Christmas.
Cosmo is a 5 month mixed breed (mutt) we met through a rescue group. He was found nearly starved to death on the street at 3 months old, and was nursed back to health by the rescue group.
We’ve been considering getting a dog for quite a while. Some of Cordy’s doctors and therapists had suggested that a dog could be beneficial for her. She’s often shy to demonstrate anything new to other people, but she might be more willing to practice new skills with only the dog to witness. (And unlike people, the dog can’t judge her ability.) Cordy also is very interested in animals, so a dog would hopefully serve as a good companion for her as well.
Aaron also grew up with a dog, and has always enjoyed dogs. I’ve always been a cat person myself, but can certainly see the appeal of a canine companion. We’ve had the dog discussion several times for over a year. We have a fenced yard, our work schedules are compatible with the needs of a dog, and our kids are old enough to help with the care of a dog.
Last month we finally agreed it might be time to consider adding a new pet to our family. So at the beginning of December we went to Mingle With The Mutts, a monthly event held by our county animal shelter that encourages other rescue groups to bring adoptable dogs in for people to come meet. It was there we met Cosmo, and Cordy immediately fell for him. (OK…we all did.)
I still went back and forth on the idea of a dog. Change is hard for me, and this kind of life change is a huge decision to make. I’m already the one who takes care of the cats 99% of the time – I refused to be the one mostly caring for a dog as well. And how much of a disruption would a dog be in my life?
We addressed my serious concerns and Aaron talked me down from any freak outs, pointing out that people far less responsible than us have successfully kept dogs.
So last Friday we welcomed Cosmo into our home. The benefit of adopting an older puppy is that he’s already house trained, crate trained, and knows some basic commands. He still tries to eat anything small – including a few crayon bits that were quickly swallowed – so we’re constantly reminding Cordy and Mira to keep their toys upstairs. (Cosmo is limited to the downstairs only.) I guess in one way he’s helping me keep our downstairs clutter free!
He’s still a puppy, though, and needs to go outside every few hours, but can go as long as 6-7 hours if required. Seeing how no adult in this house sleeps more than 6-7 hours anyway, that’s not a problem at all.
And even though he knows some commands, we’re still signing up for basic training classes. A couple of episodes of the Dog Whisperer have taught me that I know very little about dog psychology and need to learn how to properly assert alpha status over our new pack member.
So for now I’m happy to have our new pup, and terrified at how we’ll all adjust. Most of that fear is just my fear of the unknown. Truthfully, Cosmo’s addition to the family has added about 10-15 minutes of additional work to my schedule each day; not a big deal at all, really. The cats are the most traumatized – one of them hasn’t come downstairs since Friday. Good thing their food, water, and litterboxes are upstairs.
Cosmo is a new adventure for us, and despite my worries, I’m looking forward to the joy he’ll add to the family.