Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Meet Oatmeal.... Our Cabin Dog

As I'm introducing you to our cabin family, there is one member I didn't want to leave out. Our cabin dog, Oatmeal. I should explain something up front, and please don't get upset. I am not a huge animal person. I LOVE animals. But I am hesitant to take on the extra responsibilities that come with actually OWNING an animal......

So, I had just found out I was expecting our third baby, Mia, when my husband called needing me to bring an extra tire for his truck, which had just had a huge blow out. As I was driving there, I was praying about how overwhelmed I was feeling with a third baby coming. Our oldest, Ely, had only been walking a few months, and she and Silas were both still in diapers. Exhausted, drowning in daily tasks, a new baby coming, and a personal trial I was facing just seemed like too much. But by the time I reached Eric with his tire, the Lord had given me peace, and an excitement about our new little blessing.

 Then, I heard it. A whimper? Yes, definitely a whimper.  Coming from a small tote sitting in the shade near Eric's truck. He excitedly took us over to see our little surprise. A puppy! Wow. I honestly didn't know what to think. Another mouth to feed?  More poopie to clean up? My mind was racing, until she looked up at me..... she was pretty cute :).  And we HAD been talking about getting a puppy.... Maybe, she wouldn't be any trouble at all?

Well, her first year with us was a challenge for me.  She was so playful, and I spent every ounce of my pregnant energy on my kids.  So, I was not always in the mood to be jumped on, bit at (playfully), climbed on, and all the other fun things little puppies do :).  My morning Bible and coffee time on the porch was taken over by a rapidly growing pile of black fur on my lap.  And my flip flop loving feet did not appreciate having my toes licked constantly... And, although I rarely displayed a good attitude towards her, she consistently "helped" me every time I was working on something outside.

Eric worked with her a lot, and they became super close friends, and Ely also wrestled with her and climbed on her constantly.  So, they had a special bond :).

 But, I just couldn't seem to get excited about her.  Until we'd had her about a year.  We'd had to keep her on a long cable run until that point, because not only did she jump on every visitor with her big muddy paws, she had also discovered our neighbors chickens ;).  However, when our neighbors moved, and she was given more freedom to run and explore, she calmed down tremendously.  No longer did she barrel towards me and knock my pregnant (again), off balance self, down.  Instead, she would run around in circles to get her energy out, and then lay on my feet to get petted.  And instead of jumping at biting at me constantly, she would walk beside me wherever I went.  We started doing lots more things together, and I started to appreciate her company and protection.

She has become my running partner, my baby watcher, my secret keeper, and my friend.  When the kids and I are playing outside, and I need to step inside to grab something, I only have to tell her to watch the kids, and she stands at attention until I return.  She protects them fiercely, plays with them, and loves them.  She walks right by my side when I'm anywhere on the property at night, and alerts me to any opossum or raccoon that may be lurking ;).  And she's a good motivator when we're running.  She's way faster than me, but I can almost beat her in endurance!  She has become the BEST dog.  She even walks Eric to his car every morning to give him a goodbye hug.  He loves her, the kids love her, and I most definitely love her.

So, that's how Oatmeal came to be my (not so) little cabin dog.  Anybody else have a puppy that has become family?  Tell us about them in the comments :)!!


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