Month Twenty-Six

Dear Husband,
This month, we two became three. Not the quasi three where you’re still really only two or even two-and-a-half (before you wait 9 months and then one of you opens up like a Russian doll of course, which now that I think on it, women don’t actually do – that would be excessive…and most likely fatal…the natural way is often best or a c-section if the first option isn’t possible…). ANYWAY, back on topic, we welcomed a new member into our family this month raising the inhabitants of the house by 50% and the number of legs by 100%. Since we moved into a home with a yard, we have wanted to live with a furry friend and so in the quest for such an addition, you finally wore me down we decided that the time was right to become the proud owners of a puppy. A very big puppy. Who knew a great dane was going to grow quite that fast?
So this month was definitely not uneventful and I have now confirmed several things:
·       You are so not going to be the hard-ass parent and I will get stuck being bad cop more often than not. The first night we had the puppy, I had two big babies crying in distress. This was definitely not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Sorry if you think that is an unmanly thing for me to have written about you but perhaps choose to look at it as…evidence of the depth of your compassion (or perhaps that was empathy) for other living things…
·       Our couch is flipping uncomfortable to sleep on for a whole night. This was an unfortunate realisation brought about by repeated experience since someone had to make sure that the puppy couldn’t simply push past the 3rd makeshift barricade which kept him from full access to furniture, shoes, remote controls and other attractive (yet distressing for us) chew toys. And since you were sick…again…for a couple of days, that someone was mostly me.
·       I am never getting my old life back again. Its kinda true when they say that getting a puppy is like having a child. You shouldn’t leave them unsupervised (although at least with a dog they’re often ok outside), you have to train them to go to the toilet in an appropriate place, you must teach them how to behave…you start talking for them as much as to them when others are around, you show off photos of them to your friends and family, your conversations become quite singularly focussed and your ability to be spontaneous and simply go with the flow is somewhat impeded. It’s a very involved process this pet ownership thing. No more spending the entire weekend out of the house just because. At least not if you still want a yard when you get back.
But then this has been a real learning curve for the both of us. You for example have learnt the valuable lesson, much to your dismay, that even though we now have a dog, you do not necessarily always have someone to blame for your farts. I will not deny that the pup is equally as able to let off a stinker that has me clamouring for the nearest door, window or exhaust fan but just so as you are aware, when your fart is vibrating through the couch I happen to be sharing with you, it is pitiful when you blame the dog who is lying quietly on his mat. And just because you smile sweetly at me does not mean that I will forgive you either. You after all should know better.
So this month hasn’t quite been like any other. It has certainly been an adjustment to have a canine in the house but on the plus side, he has been great. He doesn’t bark excessively, any “accidents” were due to our lack of timely action (he can’t after all open the back door himself) and he is more than happy to jump into the car for three minutes or three hours. We will of course have to buy a bigger car to accommodate the dog at some point (he just gets more and more expensive…) which has had you scouring the 2nd had car lists and me going “mmm hmm” every time you show me another one and expound on its advantages (I’m not ready to get excited about a new car yet) but it only took him about 4 nights to learn to sleep through by himself without whining and he seems to play nicely with everyone (animals and people alike) without getting aggressive. Rowdy perhaps but not aggressive. All in all he is definitely the gentle giant. And he’s cute. And I’m sorry that in a highly sleep deprived and emotional moment I lost it because I wasn’t sure we’d done the right thing and were ready for a dog. It was clearly not one of my saner moments.
Otherwise this month, despite the obviously permanent change to our routines there were a couple of other highlights:
·       One of my best friends and her husband flew in from South Africa and spent the evening with us. It felt like no time had passed at all and it was a great night. It also didn’t hurt that we finally got to crack open the bottle of champagne that had been burning a hole in our fridge so to speak, the bottle they had brought with them went down a treat and the two bottles of red, sherry, port and scotch that followed were all well received. We weren’t necessarily firing on all cylinders the next day but we haven’t had a night like that in ages.
·       The washing machine broke. Normally this would not be a highlight and it may sound strange to list it as one but the washing machine going kaput was the perfect excuse to finally get a front loader which incidentally made it possible to fit the dryer into the laundry. As you will recall, right after we moved I said I loved my clothesline…when it rains however, I love my clothes dryer!
·       We went shopping. Normally this would not be a highlight either as we have previously established that under normal circumstances, we do not shop well together. Or rather, I have come to this conclusion and you are still somewhat bewildered as to why I have a problem with your constant need to know when, where, for how long and for what…exactly. For the first time in months however (now that we have our tax refund money back), I got to spend money on myself to buy things that I wanted but didn’t necessarily need. Both of us went out together and I came back with bags…BAGS!…of bargains and it was such a guilty pleasure. Apparently it was also hard work for you but I just wanted to mention that I did appreciate it.
And that was pretty much the month. There was also a brunch at the pastor’s, a trip down to my parents’, an excursion to the theatre to see Avenue Q and some catching up with family closer to home. We got to see my sister’s new pad (she is finally getting ready to move out of home and rent!) and I think you did a bit of soul searching when you heard Reggie Dabbs who reminded you of your social conscience. I had my review at work which was as expected if not a little heavy on the “you’re doing fine but you’re really not living up to your potential” but you’ve been doing such a great job that your workplace offered you permanence. I think we have managed to keep fairly occupied for once.
Busily yours,
Your Loving Wife
* Photo of the puppy at 15 weeks

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