It was a cold day in mid-October 2002 when we saw you for the first time. A farmer whose Yellow Lab gave birth to a large brood of eight was asking only for financial assistance in paying for your first doctor’s visit. He wanted to see that you went off to live with a loving mommy and daddy.
You and some of your brothers and sisters were in the side yard of the farmer’s house. Your birth mother was in your house with a couple more of your siblings. Standing there watching you tiny furry little cuties was amusing – one walked through the platter of food, another tumbled over a tree root, and you, well you were off exploring. Compared to your chubby siblings, you were smaller and the farmer told us that you were the runt of the litter. The farmer also told us that some of your siblings had already found a home and are just waiting until the right time to go to their adoptive parents, but no one had chosen you.
I watched each of you playing, but my eyes kept going back to you. As I walked toward you to talk with you, your brothers and sisters came up to me, putting their paws on my legs to get my attention. But you continued your exploring. I was still drawn to you, the adventurer. Your desire to check out your surroundings, casting caution to the wind as you romped further from your own mother, made me feel like I needed to protect you. Once standing in front of you, you turned and put your front paws on my foot.
I scooped you up. “This is THE ONE,” I said to your daddy. “And her name is Emily.” Yep, I knew right away that you would become my “baby,” and your daddy agreed. Within a few days, when you were old enough, we brought you home. I held you in my arms and a loving relationship was established.
At first, you chose to “live” under the couch until you were too big (which was about three days). Wanting to make you comfortable, I bought you a padded bed for the family room, the living room, and mommy and daddy’s bedroom. You have a water bowl downstairs and upstairs and an array of hard and soft yummy treats, plus lots of toys. You aren’t spoiled, right?
You rewarded me Emily by going to puppy school, learning to sit and stay among other things. You learned on your own how to look ever so precious to say that you were sorry when you did something you know did not please me. Who couldn’t love you?! And now, you are the world’s best squirrel chaser from this mommy’s eyes.
Emily, you have become an integral part of our lives. Every morning as the sun rises, you give daddy a friendly soft bark to let him know that it is time to get up. And after daddy tugs the bedspread up over his pillow, you take his spot on the bed, cuddling up next to me as we snooze a little while longer. I know you love me Emily because each Mother’s Day, you get me a card; okay, daddy does it, but I still love it. You are a blessing to me Emily; I am so glad that you came to live with me.
I say to all women, whether your children have left the nest or you were not blessed with children, the joy of pet ownership can still make you a mother. Remember that each Mother’s Day.