Our quest for a puppy began last Christmas, while we were still living in New York City. We had trekked the three excited kids twelve blocks to Macy’s in Herald Square on a blustery day, made our way through Santa Land and eventually to greet the wish granter. Jack and Zoe perched themselves on Santa’s lap on the 8th floor and asked-in unison-for a puppy. While I’ll likely not forget the sound of our hearts breaking, Justin and I smiled and sort choked in disbelief. We were certain their requests would be one of the items on their heavily tracked Christmas gift lists, surely one near the top. A puppy didn’t even make an appearance.
With the pending move, our student-loan-ridden financial situation, and basic red tape about dogs being banned from our residence in NYC, we were approaching a conversation that we had hoped to avoid for at least a year. While it was sort of a sad moment for us as parents, the anticipation and excitement and feeling of “reward” for completing our journey in dental school was far more enticing than a simple wish granted by the big man in red. We wanted to instill in the kids that having a puppy is a big deal, and that he would need attention and love just like we do.
Fast forward to Monday, November 4th. Justin and I had been stalking the shelters both on line and in person for months, and finally agreed to bring the kids to be apart of the adoption process. I took them all myself one day, determined not to leave without a puppy. Acting on impulse is something I’m very, very good at (clearly to my own detriment). We didn’t find one on that day, but our puppy landed in our arms on the day we visited a few weeks later.
Visiting animal shelters was something that used to make me inevitably cry. I suspect that the suffering of the children and dogs that we saw in Guatemala “hardened” me a bit, as I wasn’t nearly as emotional as I had expected to be. We found him tucked together with his two siblings in the back yard of the Santa Cruz SPCA. Big Bird-as he was named at the shelter-was the shyest of them all to meet us, though he bounded instantly into Beau’s lap as soon as he entered their pen. The look on his little furry face was enough to seal the deal for me, we had met our newest family member.
We brought him home at a very young 7 weeks. He had been abandoned as a baby with his 10 other siblings, and even 10 days later he still seems like a brand new baby. He always wants to be near one of us, either in our laps or at our feet. Theo, as we have started calling him, has gotten feistier as the days go by, which I like to think is a sign that he is getting more and more comfortable in his new home. We don’t know much about what to expect, as we were given a vague description of his breed; He is part Boxer, part shepherd, and part labrador retriever. It doesn’t matter much to me. He is Theo, and he is our new beloved puppy brother.
We decided to crate train him. I bought a crate, and a pen, and a snuggly bed to put inside for when we left. The first night, I slept through is cries and then Justin slept on the couch with him. Frustrated, I vowed that he would be in the crate the next night, no doubt. We would train this puppy “right” from the beginning! I couldn’t bear his cries either the next night, and he slept with me.
He’s just a baby, for Pete’s sake.
On his third day with us, Theo fell asleep on Beau and I as I rocked him down for his afternoon nap. I was practically howling at the cuteness-and nearly woke them both up.
The following day, Theo met us up in my room for the nap time ritual, and so began what I can only describe as the most organic and beautiful friendship I have ever witnessed.
Each day, Theo meets us at naptime and waits patiently for Beau to fall asleep. By that time, he’s also sleepy, so when I hoist him onto our bed, he stumbles over to Beau and plops right down on top of him. And there they sleep, entwined, for at least two hours.
At this point, I began to hashtag my these photos on Instagram as #TheoandBeau, and have successfully enveloped the hearts of many.
Every day, another sweet nap. Sweeter than nearly anything I think I’ve ever seen or experienced. These moments I not only look forward to, but if I avoid any possibly opportunity to thwart the sacred puppy and boy nap.
Every day since, for a week straight.
It makes my heart nearly explode with joy.
You can follow along our daily journey at @mommasgonecity, and via #theoandbeau. Time will tell where this project leads, but I have high hopes of doing a little book and donating proceeds to the Santa Cruz SPCA. Always dream big. In this case, quite literally.
My family and I are completely humbled by all of the kindness and love that we have been shown over the last couple of days. Please know that while I am not able to respond to all of the messages, I am reading each and every one.
Many of you have expressed interest in supporting the pet rescue effort, and I am privileged to be able to share with you the plight of the Santa Cruz SPCA, where we adopted Theo.
Lisa Carter, the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz SPCA & Humane Society, reached out and shared with me that they are desperately in need of a new building and have raised $3 million via a capitol campaign and are in need of the remaining $1.5 to break ground.
A couple of photos from our visit:
If you would like to donate or share, please visit this link: http://www.spcasc.org .
Thank you again. We appreciate all of your support!