Dear Future Dog,
Some people may think it’s strange I’m writing this letter to you, but children write letters to Santa, a figure who was real in the past, and you are real in the future so potato, potahto, why not?
Future dog, we’ve been giving you a lot of thought. The other day in the car, there was great debate as to your current whereabouts. I suggested dog heaven, awaiting your turn to be born. The 5-year-old thinks you are already in your “Mama’s tummy.” This led to a great discussion on how many puppies a mother dog can carry. I told my daughter that a mama dog can have multiple puppies, sometimes even six or seven, to which she replied emphatically “I’m glad you didn’t have that many babies at one time!”
Thankfully this was not the discussion of what the proper name is for a mother dog. Whew.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not always been an animal person. Not growing up with pets, I still don’t really understand animals, and my husband is always reassuring me that they really don’t want to bite my face, they just want to love me.
Lucky for you, he is the animal whisperer and in the 13 years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen an animal he couldn’t charm. I think that was one of his secret goals when we got married – to teach me to like dogs. With some good exposure to several litters of adorable golden retriever puppies, I was well on my way. Now I claim that I like dogs that don’t jump, bark, and lick. Which means I like about 5 dogs total in the world.
But you, my dear future dog, you will be my favorite!
Future dog, our kids are not going to take care of you. They’ll want to, and they’ll say they will but they won’t. I don’t mean that you’ll be neglected, but I mean that children are children and are inherently forgetful and have kid brains. We are going to have you be part of our family because we care enough about you to be willing to take care of your needs entirely on our own, as adults, knowing that the kids won’t do enough, or “do it right.” Also, they are too young and having a pet is a big responsibility.
We’ve tried to have our kids around animals. We’ve worked on things like “soft hands,” and talking about not pulling the kitty’s tail, putting objects in the puppy’s ears, petting with a flat open hand starting from the neck and shoulder blades down to the tail. Hopefully, these concepts will be more greatly solidified by the time you enter into our life. We’re working on it. I am hoping the hours I spent watching Caesar Milan the “Dog Whisperer” will help me teach my children, but in all likelihood, we will buy a lot of books on Amazon and then send you to an obedience school. And then send us to an obedience school.
Now dog of the future- I hate to break it to you, but, I am not your mom. I don’t think you’ll be my fur baby. You’ll be my dog. Is there something in between an owner and a pet parent? Is it a caretaker? A loving animal monitor? None of these have the right feeling!
I will love you, but I am a human, and I birthed two humans, so unless something drastic changes, I think I’m going to stick with calling myself their mom and I’m going to just take care of you, and you’ll be part of the family, too.
Warning: We are a military family. Things are going to be exciting. Or crazy. Or sometimes both. You’ll have to be quarantined when we go overseas. Sorry in advance, buddy. We will get you some killer bones to make up for it. Recently, we haven’t been able to live in housing that allows pets, but finally with this PCS, our housing allows you! So get ready to party!
Future dog, your Alaskan life is going to be interesting. I have to admit I have laughed at dogs in sweaters and shoes, but winter here is no joke! I guess I’ll be shopping for winter gear for everyone in the family. I do not consider myself a fashionista, so you may not be the best-dressed dog in town, but we’ll do our homework and keep you warm and comfortable.
I hope you like to run. Because there is a soldier in this house who is looking for a PT buddy, and I’m not it. I will tell you, after y’all get your 14 minute/2 mile in, I am happy to have you come snuggle next to me. I hope you also like Gilmore Girls and Friends because I might need a buddy too for those evenings after the kids go to bed and the Mr. is gone on TDY.
And so my dear future dog, we can’t wait to get you and have you be part of our crazy kid-filled, military-fueled life. Here’s to hoping we can learn together!