Happy Birthday, Maverick!
So, Brian and I don't really consider ourselves dog people. I had a dog growing up, though, and I recognize how special a pet is to children. My dog, Toby, was a very important part of my life even lasting into my adulthood.
Of course, as soon as our children could talk, we often heard words requesting a dog. When their teacher asked them to draw what they wanted from Santa, a picture of a cute fluffy dog and a little smiling kid would be created. I'd hold that picture in my hands and think in my head, "sorry, kiddo, but not going to happen"....
Until we couldn't resist any longer.
We found a breeder all the way in Oklahoma. (We live in Florida.) We wanted to surprise the kids. For Christmas, we drove home to Texas to see family. New Years Day, we told the kiddos we were going to drive to Oklahoma to see where Mama was born and enjoy a horse farm. (The kids were 5 and 7, so they didn't question why we would drive a few hours to see a horse farm and Mama's birth state.) That was the most exciting drive of my life, because I knew the kids were about to receive the biggest, best surprise of their little lives. When we arrived, the kids and I waited outside while Daddy went inside the breeder's house to get our new puppy. The kiddos still didn't know what was going on. Then, out he walks with a little tri color mini Australian Sheperd in his hands. The kiddos were in love, still not knowing it was theirs to keep. After snuggling him a bit, Daddy admits, "He's yours". The delight in their hearts and on their faces was worth every bit of the LOOOOONG drive home with this new puppy (which included him throwing up on me) and the LOOOOONG puppy months (which included him tearing up our couch).
Maverick is four years old today. Pets provide wonderful memories for the kiddos. For his birthday every year, we buy him a present and make him a "bacon cake" (which is just bacon). We sing Happy Birthday (which is a song Maverick will never forget and gets VERY excited every time he hears it because he thinks bacon is coming). He sure loves his birthday, but I think we love it more.
There are so many reasons why getting a dog for our kids was a great choice. He adds so much to our family and adds such love to our home.