Thursday, April 30, 2009


Our "new" dog is a mystery. Actually, he is not "new" at all. He belonged to someone else before us. We don't know what his name was and have given him a new name. We don't know how old he is, but the vet says between 4 and 6 years. We don't know how he came to be lost, only that he was picked up by animal control in Bountiful. No one claimed him. We don't know why.

These are the things that we DO know about Walter:
1. He does not chase or bark at the cat. He gets a bit more excited about the ducks, but controls himself perfectly when told to.
2. He does not jump up onto anyone.
3. The only time he barks is when the family is getting in the car and he hasn't been invited to go along.
4. He allows 4 year old girls to dress him up (including socks on all four feet), wipe his nose with a tissue, lift him onto and then push him off of the trampoline, take him on 29 walks a day, comb him with the Barbie comb, and attempt to feed him sand-repeatedly.
5. When he sleeps at night, he must be in physical contact at all times with this same girl. His favorite position is supine, front feet raised in the air. He snores quite loudly.
6. He loves to sort the garbage and will tip over any and all trash receptacles left within reach.
7. He will lick every square inch of Milo's exposed skin when he thinks no one is watching. This affection is lavished solely on the baby, perhaps because he is the only one who tastes good enough to lick.
8. He has very quickly become a member of the family.

For two parents who are not dog lovers, adopting Walter was very risky. When I consider the problems that we might have had, I wonder at our luck. I can't help but think of his previous owners with sadness for their loss, in spite of our gain. I'm too jaded these days to believe in fate, but I hope that our crossed paths feel as serendipitous to Walter as they do to us.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Last night when I went to bed, I asked myself what I had accomplished that day. Where had the time gone? Laundry was washed, but not folded. Dinner was eaten, but dishes left in the sink. Toys were put away, but the floor not vacuumed. How had I managed to burn up an entire day without completing any of the tasks I began? I felt like a failure.

So today, as I sorted through pictures, I looked for proof that my days aren't a waste of time. And this is what I discovered.

As TIME passes:

Little girls fall in love with dogs. (This is Walter.)

They win coloring contests, which earn them a dining experience with gigantic and terrifying mascots at restaurants.

Babies sprout teeth, learn to roll over, sit up, and eat solids. They don't care that these new talents break Mommy's heart and make it burst with pride.

Little girls become big girls who give presentations, watch mesmerized as larvae turn into ladybugs, and practice cartwheels and handstands by the hour.

These beautiful events don't get written down in an appointment book or appear on any "to do" list. They take place in spite of dirty dishes, unfinished laundry, and sticky floors. And sadly, they happen whether they are witnessed or not. My photos reminded me today that I AM watching. I'm not missing any of it (even if it is 1 pm and I haven't showered yet.)
I'll never win a beauty pageant or a Pulitzer prize. I'll never be an ambassador to a foreign country or run an orphanage in a third world country. I'll never receive an award for the hours I spend every day caring for my sweet kiddos, but their smiles and laughter have to mean I'm doing something right.
So, maybe I've accomplished something important after all......