Warning: This post, “That Time Santa Undermined Mom & Dad: Introcuding ‘Snowball'” may cause you to question my sanity. Don’t fret… I am already questioning it myself and seeking help.
I wasn’t planning on posting today, but the last few days are worth sharing. As many of you know, we are a two-dog family, with Jake, my 12 year old basset beagle mix, and Catcher our 18 month old Weimaraner-Aussie mix rescue that is technically Sawyer’s dog. Emmy has been hounding us (pun intended!) for a puppy of her own for a looooong time, and our answer is always a resounding “NO!” We’ve told her time and again that two dogs are enough for us, but that one day Jake would no longer be with us and it would be her turn. She told me she wanted to ask Santa for a puppy even though she knew I would say no way. I told her, “Absolutely not. Think of some other things to ask Santa for, because we do not need another puppy here.”
I don’t really know when it happened or how, but in November Chris and I actually started talking about it. We had a weekend without kids and headed to the best sushi restaurant known to mankind, and we talked for a while. I told him that I would be able to help her care for it, and I knew that she could handle a puppy. I said, “Let’s face it… our kids are 8 and 10, and they strongly still believe right now. This year may be the last that they both believe, with Sawyer headed to middle school next year. Let’s make it magical!” I pulled up some local rescue pups, and we started searching. However, I was concerned with the timing and working it all out. I reached out to my landlord at Sweet Clover, whose sister runs a local rescue, and asked if she knew of any puppies her sister might have. As luck would have it, they were about to head to Ohio to rescue a deaf female miniature schnoodle puppy. She was actually from a breeder, but because she was deaf unwanted by the breeder. Now, I had not considered a deaf puppy, but I knew that this would be a special girl needing special love, and I know Emmy’s heart. I knew that she would be the perfect girl for this puppy, and this puppy would be in good hands with Emmy.
Because I was going through this rescue, I happened to know quite well the foster where the puppy would stay. She and her son were a huge part of all of this working out so well as they let me come to their house at 5:45 on Christmas morning to pick up the puppy and bring her home to surprise Emmy in time. I can not thank them enough for the great care they gave the pup, and for all of their help in making this a Christmas to remember.
We told the kids that I was going for a Christmas morning run but would be back before they were even awake… I do this most mornings, so it was not behavior out of the ordinary. On Christmas Eve, after the kids went to bed, we placed the crate and puppy accessories (as well as Sawyer’s gifts) under the tree and on the fireplace.
On Christmas morning, I dressed in running clothes and headed out the door at 5 am, off to pick her up 40 minutes away. The weather has been so crazy and it was dark with thick fog, causing my nerves to jump, but I just kept picturing the surprise and joy on Emmy’s face and that kept me going. I made it back home just after 6:30 and not a soul in the house was awake, which allowed me time to put her in the crate, and set out a letter I had written to go with it. I printed it in more of an old world font, but this is what it read:
My Dearest Emmy,
Merry christmas, my child. As you can see, I did not bring you anything that was on the Christmas list you mailed to me, but instead brought you the one gift that was written in your heart— a puppy of your own. This girl is no ordinary puppy. She is a special 10 week old furball that Mrs. claus and I rescued and saved just for you. She needs someone who has enough love in her heart to oversee her imperfections, and to provide her with selfless love, affection, and guidance. You see, Emmy, this sweet puppy can not hear- she is deaf. Because of that, she will require special training and special attention. It will be up to you to teach her sign language so that she can understand you, and so that you can communicate with her. I chose this home for her, because I know how big your heart is and how much love you have to give, and how much patience you will have for this puppy. And aside from her special needs, she is still a puppy and will also need you to play with her, take her for walks, and she really likes to chew! Why, on the ride here, she was trying to chew on the fur on my hat! I trust you, Emmy, and am happy to leave this sweet girl in your care. I know that you are a perfect match for one another, and will be the best of friends.
I woke everyone up, because I didn’t want to leave the puppy in her crate for long… she was barking like crazy in there anyhow! I told them I was back from my run and that Santa had come! When the kids entered the living room, Emmy was thrilled to see that Santa had brought her the sled she asked for! Despite the loud high pitched barking, she didn’t even notice the puppy… I said, “What is making all that noise?” Sawyer noticed first and they both ran over; Emmy grabbed the letter on top addressed to her and began to read. She read a few sentences and we suggested she open the crate and let it out so we can see. Upon the door opening, Emmy squealed with delight, “She’s so fluffy!!!!!!!”
As you can see, Emmy is over the moon in love, and has named her “Snowball.” We’ve learned the sign for snowball and will sign her name to her. We’ve been working with some basic sign language commands as well, and she seems to be starting to understand “Come.” This is the smallest dog we’ve ever owned as well as the first female dog we’ve ever owned. She is a little over 7 pounds now, and will only grow to be about 15-20 pounds we believe.
Even with her handicap and small stature, she seems to be holding her own just fine. I am fairly certain that Catcher believes Santa brought her to him as he’s been having a blast playing with her. They steal each other’s toys, play tug of war, and battle it out playfully. Jake is not completely sure what is going on, but with her here, Catcher doesn’t bug him so much, so I think it’s a win for him. Life at our house pretty much looks like this right now: Jake resting by my feet, Emmy playing with Snowball, Catcher playing near them, and Sawyer and Chris lounging.
From our motley crew, we hope you had a Christmas full of magic, family & friends, furry friends and treats for everyone!