Eight years ago, we had very different lives. We spent a lot of money on somewhat ridiculous things because we both had good jobs and no kids. Splurges and impulse buys were quite normal.
I was a journalist working as an assignment editor at the local NBC affiliate. The job title sounds important, exciting and loftier than it really was, I was kind of at the bottom of the newsroom food chain. I was supposed to work out the photog shooting schedule making sure we had photogs to cover every story we needed to cover for the day. I also needed to keep tabs on court cases and new developments in past stories we had covered. It required a lot of organization. Sometimes I had to coordinate getting film footage from national and regional affiliates for really big stories. I got yelled at a lot. I made a lot of mistakes.
Sometimes I had to record raw footage that was beamed to our newsroom to be edited for a story later that day. One time there was a really bad car crash involving some nursing students on a bad road between here and a smaller town. It was very gruesome. I lost it. I wrote about workaholics, trauma and getting yelled at in the newsroom on my blog and I got fired. Some people still talk about me there and miss me and think I was really great. They also asked me back a couple years later, but I was pregnant and very sick and had pretty much already determined to do this job full time instead.
I know people like to harpoon the media and say how awful they are especially during tragedies like the most recent one our country faced. Just remember that reporter is a person too. That reporter, like the rescue workers, was likely one of the first people on the scene and likely witnessed some really awful stuff that didn’t make it onto public television. Unlike the rescue workers and victims, however, that reporter has likely not received any trauma counseling.
Anyway that was a bit of a tangent and not really where I meant to go with this post that I’ve been writing up in my head for three weeks now!
Every Friday during the noon news hour, our station featured a pet that was available for adoption at the SPCA. The head of the SPCA would come in with the pets and us newsroom people got to play with the pets before they got on camera.
My mom was an animal lover and she passed that down to me. So every week this segment just got me. My best friend had beagles and the new crossbreed “puggle” (pug beagle) had been all the talk of the newsroom. Then Chuck brought one in and I fell in love. I somehow convinced Stephen that we needed this dog and that Saturday when we went down to the SPCA he outbid everyone else for her to make me happy. The amount we paid was just kind of ridiculous for an SPCA mutt (we could have purchased a papered pure bred puppy), but the SPCA is really great and we still feel it was for a good cause (the wide eyes of the clerk as she looked over the bids!).
Charlotte was our first baby. These pictures I still have up in our home say it all:
So when we made the decision to move to Thousand Oaks and we had to give up our dogs (by then we had two, the second one a beagle acquired in the exact same circumstances which prompted Stephen to ban me from watching “Pet of the Week” hahaha), I was kind of heartbroken. They were part of our family, but we were also in that new baby phase where the pets are just annoying.
I tried a few avenues to find them homes including posting on the yahoo homeschool group I was a part of. One of the moms on there had some relatives that could take them separately. I asked for updates from time to time and the first year we even received a Christmas card and pictures of our beagle, Baxter, in his new life of luxury including his own spot in the couple’s RV on trips to the coast.
Just before Christmas, the mom that had helped me place them in new homes contacted me. Charlotte’s family was moving to the coast and could not take her with them. She wanted to let me know and see if I could help find her a new home. I tried asking around, but no one responded. I was afraid about asking our landlord even though she’s really great because our lease says no pets and we feel like we are getting a good deal on this place and don’t want to push our luck.
I just couldn’t stop thinking about Charlotte though and so one day after we returned from holiday travels, I got brave and decided to ask and it was no problem! We didn’t even have to do a pet deposit. Then I had to convince Stephen again and by that evening we decided to do it. The next morning on their way over to their new home on the coast, her owners brought her by.
At first she was a little worried and whined at the door after they left, but then Stephen remembered she had a thing for tennis balls, got one out, and after that something seemed to click and she was fine.
Jillian really loves her. Charlotte listens to and likes her the most. The boys are more unpredictable and Charlotte is much more wary of them. We’ve had a couple growling incidents when they’ve cornered her or chase her. For the most part it seems to be working out. Stephen has been having some allergy issues though so we’re trying to figure that out.
She came back to us a little more pudgy. We’ve been working on it. I switched her to a raw diet, also feeding much less, we’ve gone on walks nearly every day and and in three weeks she’s already lost 2lbs!
About a week after we got her back, my sister was leaving our house on her way to work and both our boys fell and got hurt at the same time. The front door was left open and a little while after everything calmed down I realized she was gone. My heart sank. I panicked. I ran up and down our street calling for her, nearly in tears. Jillian was a wreck. We live near a very fast and busy intersection and I was so very worried. I started loading the kids into the car and then she came running into our garage. Such relief.
Ethan loves to nap and snuggle with her and it just melts my heart even though it happens almost every single day. We were especially grateful for Charlotte snuggles and nap time that particular day.