I am of the opinion that there is only one dog breed, and it is the Labrador Retriever. I have had three yellow labs in the past 13 years, but I have loved them since I was a little girl and didn’t know what they were called. They have always made me smile and laugh. I love their floppy, velvety ears and how they are always excited and ready to play.
Pugs on the other hand are just different. I look at them and hear my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, “Now, bless their heart.” I’ve never understood how someone could see a pug amidst other breeds and say, “Yes, that one. That is the dog I want.”
Until Dexter came into my life.
See the family resemblance?
Dexter joined our family last summer while we were at our favorite vacation spot in the mountains. For the last several years we’ve packed up the girls and headed to Bryson City to go tubing at Deep Creek. It’s very restful, and we have wonderful family time.
During our trip my husband gives both of our girls $20 to spend over the course of the week. There is a general store up the hill from our cabin where they can buy candy, t-shirts, and toys, or they can save it until we head into town for a shopping spree.
My youngest had spent a good portion of her funds early in the week on candy and a minnow net for the creek. I believe she had about $8 when we headed to the town’s local bookstore. It was really the only place worth purchasing items. I mean other than Dale’s Bait and Tackle shop. As we were walking down main street, my oldest spotted a Hallmark store on a side street.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Webkinz stuffed animals (which is what Dexter is) are very popular with children, and the Hallmark store is a Mecca to find them. Because we have made the pilgrimage more times than I care to confess, we tell the girls that Webkinz are special items that they can receive as gifts around their birthday’s and Christmas. So technically they are off the table as an impulse purchase.
We went in just to “look.”
As we walked around the tension growing inside of me was palpable as I could see a gigantic collection of “special items” looming in the distance. I knew that only one of my girls at that point could afford a Webkinz if the restriction was lifted. I could already see the wheels turning in the mind of my oldest as she fingered the fluffy stuffed animals.
She grabbed a black cat and went to my husband (not me…she’s no dummy) and asked him if she could use her money in order to buy it. He thought that it would be alright for her to get it if that was how she wanted to use her money. She was ecstatic.
My heart just sank. I knew that the next several hours were going to be very unpleasant when my youngest learned that buying a Webkinz was an even a possibility on this trip. They live for webkinz right now. (* see “what I see vs. what they see” posts.) I got all geared up and grabbed my parenting script about living with the tension of disappointment. But before I could even practice my lines……it happened.
My oldest daughter ran to the other end of the store, grabbed her sister’s arm, and said, “Guess what!!?? Dad said we could get a webkinz with our money!!!”
My youngest had the exact look on her face that I expected. It was a mixture of shock and confusion which then turned into betrayal. “But I don’t have enough money,” she said.
To which my oldest daughter said without a second thought, “I know, but I have enough money for both of us! C’mon, let’s go pick out one!!”
Then I had to leave the store, because I started to cry.