For many years, I've suffered from some recurring house jealousy, and as friend after friend has moved into spacious and attractive single family homes, our cozy little town house has sometimes felt as if it's closing in around us.
Three years ago, we put our townhouse on the market and tried to get into a bigger house. In hindsight, I'm glad that we didn't get a buyer for our place, because the two houses we were looking at back then would not be a great fit for us in our family's current day to day life. But a couple weeks ago, a single family house came on the market, and after going to see it, we immediately decided to make an offer and to simultaneously put our home back up for sale.
What followed was an anxious and busy weekend of prepping an offer and doing (almost) all the things on the ever-accumulating list of little house repairs, along with cleaning out some of the excess junk that magically appears in corners and on shelves and such. After an exhausting four days, we learned that our offer, though above asking price, was still not sufficient to grab what was arguably one of the most beautiful houses to come on the market in our city in many years.
It is really damn hard not to feel as though we just can't catch a break.
After shedding tears that felt silly, effectively mourning something we never had in the first place, we continued to trudge along. We've had several showings of our house in the last two weeks, and we've received positive feedback, but even if we had a buyer offer our asking price tomorrow, there still remains the issue of no house to move into. So while it's been quite lovely having a house that's almost always 95% clean-- just in case-- the whole house hunting process is losing its luster pretty quickly.
It was hard not to feel like a plain old loser when our offer wasn't accepted. I had committed the cardinal sin when we looked at the house, in that I immediately began planning the next 30 years of my family's life under its roof. (And in its gorgeous backyard, as well.) When that loss became apparent, Hubby and I lamented our pattern of striking out. Hubby's last words in one of our conversations really stuck with me:
"Our family needs a win."That it did. That windy path that started with looking at a newly listed house for sale wandered back into well-trodden conversational territory. Territory that was hinted at in the last post right here, after the passing of our Betta fish Corny-- the children's nonstop campaign for a pet. Now mind you, the children were mostly of the understanding that their desire to get a pet, more specifically a dog, was not shared by me and Hubby.
They were wrong, but only because as the grown-ups in the family, we felt it was our duty to be the practical and responsible ones. We have a tiny house. Dogs need a lot of attention. The cost of food and care are high. Dogs can be stinky and messy, and dog hair is just not something that either one of us wanted to deal with. But underneath all that, all the realistic challenges that the children couldn't really understand compared to the delightful idea of having a dog in the house, the truth was that of course both Hubby and I have long wanted a dog. We both grew up with dogs. We both like the idea of a companion, a child-like creature who cannot talk back. Of course we wanted a dog.
We'd been talking for weeks about the possibility of getting a dog like the incredibly chill and loving dachshund that belongs to friends of ours. Small dog = okay in tiny house. Shedding, minimal. Hmmmm.
Our family needed a win. With this thought echoing in my head, I looked at rescue sites, read listings for doxies who were adorable, but not quite the right fit, especially with our need for a dog that would be good with young children.
Every time I sent Hubby a new link to a dog, or brought up the idea again in casual conversation, I had a voice in the back of my head asking incredulously, "What are you doing?!" I admitted aloud that I didn't even know what was going on that I was taking this seriously after all this time. I thought again and again about how this could go, and yet I continued to Google our way to a new family member.
Then it happened. Over the course of three days, we submitted our application, got our references in line, and heard back that we seemed to be a good match for the 3-4 year old dachshund male that the rescue group was fostering (after an initial mistake that resulted in an email that informed us that he was no longer available for adoption... but an hour later, that mistake was corrected and we had the green light!). We tried to get in touch with the foster parent Saturday afternoon to set up the meet and greet that could lead to us taking him home, but we didn't hear back. We visited friends on Sunday, and as we left their house in the later part of the afternoon, we thought we'd give the foster one more call, just in case.
Not only did she answer the call, she was willing to meet us as soon as we could drive up to her area. A little over an hour later, we were sitting on the floor of a meeting room in a pet store, watching a mini-dachshund run around smelling all the smells and peeing and pooping out his nervous energy. Not only did we pass the inspection, but the foster helped us walk around the store getting the initial supplies that we needed for the brand new sixth member of our wacky family. Though it was past the store's closing time, the staff was very accommodating and kind, as well.
We loaded up the little guy in his crate in the car, and we headed home. The big topic of conversation, of course, was over what to name our new guy. His listed name of Chaz had only been used for the last month or so while he was in foster care, so we didn't feel that we needed to be married to that, and we wanted to give him a new name to associate with his new life, maybe helping to eventually erase any possible negative times in his past. Lots of names were thrown around, including our original (half-joking) Ron Swanson. This little guy just didn't seem like a Ron, Swanson or other, and the lot of other suggestions given just didn't feel right.
Until Max. A smile slowly crept up on Hubby's face at Max, and he nodded. The kids, too, agreed that Max sounded like a good fit. Maxwell, if we're feeling formal, but Max in everyday use.
|First official Family of Six selfie|
|Getting introduced to his new home, aka High Alert Status|
|After the kids went to bed, Max discovered the heaven that is the couch corner...|
|... and lying on Daddy, too, bringing life down to a total Code Green|
|This is the moment that Max begins to realize that his Mama is a selfie fan. It's going to be a long life.|
At least he's not farting like last night. Seriously, people, this dog could not be more perfect for our family.