You may or may not recall, many moons ago, my incredulity over the fact that we, in a moment void of clarity of thought, had taken on the role of dog owners. In the time since, we have ranged from thinking them absolutely adorable and looking forward to playing with them when we got home, to pure annoyance at just how much puppies poo, to utter frustration at the things they find to destroy, to hatred of the fact that our backyard seemed rendered useless when occupied by two bounding, energetic and (apparently) hopeless puppies, to astonishment at just how much of our monthly budget goes to feeding two large breed dogs, to attempting to pawn them off on any willing victims via facebook, to despair over the lack of response, to, finally, acceptance. I believe somewhere in there you will find the stages of grief. Perhaps we were mourning the loss of our sanity.
After four recent escapes from our backyard, and our consideration of removing their collars so they couldn't be returned to us, I finally got down on Bennet's level, looked him in his big, brown puppy dog eyes, and fell in love just a little. As I hugged his head and patted his side, I realized, maybe these guys aren't so bad after all. And, by the look on Philip's face, I could tell he kind of agreed.
Thus, I believe the cycle is reverting to the beginning. We, once again, have grand plans of spending our Monday evenings (at the very least) playing with our big, furry boys and allowing them to become members of the family, rather than the well-fed and well-housed pariahs they have remained to this point.
As part of an action plan toward opening our hearts once more, we took a family trip to Wal-Mart (sans animals) to obtain adequate collars for training, and even let Micaiah pick out some toys, which she was ecstatic to provide for them. And this evening, after the kids were tucked in their beds, Bingley and Bennet went for their first walk. It was a little rough going at first, but they eventually learned the concept of the leash and, by the end of our turn around the street, they were staying fairly well by our sides and didn't even hesitate to return to their backyard haven.
What good boys.
Oh, and the fifth member of our walking party? Our cat, Annie, who stayed close behind (or ahead, depending on her opinion of our pace at the moment) the whole way. She often enjoys family walks - invited or not.