my thoughts on this Marshmallow eve

This is my last night of freedom.

This is my last night’s sleep to lay abed of a morning as long as I wish. (Like 7:30. But still. The decision is mine.)

These are my last few gulps of the sweet air of solitude and clean carpets.

Drink with me, ye lads and lasses, to days gone by, for ’tis


This is Marshmallow.

Tomorrow morning, we will get in the car as a family of five, drive to New Jersey, and return as a family of six.

My good friend Sarah just sent me this email, and I quote:

AHhhhhhh SO excited for you!!!! (Hence the massive overuse of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!)

I read that and think: please, God, let her be right. Let this be something wonderful and not the worst idea I have ever had. Because this is something far more foreign and far more terrifying to me than bringing home my firstborn:

We’re getting a dog.

“We’re not doing anything so remarkable,” David said before bed the other night. “We were probably more remarkable having three kids and NO dog. Plenty of people do it. I feel better telling myself that.”

But I’m not sure he does really.

Why are we getting a dog?

  • One of my kids is anxious. Dogs are a big help with that.
  • One of my kids has some garden-variety sensory issues. Dogs are a big help with that.
  • My kids wore me down. I admit it. I said “no way” seven hundred thousand times and then I just gave up.
  • There is a teeny tiny part of me that thinks I may just love her. If I’m not having a fourth child, a baby animal might not be the worst idea in the world. This puppy might make me- could it be?- happy?


This is me meeting her last month, when the kids still had no idea she was coming.

I might look a little tiny bit in love with her in that picture.

I am maybe not totally dreading housebreaking a partially-immunized puppy in the middle of January in a twelfth-floor apartment.

Something tells me that my life will change tomorrow. For the worse, pain-in-the-rear-factor-wise.

But just maybe for the better too.

Give me advice! Cause I am a dog novice. What got you through your first days with your pup?


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria January 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Super cute pup and love the name. Excellent post…you’ve really summed up the pros and cons of dog ownership (especially since you said you haven’t ever owned one!). My only advice for training in the winter months is keep a scarf on. All day. Dogs are such a great addition to the family. Yes they wake you up and make messes, but you will never tire of their unconditional love. Nor will they. Good luck!


Elizabeth Bram January 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm

congratulations! My one piece of advice is that – under NO circumstances – let one of your children convince you to get one of those ultraviolet light flashlights that can see the urine in the carpet.. I did. So depressing.. Apparently Nature’s Miracle is no miracle after all.. Will be calling the carpet cleaners on Monday.. it’s now 7pm, and this (admittedly crazy) single mom needs to roundup the two (yes, two… i did say i was crazy..) dogs and the 6yr old munchkin (who has taken her shirt off after spilling ice cream on it…) to – you guessed it — WALK THE DOGS.. Just another saturday night.. On second thought, maybe I should be asking YOU for advice 😉


Stacy January 13, 2013 at 12:57 am

Amy! We are about a month into puppy ownership & I have to say, it is a *lot* of work, but I love this little guy!! I could not have done it as successfully without the advice of There is plenty of advice about how to train a puppy but this is one of the only places that gets dogs AND kids. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Check them out & tell them I sent you!! Good luck tomorrow~ <3, Doris


Elspeth January 13, 2013 at 3:27 am

From a practical standpoint I’d say: Crate train. Crate train. Crate train. Seriously, this is the only thing that will eventually get Marshmallow to sleep through the night. She’ll like having her place to sleep. Yáll will have a great time with your new pup. Congratulations!


Kathy at kissing the frog January 13, 2013 at 6:28 am

I have no advice, only empathy. My family is working on wearing me down as well. We were going to get one for Christmas, but decided Easter might be a better time. Looking forward to hearing your dog stories – she is soooo adorable!!


The Tired Mother January 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

We got our puppy last March, and with four kids, it hasn’t been anything other than wonderful. The potty training was a little hard, but no harder than potty training a toddler, and much shorter. At least a puppy is willing, the toddler, not so much. He is my Zen. A dog is always willing to take a walk with you, and it gives me a few minutes to regroup when life gets a little crazier than I’d like. That dog was the best walked dog ever during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Hurricane Sandy. And since he chewed toys that were not his…voila! Suddenly, I need not fight my kids to put their toys away. My four year old is showing a bit of OCD tendencies, in that she’ll try to put away your shoes before you’ve gotten them off your feet, but it’s BRILLIANT! I now have my living room back.
You’re in for a ride, but it is so totally worth it. I adore my Poopenhund, and he’s the one thing in the house that will never tell me that I’m ruining his life.


Leigh Ann January 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

House breaking a puppy on a 12th floor apartment? Brave!

One thing that saved us — and our house — was crate training. Any time we left the house he went into his crate. It was much less stressful after he was house broken. we rewarded him with a treat so every time he heard me open the treat jar he just went straight to his crate. We did that for about a year. Good luck!


Stephanie Precourt January 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Oh goodness! Congrats!


Dawn Robertson February 10, 2013 at 11:39 am

We crate trained. I believe it did wonders! No accidents at my house (unless I don’t get out of bed by 5:30 am). Congratulations on your addition!! How’s it going?


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