When I pull into the garage every night, Brucie immediately starts barking inside her crate in the house. I can hear her shrill little barks as I hustle the kids out of the car and fetch the mail. One night, there was no barking. I noticed it and foolishly thought maybe she was outgrowing the excessive excitement upon homecomings. I'm an eternal optimist.
Brucie was at the door to greet us. Not in her crate, bouncing up and down so hard she's moving it. At the door, wriggling her whole body and licking The Lad's face.
All I could think about was my freshly recovered chair. I was terrified she had spent the day, having escaped from the crate, ripping out the stuffing of my beautiful chair.
As I walked into the house, I saw fuzzies scattered across the floor, I held my breath and felt the rage building in my chest. I saw the chair, cushions dented from being slept in but whole, and breathed out. It all seemed a bit funny then.
Except The Boy was crying.
"SNOOPY! She got my Snoopy! She ripped his face off!"
She had. Poor Snoop had his face tore off completely.
I tried not to laugh at him, but look at this stuffed animal massacre. Is it not funny?
"At least it was just the little Snoopy," I said. "And look, here's Charlotte (his spider) she's ... well, she's missing a leg, but look, she's OK. It's just part of a leg gone."
The Boy, laughing at Charlotte's gimpy leg as I flopped it around but still half-wailing, ran into his room to check on his 5,000 other stuffed animals. I followed behind, picking up fuzz. I stepped on something.
"What the heck is this?"
"IT'S AN EYEBALL! It's an eyeball, Momma! Brucie ate Beastie's pink frog."
He triumphantly held up a one-eyed pink frog. And we both collapsed into giggles.
"My frog!" The Lad cried, but before he could wail, he noticed we were giggling. And he started giggling, too.
And then Brucie came bouncing in, covering us all in puppy kisses.
That, that moment with all of us giggling and covered in dog slobber on a floor strewn with stuffed animal guts, is why we have a dog.
This is not that moment. But this is the same kind of moment. The Boy is on the other side of the yard, bat on his shoulder, waiting for the husband's pitch. Brucie is fetching a missed ball back to the husband. I put this one in because K was asking for photos and this is the only other Brucie picture I have. Puppies, like toddlers, appear in pictures mostly as blurs.
Also, cute, self-indulgent side story: Right after this picture was taken, The Lad said, "I wearing diapers and shoes outside. That's crazy."