This morning, Miss Lucy stood at the front door, and peered hesitantly outside. She raised her eyes to her dad, trying to let him know that she wasn’t inclined to step out into the rain. She didn’t bark. And she didn’t whine. Her dad, his heart a big pile of mush when it came to anything having to do with her, closed the door, and ruffled her ears.
I overheard him say, “If you don’t want to go outside, we won’t go outside.”
Doggy Mommy-dom has been quite the learning experience so far. It wasn’t that I didn’t know work was involved. I wasn’t naive enough to think she would arrive house-broken, healthy, completely socialized and obedient (although she’s close!). I knew that I would be cleaning up poop. And throw-up. I accepted that some of my things might get chewed. I knew I would have to be tough.
I did not think it would take such an emotional toll.
I have learned that being the mommy also means occasionally, being the meanie. As I coaxed Lucy out the door into the hazy drizzle, her ears flattened, and she stopped, bracing herself with her back legs to prevent me from moving her further into the wetness. I felt like the worst person in the whole world. No amount of “C’mon Lucy! It’s not that bad! Let’s go potty and then we can go back inside! Hurry up Peanut! Gotta do it! C’mon Lucy!” seemed to convince my distrusting pup that the rain was not going to melt her immediately. She looked around frantically for daddy to save her. But he had already left for work. Poor Lucy.
We did manage to get in a walk. Once she was wet, and away from traffic, she seemed oblivious to the rain. Go figures. One second, I’m mommy the meanie, the next second, Lucy is happily trotting away, eyes full of wonder at everything along the roadway, tail wagging enthusiastically.
Within a few minutes, my emotions went from unbelievable guilt and utter frustration verging on tears to an overwhelming love that bubbled up and made me want to laugh. Motherhood, I am learning, is no joke.