Thursday, January 8, 2015

Doug's Christmas Present

My husband Doug has never been big on gifts. I have learned in our 30+ years of marriage not to expect big gifts (whether they come in big or small packages) on birthdays or anniversaries. He rarely even remembers his own birthday. That doesn't mean that he isn't generous though, because he is. He loves to give, and I would rather have a husband that is generous, kind, and loving every day of the year than one who buys me gifts for special occasions (although I must confess it did take some getting used to when he bought me a carton of diet coke for our first anniversary--I was a bit disappointed, but in his mind he was buying me something I really liked).

At Christmas, we really don't go overboard with gift giving, and this year I found the perfect gift for Doug. A few days before Christmas I was working/volunteering at the Charity Thrift store when a couple stood at the door holding two adorable black puppies. At first I thought they were selling them, but then they told me how they were giving them away as they had a litter of puppies and couldn't take care of them all. I thought they were very cute and asked them if they were male or female, and they were both male. I knew that wouldn't work with the two female dogs we already had at home because one of them is not fixed. The lady chimed in, "We have one female, all black and I could bring it to you."

I didn't expect that response, but I thought to myself, it would make a great gift for Doug because he loves dogs. She said she would be back before 3pm, when my shift was over. It got to be around three and she didn't come, so I figured it wasn't meant to be.

At the last minute, the lady with the puppy appeared. The pup was very afraid, shaking, and I could tell it hadn't been properly cared for, but she was adorable even though she was a bit dirty. I saw beyond that and immediately my heart was touched to bring this puppy home with us. I can't explain the feeling, but it is something you can't explain because I have never considered myself to be a dog lover. The ladies at the Thrift store couldn't believe I was adopting this little creature.

The car ride was a bit traumatic for the dog, and she threw up and had an accident (moral of the story, put the puppy in a box next time) and during the 45 minute drive home I began to question the logic of my decision. When I got home, I asked Doug to go out to the car and help me carry in some groceries. The dog was hiding under the seat, and only her rear end and tail could be seen. Doug thought it was a big black rat in his car! It took some doing to coax her out, and she even nipped Doug but it was out of fear. I really began to doubt my decision at this point.

She wouldn't even let us pet her or touch her for a day or two. I thought to myself, how are we going to bathe her? We took her to the vet where she got a clean bill of health and all the necessary treatments and shots, and I was able to give her a good bath. She has the most silky, velvety black coat of fur, and a big white heart on her chest. The fear and timidity has gone away, and  she has won her way into our hearts even if she is chewing everything in sight :). We named her Cocoa. Even though this was "Doug's" Christmas gift, she is really a gift for us all to enjoy. Our dogs certainly keep us entertained by their antics!

One big happy family!