Thirteen and a half years ago, my husband came home from work, told me to put on my shoes and come with him. He took me to a local pet store to show me the last 2 of 11 puppies in a litter of half black lab and half golden retriever pups. We had been married just over a month and he was completely smitten with this cute little 4-lb fur ball. We were on a tight budget and having had a dog most of my life, I knew a little bit about the costs associated with a dog. I told him if he wanted to give up cable, then we could probably afford a dog. He didn’t hesitate. He was named before we even got home: Nova.
He was younger than we were told and my husband spent that first week rocking him and sleeping on the kitchen floor with him. He taught us all the important stuff about being a parent: letting go of the messes, cuddling to sleep at night, playing being more important than working. A year or so later when we brought home Alex, Nova licked him and made sure we always picked him up when he fussed. He’s been such a great family dog and has tolerated crazy amounts of hair pulling, eye poking, food stealing, and teasing dished out by the kids over the years.