Our New Family Member Teaches Lessons, Brings Joy In A Scary Time


It was French Renaissance philosopher Michael De Montaigne who said: “He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because he fears.”

Now is not the time to be afraid… not in our house anyway. We’re too busy to be afraid. Rosie is here!

Yeah…I did what I said I would NEVER do! I told the kids we could get a dog. A dog!? In our house!?

I admit it. I’m a moron. I’ve railed on dogs and dog owners for years. I’ve been particularly annoyed with people who called themselves “pet parents.” Yet there I was last night. As Rosie licked my face and ears… I muttered “Awwww. Rosie loves daddy.” The shame. The horror. The joyful surrender.

Who knew something so tiny could have such a giant impact on our family?

Rosie came home Friday. She’s a five pound..red haired..Mini Golden Doodle. Her name…it popped into my head..my mom’s name was Rosemary. Mom woulda liked Rosie.

We found Rosie a month ago, before the world slipped off its axis. Still the timing was serendipitous. Kids are home from school. Kristine is home from work. Rosie gets the attention…my family gets the distraction so many of us need right now. But we know this is a long term commitment. Rosie is a baby. My kids will raise her..train her..be responsible for her. She cries. She needs to be taken out twice in the middle of the night. Food..water…poop scooping..all of it.

Sophia and her brother and sister already love Rosie. And they’re already sharing the responsibility for taking care of her.

For now with camps..clubs..practices..everything cancelled, Rosie is a full time immersion program for our kids. Rosie gets us together in the yard..taking walks..in conversation. TV off. Video games off. Rosie The Liberator!

Of course it’s not perfect. She threw up on me. Pooped on the carpet. She chews everything. Turns out she doesn’t have batteries. Ya can’t turn her off. This is work! Good! We like work! Rosie takes our mind off regular work…for now.

Truth is, Rosie Fever may be catching on. One of my son Vincent’s friends sent us a picture of his new dog a little bit ago. Lucas saw Rosie. An hour later they were at the pet store.

Vince’s friend Lucas and his family also welcomed a new pet.

I called a vet I know..he says this is happening everywhere. People are buying dogs in record numbers. But he wants to make it clear; dogs are not toys. Dogs can’t be put away in a closet when the shine wears off. They’re a ten to fifteen year commitment. The Griffin family gets it. We’re in for the long haul.

I’ve learned a couple things from this experience. Yes, I am a moron! But I can change my mind. And we can all love a furry five pound canine that chews on your slippers and eats sticks in the yard.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll take Rosie on our next family trip on a commercial airline?

Nah! I will NEVER do that.

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