- Written by Maria McDonald
Millie & Me
About a year ago I had this brilliant idea that I wanted a pet. I love budgies, since I used to have some before, but Wayne wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of waking to bird song at 5 every morning. Fair enough!
I thought mice and rats would be cool, but I had a pair of hamsters once and though very cute, they stank something fierce and reproduced like…well… very, VERY fast!
Wayne is allergic to cats and I didn’t care for a cat that much anyway, so we finally decided that maybe a dog would be ok.
Truly, as long as we would be living in town and working out on the farm it would have been smarter to not have a pet house dog, but I was obsessed for some strange reason. And Wayne was probably thinking that the only way to have me talk about something else other than pets every day was to let me have a pet…which was probably true…Oh well!
Anyway, off I went and brought home a black and white, cute as heck, short haired, Jack Russel puppy!
On the way home we stopped at a fast food place and me and my puppy were eating french fries together…’sigh’… so dreamy! She looked at me with big sad puppy eyes and it was great.
That evening I was in tears. My cute puppy had proceeded to do nothing but tear around the house all evening, biting, yapping, chewing, peeing and pooping. I finally lost my temper and locked her in her kennel convinced that I had just done the stupidest thing ever! I actually wanted to sell her, but Wayne, my calm and collected hubby, said “No we have to give her a chance at least.”
So Millie stayed. And I tried to not lose my patience. After all, it was my idea and I was being a pretty big pain about getting her, so now the least I could do is sleep in the bed I made … at least for a while.
About one week after Millie, we discovered that I was pregnant! We were ecstatic! It didn’t take long and the queasy time came over me like a fog…and Millie suddenly developed this super-duper intensive dog smell that just made me want to puke. Yay! And then on top of that, she wasn’t totally sold on the whole ‘pooping outside’ thing. So I’d find the turd and barely manage to dispose of it without getting sick. Then I’d scrub and scrub the spot (on the carpet, no less) and then I’d still smell dog poo for an hour after that.
As time went on and I got more and more pregnant, I was still convinced that Millie was the dumbest thing I ever did. Summer came and pretty soon Millie spent more time with Wayne than with me. He seemed to like her fine so that made me feel a bit less guilty. She would run around outside all day, chasing gophers and such. Great life for a short haired Jack Russell.
She and I had a few run ins during lambing like when I caught her rolling down the hill with an orphan lamb, or every time she was exactly in the path of a ewe I was trying to coax into the barn, but all in all it went ok.
Summer passed and winter came. Millie was settling down a bit. She started to listen just a bit when I said ‘NO’. I could keep her off the couch more or less. She didn’t eat too many dirty Kleenex. It was ok.
I was starting to think that maybe things would work out after all.
It got cold, and Millie’s short hair was not keeping her very warm. I had a weak moment and sewed her a jacket…BUT she somehow slipped out of it and lost it somewhere out at the farm and I was NOT making her another one!!
Wayne kept taking her out to the farm every day anyhow…until one morning Wayne called her and she walked the other way! Well, it was getting pretty cold, so she stayed in the house with me. Just what I needed…yeah, right!
But we came to some agreement, her and me, and I would walk (or whatever you do when you’re 9 months pregnant) around town with her running zig zags ahead of me on her leash. Mostly she was good in the house. Sometimes she got bored. She completely mutilated the pair of old crocs I gave her to play with. She ate about one rawhide bone a day. She would follow me around (about 5 inches behind me at all times) wherever I went in our tiny house, especially when I was cooking. I kept tripping over her because when she was behind me, and then I’d turn around she would disappear under my belly and, aaahhh!
Baby Emma was born! And Millie behaved very well with her. And so, slowly she earned her place in our home. Today I’m ok with her. Actually I sort of like her even! Surprise, surprise!
Babies go through phases, and the other day, Emma was in a phase were she didn’t go to sleep even though she was really tired. It was late. There were big bags under my eyes and Emma’s eyes were red rimmed. I nursed her. I rocked her. Finally, finally she was going to sleep. I tip toed into the bedroom, put her in her bed. All seemed well! I sat there slowly rocking the cradle careful not to make a sound … Suddenly … BOING!! WAAAH! Boing! BOING!!! What the heck?! I look out in the hallway and there sat Millie, plucking the spring doorstopper like some old mouth harp!
And I guess…such is life!