A Dog and then a Loss and a lesson in parenting

A dog wandered into our yard on Monday. This isn’t an unusual event in that we live by a field. So we posted her picture around the neighborhood and let neighbors know on the subdivision’s website that we had found her.

An adorable terrier schnauzer mix with the friendliest personality, the dog immediately captured our hearts. She was good with the children, no jumping or barking, and she could play fetch until you were tired of throwing the ball. Before the evening was done, we had bought a bag of food, gave her a bath, and she became part of the family. Scott and I warned the children that she was probably someone’s dog and that in the morning we would take her to the vet to see if she had an embedded chip.

And Marc instantly fell in love with her.

He even named her–Sarah. We think the name is from his second grade teacher whom he deeply admires (aka has a crush on).

By Thursday, when no one had responded to our posts and no chip was found at two different vets, we were beginning to make plans to keep her. Then, from his office I heard Scott say, “Oh, she’s your dog?” and my heart fell. The owner, actually someone just around the corner, had come forward.

I was surprised how sad I felt because I had previously been adamant that we WOULD NOT GET A DOG. My last experience was with my husband’s Spitz who was fairly old when the kids were born and constantly unhappy about their presence in her life. But, Sarah was different. Friendly, sad beyond comfort when the kids left for school in the morning, super excited about seeing the kids’ bus pull up, and just the most well-mannered pup.

Marc, though, had a rough evening. Not knowing what to do with his sadness he lamented to Scott and me at dinner that he would NEVER FIND ANOTHER DOG like that. (Scott and I both exchanged the look of “We’ll hear this phrase–insert girlfriend–in a few years”.) Later he lashed out at both of us over something that seemed so inconsequential we were surprised at the brush fire that erupted and continued to rage with threats of running away to some where that he was loved. Finally, although it was bedtime, Scott suggested that he and Marc go for a walk while I put down the rest of the children. When they returned, and Marc was tucked in, I went to kiss him goodnight. He rolled over and hugged my neck, “I love you so much mom.”

When the outburst started both Scott and I were patient and then it raged we weren’t, telling him he was out-of-line and threatening being grounded if he continued. This just escalated everything.

Going for the walk–the fresh air, the cover of night, just he and his dad walking–smothered the burning embers and brought back our son who loves and hates with the same ferocity.



I am a mother of two sets of twins and a singleton. I explore the wild world of multiples and provide resources for other parents of multiples.
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