The man used his 'Tyrannical Ruler' voice each time he said, "No more animals. Period." His tone was very deep and grumpy and deadly serious. And his expression? Well, his expression said, "Thou shalt not argue with me on this."
His whole family knew what this meant. The man's mind would not, could not be changed. The official edict had been sealed with the ring of the king and handed down to the peasants, if you will. There would be no new pets brought into their household during the man's lifetime. Not one. Not ever.
Not a puppy. Not a kitty. Not a hamster. Not even a fishy. Ever, ever again.
This decree made the man's family oh, so, very sad. The idea of never, ever seeing a little boy running around with a puppy nipping at his heels, or snuggling up with a sweet little ball of fur was almost more than the man's family could comprehend.
"It just can't be," they all said.
"Oh, YES it most certainly CAN," said the man.
They got a dog.
Kidding. That's not really the end. I'm sure you're dying for details on the puppy and how I managed to change the old man's mind.
Because that's what you spend your day doing, right? Dying for details about my life?
Or maybe you're optimistically wondering if our financial situation has improved, since we're taking on the responsibility of a new pet... ??? That would be a smart and fair question.
Because it would be ridiculously irresponsible to add another mouth to feed if we're still struggling financially, wouldn't it?
Yes, yes it would. And we are. Still struggling, I mean. We're idiots. We didn't pay for this dog, but we will end up paying for her in the long run, of course, and we certainly didn't need to take on an additional financial responsibility right now.
... But look:
Wook at dat widdle face.
Here's what happened: Mike's girlfriend had a litter of puppies 5 weeks ago.
...No, that can't be right. It was her dog, actually. Mike's girlfriend's dog had a litter of puppies 5 weeks ago. The gf's dog is an English Bulldog who was seduced by a neighborhood Boxer; a real Rico Suave type, I imagine. Their night of passion- one fleeting indiscretion- resulted in an unplanned pregnancy.
Mike got a puppy for free out of the deal and brought said puppy over to show the kids. This is little baby Marley:
And that, ^, is all it took.
You can't look at that face and not want a puppy. One look at that face and the kids went all gloopy-schmoopy over her. Marley looks so terribly exhausted and suicidal all the time that you are compelled to scoop her up and try to make her happy. She plays with your maternal instincts, I guess, even if you are an old man/tyrannical ruler.
But... Sadly, Marley was already taken. We'd just have to make ourselves happy with liberal visitation rights, which we were willing to do. And then it was mentioned, so very, very innocently, that Marley had one sister who was still available... Would we like to see her?
"Sure," we all said, "Just for fun (snort). Bring her over to play and then take her back home."
Michael (my good, sweet son) offered to buy the puppy himself, as a gift for his siblings. "What could dad say about it if it's not costing him anything?" He asked. MWAAAHAHAHAAA! What a knee-slapper! I don't know what I think is funnier- the idea that the dog isn't costing us anything, or the thought that Dad couldn't argue about it. Sometimes kids don't know their parents at all, it seems. Dad could say plenty. And he did. But in the end, we had this on our side:
Her name is Daisy. Try to resist her charms. I dare you.
The naming process we had to go through is almost another story in itself. What an ordeal that was. The kids and I (the old man wanted no part of it) narrowed the choices down from about 7 or 8 to the final 2. Daisy was among the top 4, but did not make the final two. Those two were "Primrose" (as in Everdeen... It's a Hunger Games thing), and "Violet." There were two votes for Prim and two for Violet. I was to cast the tie-breaking vote. I would be disappointing two kids no matter what I chose, so I...
asked the old man to decide.
He said, "I don't like either one of those names."
Daisy it is.