Bundle of Joy

I grew up with dogs. We always, always had a dog.

Once we had a cat and I hugged him too hard and he scratched me, so he…went somewhere. Not sure where.

But mostly, the dogs. My parents had a golden retriever named Missy when I was small, and truthfully? That dog has been the standard to which every dog I’ve ever met has been held.

I loved her. I still remember the day she died, how I was broken and sad and very confused. I was eight.

I never expected to have a dog as great as Missy. There have been close contenders, but none really fit.

Except now we have this dog.

His name is Rocky and every dog should be born just like him – trained and sassy and asskicking awesome.

To dog be the Glory

If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, do. @emilysteen), then you’ve read in the past few weeks about how we’ve been planning to get a dog.

By we, I mean the adults of the house. Dan approached me with the idea, and I immediately agreed. Without thought or sense of reality. Which, let’s face it, is how I’ve made some of my greatest decisions.


Josh was on board, and we knew the kids would love the idea eventually. Kids adjust, right? I mean our kids live with us, all three of us, and after that a dog seems kind of a laughable adjustment.

So since the dog we were slated to get had just had surgery because of crusty dog nose, we had to wait a bit.

Well, as everybody knows and no one ever admits, things get built up in our imaginations. Things like cleaning house, working a job, weaving baskets…having kids. Having a jowly slobbery English bulldog is one of those things.

So this morning, I got the text I’d been waiting on.


I was beside myself. I had clearly long since divorced myself from any sort of reality, because I had these scenarios in my mind of a languid, cuddly beast who I could pet and love and not walk away smelly. Who I could bond with and tell my secrets to and who would secretly love me just a little better than everyone else.

Not obviously, of course. And certainly I expected her to love everyone else, too. Just maybe if a murderer was breaking windows and the dog could only pick one of us to protect to the death, it would, you know, be me.

If you’ve read my asslong list of things about me, then you’ll know that two of those things are 1. I love the idea of a dog in the house. 2. I hate the reality of a dog in the house.

Just thought I should mention that. In the interest of full disclosure.

So today. Today, Glory came home.

That’s her name. Glory. I cannot express the vehemence with which I despise that name, it conjures images of huge southern belle walmart hair and stars and stripes with skoalspitting and ruminations about “lovin’ Amarikuh.”

Dan brought her in the door and she shot over to me, wriggly and adorable and waggly. Then Dan came in and she shot back over to him and slid around her snorty nose on the floor, then she shot over to Max and then Lucy wised up and started screaming.

Not exactly the peaceful soultwining homecoming I’d imagined.

It’s going to take a while. I get it.

She’s going to stink and scare the shit out of my kid and she’s going to always make snorty juicy noises.
She’s going to chew shoes and chase flies and look around with her face that looks like it caught a truck bumper.
She’s NOT going to lounge and cuddle and listen to secrets.

But you guys, I think I love her.