In which I run out of writing material
Our family ... is growing ... by 4 feet!
We did that thing we've been saying we're going to do
Well for those of you who may follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you've probably noticed by now, we've added an extra family member! So interwebs, meet Jäger:
|So there are a lot of pictures of him on the couches. Have no fear, the rule is no dogs on the furniture. But we were taking it easy on him the first day!|
|Dog beds are $$$ -- this one is made out of two layers of egg crate and a clearance twin-sized sheet that I'm hoping will help hide his reddish doggie hairs!|
|He looks so tiny and fawn-like when he's curled up to nap ... he looks very long and wild when he's trying to grab food off my counters!|
|He's so, SO good with the kids!|
|And oddly enough, Joci is the one who is most interested in "dAWWWg!"|
|Typical Jäger sighting--eyeball level at the table.|
|Doc McLia just finished taking his blood pressure and temperature.|
|I still standby the statement that 18 month olds are more difficult than any dog! This is our current one, who just pulled up a stool for easy access to emptying out the utensil drawer.|
|Benefits to having a dog--so much outside time no matter the weather!|
There were also a few dogs on the adoption website that were not at the event, one which still lived with his owner about an hour away. His photo and description seemed promising, but he was also quite young, about a year and a half, and I was nervous that he would be too much "puppy" for us. According to the website, he was a Vizsla / Lab mix. Jared and Kylee were the ones to first tell us about Vizslas. Although different in size and coloring, the Hungarian Vizsla is very similar to the German Weimaraner in temperament and energy. So we decided it was worth a shot.
Jon and the dog's owner just happened to have the day off and since we had nothing better to do besides look at a dog, we decided a family road trip was in order.
|In case there was any doubt, he is SO Jon's dog!|
|My hands were frozen on this walk, and this kid is sucking on ice!|
|The extent of their ice skating experience.|
But it didn't matter. As we were walking out of Petsmart, trying to wrangle our own pack of animals into the minivan, Jon turned to me and said, "I want that dog." And that settled it. We pretended to think it over on the trip home and over the next few days, but I knew that dog was going to be jumping up all over my counters in no time.
I let our adoption counselor know we were interested. I could tell she was a little uncertain. And concerned that we hadn't had a chance to meet with him alone in a quiet room to really get to know him. And wondering if maybe we'd like to look at this other dog [insert the name of some little beagle or bulldog or stout little thing that couldn't have caught my eye if he was doing flips ...] Oh no, we want this dog. We want bigger. We want energy. We want excited. And yes, we realize that he comes with bad habits but something about this dog said he was trainable. There was no swaying us. And so our awesome counselor said, no problem. We'll make this happen. And I'm here to help you however I can! But just to be sure, we're going to offer you this special "two-week trial adoption" that we give to our very "special" cases.
We wanted to move fast since Jon was coming up on his two weeks of "office hours" (i.e. regular, non-12-hour, day shifts) which meant he could take some time off to help us all get adjusted. We had plans to spend a night in Williamsburg, so we made arrangements to pick up our new dog on the way home. Which now brings us to a break in our dog's story as we shift our attention to our family's mini-vacation at Great Wolfe Lodge.
Or, as Julia says, "Big Bad Wolfe Lodge." A family member had given our kids some cash for Christmas and since they really don't have any "needs" right now, and certainly didn't "want" for anything after Christmas, we decided a fun trip would be a good idea. I'm not really a resort person (I've never been to Disney and I honestly have no desire to take my kids at this point!), but this seemed like a good option for that middle-of-the-winter rut we've been in.
And the kids certainly enjoyed it! I'm not sure what they liked more: the water park or staying in a "hotel." When we checked in, they offered us a special deal that not only allowed us to get in our room earlier, but also gave Jon and I a separate room from the kids with a king-sized bed. No tough decision there! Thankfully, the kids were so exhausted that night that we had no problems putting them to bed in a new place. Joci actually slept through being carried from the car and me changing her into her jammies--which was a new one for me!
Now onto the practical side, since so many of you have asked. Is it worth it? I think so. It's a great place with PLENTY to keep the kids occupied. We didn't even check out the other activities, just the water park. I also liked that there were things for all ages. It is pricey. We used a military discount to stay for our one night. And there have been some great Groupon deals floating around as well. The nice thing about even just staying one night is that you can use the water park starting at 1pm the day you check-in, and continue to use it all the next day until it closes. So you're essentially getting two days of fun.
|See that big bucket at the top?|
|Approximately every 7 minutes ...|
|... a bell goes off and it all comes dumping down!|
|Julia on Day #2. Joci was just as bad!|
We stayed at the resort on a Monday/Tuesday, but it was off-school days for both Maryland and Virginia, so it was fairly crowded. The pools themselves didn't feel crammed, but it was very difficult to find a seat, much less a table, in the park. Of course, we were newbies. If we ever go again, it will be with a strategy to reserve a table as early as possible.
And finally, although there were plenty of things to do to keep all ages occupied, not all ages can be occupied at the same time. Jack was big enough to do the "big kid" slides with Jon. And there were only a few things Joci could do. And all four kids needed to be supervised. So Jon and I were constantly trying to divide our attention amongst our offspring. I'll confess, I lost my kids on more than one occasion, but it was never that heart-gripping, can't-breathe kind of loss, if you know what I mean!
Enough about the Big Bad Wolfe. By the afternoon, our kids were completely worn out. We killed some time at the Williamsburg Outlets and Tropical Smoothie (just one of the many things we love about Virginia that we don't have in Maryland) and then set off on the drive home. We reached the dog a little after 8pm. It was cold and dark, but he was beyond excited to see us again! Like, I-don't-know-if-I-can-control-this kind of excited. The owner was generous enough to give us his crate and a bag full of goodies, but we didn't have a crate for him to travel in. So after a hasty goodbye, we shut the minivan up, and started on our hour trip home.
|He's watching for Jon, he's always watching for Jon.|
|Our very first morning together. He just fit right in!|
It's only been a week and we already have lots of doggie stories to share. But I fear this post has continued on long enough. So there you have it. You can call us crazy, but you can call him Jäger!