When I was a little girl, I wanted a dog more than anything. There were two problems with this wish: (1) my parents aren’t “animal” people, and (2) we went to Greece for 2+ months every summer, so having a dog was impractical. As a consolation prize, my parents bought me a stuffed German Shepherd and a cat for my birthday. As an aside, the joke was ultimately on them because our cat, Mellany, lived to be 21 years old, which was waaaay longer than we would have had a real German Shepherd. Ha!
**Fast forward to my adulthood**
The first thing the Irishman and I did (in the months after we got married and bought a house) was to get a dog. We had decided on a Cardigan Corgi after researching breeds because they were great with other animals, great with kids and were essentially medium-sized dogs (albeit short ones). From the second she came home, Nona was responsible, well-behaved and unbelievably militant. Just ask Payton the Cat – he’ll tell you.
We lived in puppy bliss with Nona for 2 years before we found out I was pregnant. Suddenly, we knew that she was about to be displaced in a major way (we had been taking her everywhere with us), so we decided to add a second corgi to our lives.
Chewie is a very sweet dog. He’s also aloof, flighty and eats everything in sight. Nona is our dog and Chewie is Nona’s dog. That makes sense, right? Any who, when we had embarked upon our Sleep Wars with Parker and ultimately decided that one of the dogs would have to sleep in his room, there was no question that it would be Nona.
Since that fateful decision, Nona has been Parker’s constant companion. He thinks of her as a protector and as a friend. As with most children, Parker has a very specific sleep routine and the last thing that we say before turning out the lights is, “Nona, keep out the bad dreams and let in the good dreams.”
Seeing the above picture warms my heart because it speaks to exactly what I would have wanted as an almost 5-year-old. Regardless of how many animals enter and exit our lives over the subsequent decades, Nona will always be Parker’s first beloved pet. So, while I may occasionally think of the 2 cats and 2 dogs that make up our household menagerie as just another responsibility, I wouldn’t trade them for the world because of what they mean to Parker. Yes, I even mean Chewie and his poop-eating ways.