Monday, September 05, 2011

Lots of Birthdays

In our family, we celebrated three birthdays this weekend. My twins turned seventeen. And my puppy turned three.

What's it like to have seventeen-year-old boy-girl twins? It's a breeze. It's a joy. It's a whole helluva lot easier than having younger twins. When Jacob and Faith were babies, they were cute and sweet when they slept or laughed or held hands or did something funny like accidentally pee on each other while I was changing their diapers. But in general, it was physically and emotionally draining. I was always needed. My life was basically taken over by these kids. Did I mention that we had another baby 19 months after the twins were born? (Incidentally, my husband recently completed his first triathlon, and he said it was the hardest thing he'd ever done. He must have forgotten what it was like when the kids were little.) Back then, I was going to write a book about how to survive the first year with twins. I had a title figured out: The First Year is a Blur. I bought a binder and organized it with different sections for different aspects of raising twins. But guess what? The binder is empty. And the first year is pretty much a blur.

If you are expecting twins, I don't mean to frighten you. I'm just relating my experience. I'm sure you'll have angelic babies who sleep through the night and nap at the same time and have mellow personalities. It's definitely possible. But here's the important thing: My kids are amazing. Smart and funny and unique and comfortable in their own skin. And holy cow, they're seventeen!

So, what's it like to have a three-year-old puppy? Okay, I realize Ozzy is not officially a puppy anymore, but you try telling him that. Ozzy is our Mini-Whoodle (part Wheaten Terrier, part Mini-Poodle), and he is the world's sweetest dog. I am not even the least bit biased. I know a lot of people end up on my blog when they do a search for Mini-Whoodles, so I figure I might as well give you some helpful information, not just about puppies but about what you can expect when your Mini-Whoodle grows up:

Appearance: 25 pounds, charcoal gray, warm brown eyes, and a funny looking 1970's-ish mustache. He's the perfect size for snuggling with on the sofa, and he's not tall enough to get anything off the kitchen counter.

Trainability: (Granted, some of this is my fault, but still). He sits. He stays in our yard with the invisible fence. He walks well on a leash. He never pees or poops in the house. He doesn't chew anything he shouldn't. He doesn't bite. Unfortunately, he still jumps on people, and he barks at the mail carrier and UPS guy, and he doesn't know how to fetch, and he never comes when I call him unless I'm giving him a treat or a car ride. Thankfully, his sweetness more than makes up for these minor problems.

Personality: Very playful. Very loving. Has never met an animal or person he didn't like. Will do anything for a belly rub. Gives lots of kisses. Enjoys daily walks and car rides with his head out the window. Often sits outside and greets the neighbors by rolling over on his back. Snuggles on the sofa with everyone in the family. Sleeps in his crate with his favorite stuffed animal. Smiles for the camera.

If you're looking for a Mini-Whoodle, I suggest you contact Barb at Old McDoodle Farm. She's wonderful. And if you're expecting twins, I suggest you load up on sleep, solidify your marriage, and reinforce your sense of humor. You're about to have the craziest, most challenging, most beautiful, and most rewarding ride of your life.

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