Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My very first drug deal

Dear Em,
Ok, it wasn't really a drug deal, but it started to feel like one. Let me start at the beginning. It was late December 21st. We were visiting with family in North Carolina. Most were upstairs sleeping. Your nonnie, aunt Jennie, aunt Gina, & I were in the living room.

Your nonnie asked what Christmas prank was planned for this year. She insisted we needed to have some kind of prank & we insisted that it was a terrible idea. Our Christmas pranks almost always end in someone crying.

There was the year your nonnie hid my camera, the only thing I wanted for Christmas or at all. I tried to plaster a big smile on my face once I had opened my last gift, the realization that I wasn't getting the one thing I truly wanted for Christmas sinking in. Your nonnie smiled as she urged me to keep looking until I finally found it wedged between the couch cushions. There was the year Jared cried because there was no playstation under the tree (this was after he had saved up his money for a year to buy one & nonnie had urged him not to get one because he might get one for Christmas). He still had tears running down his cheeks when she pulled it out of the closet.

I jokingly turned to your aunt Jennie & said, "we should borrow a neighbor's dog & tell Nick you got a new dog." Your aunt Jennie & uncle Nick have 3 large & very sweet black labs. They also have 3 cats. They've had birds & fish. Someday I hope they have a lot of land & start a rescue farm. They're amazing with animals. They take their dogs everywhere. Their dogs are like their kids.

They never tell us when they're thinking about getting a new animal. It's always a surprise to the rest of the family. We'll hear a kitten meow as we're skyping or they'll walk through my parent's door with their new puppy that they've had for a week. So, it would be funny for the family to know about a new animal before Nick did. Except I was still just talking about borrowing a dog.

I looked at Jennie, & a smile appeared on her face. I guess she had been talking to Nick about wanting to get a new puppy for a while. She started to search for puppies online. I went to bed thinking that it was such a fun idea, but there was no way she would be able to find a puppy ready to be picked up before Nick got there, the next night.

In less than 12 hours we were on our way to a Sam's Club parking lot in the middle of nowhere. Aunt Jennie had found a breeder online & had called that morning to ask if she could pick up the puppy that same day. The dealer breeder said of course & requested that we send him a text message with our car model & color & bring cash. Jennie didn't know this guy, so we recruited your daddy & uncle Greg to join us & make sure we didn't get kidnapped or worse (they may not look like body guards, but they were better than nothing). The Sams Club was an hour and a half away, & it wasn't long into the trip that we started to joke about how sketchy this situation could be. I asked your aunt Jennie if she was sure that the word "puppy" wasn't code for drugs. "You got the money? I've got your stuff," we joked.

We got to the Sams Club (which was truly in the sticks of North Carolina), & the breeder couldn't have been nicer. The puppy couldn't have been more adorable. The breeder listed health information for Jennie & gave her supplies while we snuggled with the puppy.

As we waved goodbye to the breeder, he simply said, "Be blessed & Merry Christmas." Clearly, the furthest thing from a drug dealer (not that I know very much about drug dealers). As we pulled out of the parking lot, Uncle Greg held up the bag of puppy chow the breeder had given us & said, "I've got the stuff."

The puppy quickly became a part of the family (your Papi kept sternly looking at Daddy & telling him that the puppy was going to go home with us to be part of our family...not a big fan of our Christmas prank). The puppy is so sweet, Uncle Nick immediately fell in love (& actually took the Christmas prank much better than any of us thought he would). He had brought Jennie one of the fake dogs that look like they're breathing as a Christmas joke. We all thought Jennie's prank was funnier.

You called him Jingle, from your favorite holiday movie Jingle All the Way. Watching the puppy run after you as you called, "come on, Jingle," made Daddy & I think about getting you a puppy of your own...for just a second & then I saw a flea jump onto my arm & that was the end of our puppy thoughts. How nice is it that we can have a home free of dogs but still have lots of puppy fun when we visit Uncle Nick & Aunt Jennie & their 4 amazing dogs?!

I'm sure we'll be talking about & laughing about how the puppy became part of our family for years. Except, I'm very very afraid of being the victim of the Christmas prank next year. Please, no animals!

I love you so,

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