Summer Wife Gets a Puppy?

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My girl Zoe last summer.

I’ve been Summer Wife (click to read one of my earliest blog posts from about a year ago) for five days now and I have come to the realization that the house is truly empty. So, maybe yesterday was the first day I was actually home alone because my husband took Friday afternoon off but things just aren’t the same this summer without my girl Zoe by my side. We lost our 14-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel back in February and at the time I was convinced I wouldn’t get another dog until I retire. I started looking for a new dog Saturday morning.

 

I know there are lots of great dogs waiting to be adopted through rescue agencies but we are really attached to Cavaliers due to their awesome personality. We also want a puppy because we’ve had a crazy dog in the past and we don’t want to live through that again. Finding a Cavalier puppy is not an easy task. The fear of getting a puppy from a puppy mill is high and Cavalier breeders can be persnickety. The breeder we bought Zoe from has one puppy right now but she is non-responsive through email which is the only way we know to contact her. She’s trying to decide whether or not to keep the puppy so she can show it. We’re hoping she discovers some giant flaw in the dog soon so she can be ours.

In the meantime I’ve been searching the internet and contacting everyone I can find in a 250 mile radius looking for puppies. I’ve found many but I’m cautious about how the puppies were bred and how they are being raised. I’ve sent Thing 1 to investigate a breeder an hour from where he lives and I have a day trip planned tomorrow to visit some puppies near where Thing 2 lives. I just don’t know if the time is right. I wake up in the morning thinking I’m crazy for getting another dog. What will happen when I go back to school? Will he/she be able to be alone all day? My school hours are changing next year and I have no idea what my schedule will be like. I will need to leave home much earlier but will I be able to get home earlier? There’s many unknowns.

Life is full of unknowns though and fretting about them isn’t profitable. I’m looking for someone to talk me out of this, to tell me I’m crazy for bringing a puppy into my life right now but I’m not having much luck. I blogged about test driving a car recently and most of my friends and co-workers were convinced the post was going to be about a dog. I did get a new (used) car and several comments about needing a dog.

I’m not sure what the future will hold but you can only look at and visit so many adorable puppies for so long before giving in. Maybe I should stop the search cold turkey so I can resist. I’ll spend my summer by the pool reading or knitting rather than chasing a puppy around and trying to housebreak it before going back to school. Only time will tell whether or not I give my heart to a new four-legged friend. Stay tuned!

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge

It’s Not Easy Being . . .

IMG_8485Photo credit to one of my favorite teacher websites, We Are Teachers

Summer is winding down and it’s almost time to start the transformation back into School Year Wife. I think my husband dreads the transition even more than I do. I fear that during the summer I’m the woman he married 30 years ago but 10 months out of the year I’m some other woman. Years ago my husband started calling me his “favorite wife” which left me wondering How many wives does he have? When I would inquire about this his answer would be, “Of all the wives I know, you’re my favorite.” That didn’t really clear things up for me nor was it comforting. He’s married to two women and they’re both me, School Year Wife and Summer Wife. It’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.

We teachers ask a lot of our spouses. We are the carefree fun-loving spouse they married for 9 weeks during the summer and then mid-August rolls around and everything changes. Suddenly we are consumed with setting up our classrooms, cutting lamination and labeling everything in sight using handwriting our spouse doesn’t even recognize. We live and breathe the 24 names on our class list and forget to grocery shop, do laundry, cook dinner, feed the dog . . . Our spouses pick up a lot of slack throughout the school year but the start of the school year is especially difficult for them. We call on them to build things, cut things, lug things, lift things and move things.  There’s a lot of lugging, lifting and moving at the beginning of the year and we’re often asking them to do this after a full day of work at their own job or on the weekend. It’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.

For years I have said it takes a special guy to be married to a teacher. A quick internet search reveals the truth in this statement.

While several of these are humorous reads there were some sad titles in my search as well: Wife’s Job Sucks! How can I convince her to change careers? and My wife’s career as an elementary teacher is tearing our lives apart. I don’t want to be the subject of one of these articles. It’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.

Teacher husbands learn to take a backseat to their wife’s teaching responsibilities. In the early years of my marriage and career we committed to one night a week when I didn’t bring home school work and we didn’t let anything interrupt that time.  Of course this was before laptops, cell phones, email and Facebook. I attributed the constant work to my inexperience but on the eve of my 20th year teaching I bring even more work home than I did as a new teacher. I’ve often wondered if I just suck at teaching and that’s why it’s so much work for me. A recent fortune cookie from a lunch with a teacher friend put it in perspective for me.

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I think that pretty much sums it up for those of us who make the transformation from the person we are in the summer to the person we are during the school year. We are wired to help a child in need. Our job is not just a career, it’s a calling and a mission. Those who are married to us get this and they wouldn’t dream of doing anything but support us in our calling. So, thank you to my favorite husband, I know it’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.

Slice of Life