We brought Marsha home on an average March morning while the kids were in school to give her time to explore her new surroundings before the chaos of three young boys' new puppy excitement could erupt. The boys were ages 9, 7 and 5, and we knew that this would spark tornado-level adrenaline. That couldn't be her first impression of her new home. I mean, that could scar an adult, nor less a three month old puppy. Of course, she was nameless at this time, so we called her "puppy" until we could all decide on a fitting name for her. Tyson, our middle-aged Pekingese, was far from impressed with the new addition. When Tyson wanted something, he would sit up and pump his front paws up and down. I swear, that dog had the flattest backside ever because he could sit that way for hours. I knew as Tyson was begging at me, he was telling me to get this thing out of our house. Meanwhile, Marsha was having the time of her life and decided that Tyson's long, fluffy tail was the perfect toy. She pounced and batted at it as a kitten would. No matter what toys we gave her to play with, none of them compared to Tyson's tail, that moved and wagged and just tempted her. It was a slow process of getting Tyson to accept the new pup, but when he did, the two of them were inseparable. They truly were the absolute best of friends.
As the hands on the clock spun, it was time for me to pick up the boys from their bus stop. Jay took Marsha into the rec room and waited. As I herded the kids into the house, I told them there was a surprise downstairs for them. Shoes were kicked off in every direction, backpacks tossed, coats and hats strung the entire way to the basement door. The thundering sound of footsteps running down the stairs filled our ears. They got downstairs to see Jay standing there holding this tiny, white bundle of fur. At first, they didn't understand what their surprise was. They did not notice Marsha, wrapped in Jay's long arms. They stood and stared at their dad, while he stood beaming back at them. And then Marsha poked her head out and all hell broke loose. They surrounded their dad, the youngest trying to push his way past his siblings to get a closer look, hands outstretched, jumping, laughing, yelling. I had to make them sit down in a circle, hands in their laps before we gently placed Marsha in the center of them. She ran from one to the next, nibbling their toes, tiny tail wagging so fast you could feel the breeze generated.
The next few months were a whirlwind. Marsha decided she loved shoes, and every time we wanted to leave the house we had to search for them. They were either in her crate or under the couch in the living room. Tyson was now on board, and he mentored her. He even taught her to lift her leg as she went to the bathroom. She tried to sit up and beg like he did, but she always fell over. Her behind was not quite as flat as his, I guess. Marsha ended up taking residence in Zach's room, where she slept each night until he went off to college. And another chapter in our lives was written.