Listen, I get it. If you follow me on any social media platform (but especially Snapchat), you know I am uhhhbsessed with my golden doodle, Presley. We are talking, like, I talk to this dog as though she is my own flesh and blood. Some days, I catch myself asking her, “How did I get so lucky?” Sometimes my Grandma feels the need to remind me that, contrary to what I might think, Presley is in fact not an actual human being. I keep waiting for the day, though, that she pops out of a fur suit and says, “surprise! I was kidding all along, I AM a human and I DO talk!” ….
Like I said, Obsessed.
I just read an article by The Every Girl called, “Five Things I Learned From Getting a Puppy.” I was lured in through my Instagram feed, because I mean… hello… it was an up-close shot of a golden retreiver puppy and I thought I needed to read it. It gave me all the feels and made me miss when Presley was a pup. It also reminded me of how true all the insane things are that we do when we decide to let a baby animal into our homes, trot all over our furniture, chew our walls, destroy our Michael Kors sandals, eat whole lasagnas off our counter when our back is turned, steal all my food off my plate when I am not looking, and ruin more blankets than I would like to mention. Yet… even still having Presley has taught me to love something unconditionally in ways I didn’t even know humanly possible.
Sound crazy? I am just getting started.
I started begging for a puppy my junior year of high school. My dad was not having it. There was one time my sister, Em, and I sat down together (she was my moral support) at the dining room table to present to my dad the logical reasons I should be allowed to get a dog. Palms sweating, I laid out the plan. I laid out why it would be good for me when I went to college (it would be my protector, of course), and I explained the emotional ties and how it would be bringing a bit of home with me to Dallas since Snickers was too old to travel anymore. (Yeah, that’s it, bring up how you’re leaving them next year. Make it as emotional as possible!)
Emily and I even went to the Boerne animal shelter the day before to look at a litter of puppies that I was going to pick from until I found out I had to have a legal guardian sign for it since I was only 16. (Unfortunately, Emi didn’t get to count.) After my presentation, I cleaned his whole bathroom SPOTLESS, got mom on my team, and went to bed proud of my very logical, and well-presented argument.
(I don’t think my parents actually know about ALL of that… until right now…)
I then woke up in the middle of that night with SUCH remorse for challenging my dad’s authority that I almost barfed… legitimately. (I was a VERY goody-two-shoes child and I NEVER challenged my parents.) I wrote a sorry note and hung it on his bathroom mirror at 2 AM for him to wake up to, and I dropped the whole puppy matter (at least for a while.)
Then, I went off to college in Dallas, a city I knew nothing about and nobody in, and I knew that as soon as I could, I would buy a dog to live in the city with and take on all my wildest dreams with. Well, my campus was a no pet campus, and nobody lives off of campus or you will end up driving 30 minutes to get to school daily… so once again… my doggy dreams were put on hold. Then, my sophomore year I met Paul, and as we got more serious I didn’t have day dreams of getting married and having a bunch of babies… I had day dreams of getting married and getting a dog. I wanted a beagle or a doodle. Maybe an aussie, perhaps a retriever….
Who am I kidding, I wanted anything that was fluffy, barked, and could lick my face.
Then, much to my surprise, when Paul and I got engaged, Paul asked if we could please wait to get a dog. EXCUSE ME. I tried desperately to plead my case and explain this was now five years in the waiting to get the dog I had always dreamed of, and if I was marrying him right out of college, I deserved to AT LEAST get a dog. (HAHA!) I had a line of names picked out, I had read books on training a dog, I had read tips and tricks all over the internet to teaching your dog how to self-entertain, and I had studied the BEST food to feed your dog.
I wanted a dog.
He said, “I want one too! Let’s just wait a year?…. okay… 6 months?” Because I wanted to get married to Paul maybe a hair more than I wanted a dog, I agreed.
Okay, okay… more than a hair. 😉
Then, we got married, got home from our honeymoon, and life as the Morrisons began (dogless). And it was great. Almost immediately into marriage, though, I started to get very sick. At least once a week I was sleeping on the floor of the bathroom sick as a dog (lol…) and we didn’t know what was the matter with me. I sure as heck couldn’t be pregnant yet!
I HAD TO GET A DOG TO LEARN HOW TO BE MOTHERLY BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT.
No, turns out I happened to have all kinds of immune issues and allergies that forced us to drastically change up life together VERY early on in our marriage. For whatever reason, YEARS of issues I had struggled with blew up to intolerable levels right after marriage. I often tell people that God timed my sickness perfectly, because there’s no way I could have handled it without Paul. I used to sit on my sofa angry at God, frustrated I was sick all the time and begging for him to let this cup pass me. I was scared to eat anything, I lost a ton of weight, and I felt hopeless. I truly thought that this is how my new normal was going to be. This led to me, once again, wailing on the sofa begging for a dog. I wanted something to take care of while I was sick and Paul was at work. (I hadn’t started a job yet, so I literally sat at home alone and sick every single day for over a month.) I would spend HOURS searching daily on Craig’s List for puppies and sent countless inquiries I half knew would never actually get fulfilled. Paul would come home to me weeping on the couch as I would look at fluffy puppies pass over the screen, one after the other. My friends even started texting Paul without my knowing begging him to let me get a dog so I would stop pinning them and tweeting photos of them… (Thank you Alyssa Cottrell.)
Then, one day, I ran across an ad that seemed too good to be true. I had made up my mind I wanted a golden doodle, but they were like $2k and there was no way on God’s green earth I was ever going to get a doodle any time soon for the price we could afford.
Then, God put Presley in my life. (I AM SERIOUS. I KNOW IT WAS GOD!) I found an ad for doodles in Forney, Texas for a MAJOR fraction of the price of what they should be. I was skeptical. There was no way this was real… but you best believe I emailed them. I began conversing with the sweetest couple about their private breeding. They just loved doodles and wanted other people to be able to enjoy them like they have for so many years. This was too good to be true.
Even more so, Paul was on board.
This was going to be the perfect birthday present! We were broke as I’ll get out, we couldn’t even afford for them to process the full transaction at the same time (we literally gave them two checks and asked if they could wait on the second one…), but we had to get a puppy. The BEST part of this story is that after years of begging for a dog and Paul saying yes… on our way to pick up Presley the first time… I freaked out and backed out. YES, I BACKED OUT OF GETTING PRESLEY BECAUSE I FLIPPED. I felt remorse AGAIN for begging my husband to get me a puppy.
Two days later, I talked some sense into myself and Paul convinced me he really wanted to do this… so I recontacted the breeders… and (surprisingly) they had Paul and I, the crazy people who all of a sudden backed out the first time, come to pick out a puppy.
I walked up to the house in awe that I was literally about to FINALLY get my puppy. I began crying, screaming, half running up the driveway. I watched from the side as the four dogs left in the litter ran around. From the pictures I had seen, I thought the darker apricot colored doodle was going to be what I went home with. But, that one turned out to be the ornery one and I DEF didn’t want that. I wanted the one that had personality, but was gentle and sweet. That’s what all the dog books said to do. And that’s when a puppy caught my eye that was sitting under the car playing with her own tail and dopily following the humans around from time to time.
That was my dog. That was Presley.
I took home Presley at the perfect time in my life. God knew what was up when he made me wait. He made me be patient. She was a blessing + comfort through a very hard time in my life. She crazily gave me hope again, and she gave me direction. Not that God doesn’t give that without the help of a dog, I just truly believe he used Presley to comfort me.
I am serious. Yes, having a dog gave me hope in life again. I had SOMETHING to be purposeful about, to teach, and to train. It took my mind off of the frustration of illness.
Having Presley has taught me patience, love, sacrifice, and that “things” aren’t that important. (i.e. my favorite rug that Presley dug a hole through.) I like my house perfect. I like my things to be well taken care of, and I definitely like my sleep. Yet, for over a month I got up in the middle of the night to sing “Love Me Tender” for hours on end so that none of our neighbors would file a complaint about a wailing puppy next door.
Furthermore, having Presley gave me the thought that maybe being a mom in the future isn’t as CRAZY as I once thought. Slowly but surely, since having Presley I think to myself, “Aw, one day Presley will be walking alongside our babies as they learn to walk.” She is DEFINITELY the best cuddle buddy when you’re crying. She will be the perfect Nanna (like from Peter Pan) for our future children.
If you know me at all, you know this is some MAJOR progress from a few years ago when I said I didn’t want kids ever.
Having Presley has placed the idea of motherhood on my heart for the first time in my life. Y’all… God can use anything. He used a DOG for me.
Getting a dog, perfectly timed and completely on God’s watch, changed my life for the better. It changed me, it softened my heart, it forced me to be selfless in ways I have never known. It made me run a puppy outside in my pajamas at 1 AM so she wouldn’t pee on our floor again. It made me clean up all kinds of poop while gagging off our floor. It made me love something, despite a lack of sleep, more than myself.
This might seem like a ridiculously gushy, stupid post about a dog. I get it, it’s a dog. But, I mean every word of it. I love Presley like a child, because she has been a tool used to change my life in so many ways. She was a gift, and she was a tangible comfort from the Lord. I didn’t deserve Presley, and it definitely didn’t make sense to get her when we did… but that’s just how God always works. You know?
And, cool, now I am highly emotional and teared up.
I love my dog. Judge me. 😉
What are your dog stories? What has having a puppy taught you? Show me pictures!!
Love y’all so much. I hope you enjoy reading this story about Presley as much as I did writing it out!