It was supposed to be a quiet evening away from the kids.

Every few months, some generous church servants volunteer to host a parents night out. For three and a half hours, we can remember what it was like to be kid-free. After devouring a few too many Red Lobster cheese biscuits we decided to walk around the mall. We have to make best use of our time in the “big city” when we get the chance.

We only made it as far as the 1st shop inside the entrance. His floppy white paws and pleading eyes caught our attention immediately. We were supposed to be focusing on us, but we couldn’t stop thinking about surprising our kids with a new best friend. They would be ecstatic.

Our hunch was right. They have fallen in love with him. So far, the fun seems to outweigh the responsibility of feeding and cleaning up after a new pet (at least for the three youngest family members).

The first several nights were traumatic for the little guy.

New smells. New places. New toys. New people. New cage.

He hated the cage.

His cries were enough to wake the neighborhood. If only he realized that we had his best interest in mind when we added the soft bed and stuffed frog to keep him warm. If only he realized that the bacon-flavored bone would be the perfect answer for his sore puppy teeth. If only he realized the bars that felt like prison were meant for his safety.

Each day with our new buddy seems to be slightly better than the last. Learning our family routines and expectations, gives him a comfort and confidence to settle into our home. He is realizing that his crate offers him a quiet, undisturbed place to escape from toddler hugs.

This new chapter for our family has brought with it a thousand changes and many lessons (practical and spiritual). New puppy brain-fog keeps me from elaborating, so a picture will have to be worth a thousand words for now.