My son has always loved seeing animals from a distance. He enjoys going to the zoo, animal kingdom, whatever it may be. However, when you would get him face to face with an animal that is a pet, he would freak out. It would get so bad that he would grab his father or I and try to climb up us.
Sometimes when we went to the park someone would have a dog on a leash. My husband and I would look at each other and pray that Carson didn’t notice it, otherwise he would want to leave or he would worry that somehow the dog would get loose. Other times we would prep him and say, “Look, there is a dog coming but it is on a leash and it isn’t going to bother you. Please don’t scream and cry.”
He is now 6 years old. So it went on for a while. Last year a friend of my husbands posted about her cousin selling lab puppies once they were born. We always talked about getting a dog so that maybe it would help him overcome his fear. It would have to be a puppy though. We wanted him to see it small and then have it grow with him.
The puppies were born June 1st and up until that day we had talked to him about getting a dog and he was really excited about it. He loved watching videos of the puppies running around and playing together. Since I have the summers off, Carson and I were usually together and when we had our chance to pick a puppy, it was up to him and I since his dad was working during the week.
We picked up Lexi on Swan Island on a hot summer day in July. My father-in-law came with us so that she could help with the ride home. It took us about 2.5 hours. It was an all day event. I was surprised how well my 1.5 year old did riding for so long.
The next morning when we woke up, the kids would not walk with the puppy running around. My daughter was scared, which I understand because Lexi wasn’t much smaller than she was. And Carson, well I kind of expected it to be a little challenging at first, but I didn’t think I would have to carry my kids around the house for the first day. I was not excited. I called my husband and told him I couldn’t do this all summer. I wasn’t going to have my kids petrified of walking around in their own home. But Carson got so upset when I brought up the idea of giving Lexi back. “She is the best dog ever. I love her so much and I will never love another dog!” he said. Oh boy.
So we kept Lexi. And it has done wonders for Carson. He is no longer afraid of dogs. He doesn’t run and scream or try to climb up my leg anymore. He is even able to go to a friend’s house with a dog and not have to play in one room so that the dog doesn’t bother him. He approaches the dog and pets him. And Kenzie… well she is just as much in love as Carson is. Lexi is so good with her. She lets Kenzie grab her around the neck for hugs and tries to get comfortable when Kenzie thinks she has to sit right on top of her.
I am so glad we decided to stick it out with Lexi. I am thankful for the words Carson shared with me so that we didn’t get rid of her and actually gave it a chance. I can’t imagine our life without Lexi now. My heart is full.