For many years, since our second marriage ceremony back in December 2008 in front of our friends and family, people have been wondering when we are going to welcome a child into this world. The truth is that we are not sure that might even happen, with my wife dealing with her lupus, which by itself makes it harder to conceive. So while my wife deal with the never ending wishes of others to press her to have a child, our conversation was more towards having a fur child in the home for the time being. My wife was more of a cat person, which I am not too fond of, and I was more of a dog person since I grew up with them all my life. For about two years, on and off, we had this conversation about which four legged companion we would have to become part of the family.
When it was agreed that we would add a dog to the family, our search was on to see which breed and the limit on how old we wanted the dog to be. I don’t remember how long our search was, but I knew it wasn’t long before we found the one dog that we wanted. Once we found the one we were interested in getting, we saw that we would need to go somewhere outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to an Amish community. Then the next thing was to decide when to go get him and if we would bring anyone with us. Well, we ended up bringing my wife’s mother and step-father with us for a road trip, which was Thanksgiving Day weekend since they came down to visit anyway. It was that Saturday after Thanksgiving, in November 2012, that we all piled in my car and drove at least two hours to the farm.
When we first saw our new family pet online, he was named ‘Augustus’, which we did not fall in love with at all. During our trip up to Pennsylvania, we were so excited that we were taking the next step to expand our family and have one more thing to be responsible for. I felt like we were ready, but of course, my wife was a little nervous since she didn’t grow up with dogs and that she is also allergic to them as well. But, she took a leap of faith and went with me on this endeavor and years later she loves it! Once we got to the farm, we met with the breeder who immediately went and brought out Augustus and his two brothers for us to look at. After they were placed in a small circular area where they were surrounded by a thin wired fence, I stepped closer to see which one would be the lucky one. I looked down and noticed that Augustus was trying to climb over fence to get to us.
I pointed him out and told the breeder Augustus was the one I wanted! So right then and there I purchased Augustus from the farm and we made the trip back home to Laurel, Maryland. Augustus, who was renamed Romeo days later, sat in the backseat obviously scared and nervous. However, we wouldn’t make it home just that easy. I believed it happened as we were coming back through Baltimore County, but didn’t realize until we were just a few miles away from our apartment. On the final stretch of our trip home, I noticed the car was driving funny and quickly realized that I had gotten a flat tire!! Oh boy! Of course, not the way you want end your road trip and not the way you want to start out with your family addition.
We eventually got the tire changed and got back home safely. The first night Romeo stayed in the corner, underneath our computer desk, and starred at me all night long. It took him about a couple of days before he finally broke out of his shell and began to being the playful Lab that he is today. I was lying on the floor, on my back with my arms out to the side, when I felt a snip at my fingers and saw Romeo jump behind the wall. Of course, once he saw me respond to him in an acceptable way, he just lapped it up!! Nearly four years later he is the smartest dog that I have ever owned and can determine when I am coming home and loves routine. Romeo has turned four years old, back in July, and is already showing some grey hairs, which makes us kind of sad because we know he is getting old on us, but he hasn’t lost a step yet.
So for now, Romeo is our son and pretty much acts like a child without being able to speak English. We have had him with us for such a long time that I can barely remember sometimes about our life before we brought him along for the ride. Lots of memories have been spurred since we got ‘the bud’ and I’m sure many more will come as the days, months and years past. Love you boy!!