The moment I saw the little black and white bundle in the palm of her hand, we knew he was the right one for us. He was 3 days old and had these amazing markings that resembled a cow. For the next eight weeks we got videos and pictures documenting milestones like opening his eyes, eating puppy mush, his first snores, and play time. It was difficult not to share these adorable videos and pictures with the kids as we received them but keeping Sonny a surprise was important.
For months the kids had been asking for a dog. We had given every excuse in the book: they are too much work, we are never home, etc. With each excuse they came back with an answer and a commitment of responsibility. They even went as far as inserting baby bulldog on our grocery lists in hopes someone might just come home with one.
Easter weekend arrived and it was time to meet Sonny and take him to his fur ever home. I’m still proud of myself for not spilling the beans. The kids piled into the car thinking we were going on a road trip to visit some friends. Fortunately, they were no strangers to spontaneous road trips, and thought not to question.
We planned to meet at a Cracker Barrell, so I exited off the freeway announcing we were taking a bathroom break. After perusing through the country store, we decided to sit outside and play checkers. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the black and white face of the newest member of our family peeking out of a fleece blanket as he was being carried to his new family.
I sat there waiting for something but not knowing what. My brother and I were playing checkers outside of Cracker Barrell. Mom had insisted we take a rest after being in the car for 3 hours. “AH HA!” I exclaimed as I to one of my brother’s pieces. We both thought we were going to our friend’s house and thought it was weird that we make a stop this close to their home.
I thought about the pictures I saw my mom looking at of bulldog puppies and I remembered how I wrote on her shopping list baby bulldog. I so badly wanted a bulldog puppy, but mom kept telling us we were not ready. A white car drove by, and mom glanced at it with a gleam in her eye, I followed her gaze at the car and became confused as to why she was watching it so intently.
My brother and I started another checkers game, and he silently took one of my pieces as I gladly returned the favor. I heard footsteps behind me, and I glanced back ‘’just a woman and a baby wrapped up in a blanket’’ I thought. A few moments later the woman was at standing at our table and said, “did someone order a puppy?’’ We both looked up and wrapped in the blanket was a black and white bulldog puppy face peeking out. ‘’My list worked!’’ my mind was yelling.
A large smile beamed across my face, and I looked at my mom. She nodded, and I asked ‘’is he ours?’’ The woman replied “yes” as she placed the puppy in my arms. He felt so fragile because he was so small, but at the same time I could see he was strong and sturdy. He had a broad head that was soft to the touch. ‘’What is his name’’ I asked. Mom said we would call him ‘’Sonny’’. As soon as she said his name, Sonny opened his deep brown eyes. I patted his head as my brother looked at him in disbelief. I could tell he was still in shock so I passed Sonny over to him so he could hold him.
My brother was cuddling with Sonny and was cooing him. Mom wanted him to take a picture, so I scooted over, and mom took a picture with a snap. I kept thinking how lucky we were to have such a beautiful puppy and how much love he would be getting from all of us.
As we walked to the car I was bursting on the inside. I could not believe he was ours. On the way home my brother and I took turns petting Sonny and pinching each other to make sure it was real. As Sonny settled in, he snuggled up between us and fell asleep for the rest of the way home.