When Luke was 4, we bought him a puppy- the cutest little Yorkie-Poodle you ever did see. We named him McCarthy. McCarthy James. The dream, the goal, was that Luke and McCarthy would grow up together and be the best of buds.
What we didn’t think was McCarthy would become a mama’s boy and want nothing to do with Luke. Ever. Like, to the point where 11-year-old Luke would try to pick him up and McCarthy would growl at him. Grouchy ol’ man McCarthy.
We promised Luke that when we move into a bigger house he could get a dog of his own. Thing is, we’ve been talking about moving for probably six years now. And just when we were getting serious about doing the minor house repairs and getting it ready for the market last summer, diabetes happened.
Last weekend, Joel and I were out on our Valentine’s Day date and we got this crazy idea…
Let’s get Luke a bearded dragon!
As soon as it came out of my mouth, I was regretting even bringing it up. Joel calls up a buddy who has one to get details- What do you feed it? Is it good for 12-year-olds? Does it run fast if it gets out of its cage? As he was talking to said friend, I was googling, “life span of a bearded dragon.” 15-20 years. “JOEL! STOP! We are NOT getting a bearded dragon! I will NOT take care of a bearded dragon when Luke goes off to Notre Dame to get his medical degree. (Hee hee.) He agreed. Fortunately.
But let’s get him SOMETHING. Let’s surprise him. A guinea pig? They’re social animals, though. We’d have to get two. Hamsters? They’re nocturnal. No way. Turtles? Too boring. They just sit there and crawl around sometimes. Gerbils? Hmmm… maybe a gerbil or two!
So we drive to PetSmart. Apparently gerbils are a hot Valentine’s Day gift. They were sold out. But… but… BUT…
PetsConnect! has some rescue animals at the store! Let’s just go look.
Oh. My. Word. LOOK AT CORBY!
He was the sweetest little pooch. And he actually won Joel over. Every time I would walk by the cage, Corby just laid there. Every time Joel would walk by the cage, Corby would stand up and waggle his little nub. Good boy, Corby. Good boy.
Needless to say, we filled out an adoption application. We were shoo-ins, of course. They say they had other applicants for him. But two teachers, one of which is home all summer, with one child who is a very mature 12-year-old? AND they already have a Yorkie mix who is fully vetted? Shoo-ins I say.
We didn’t tell Luke we got him a dog. We told him he should have his room cleaned by the time we got back home. We told him gerbils tend to nibble on toys left out. Luke claims he figured it out before we got home. Dad has a hard time keeping secrets.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Luke.
Oh, and we changed his name.
Meet Charles Edward Finley. We call him Finn.