Hannah is a terrier mix (that's euphemism for "part pit bull," and no, she isn't an assassin) who joined us January 2, 2006. Hannah is our first baby, and as we await our real baby any day now, it seems fitting to give her credit for what she has meant to us. Jeremy has always been a dog person, but I was reluctant to get a dog. I did not want some hairball shedding all over my house and insisted whatever we got stay outside. I guess my attitude towards motherhood was similar. I mean, YES, I wanted kids, but I had a far from warm-fuzzy view of the gig. It took about a week for Hannah to convert me from disdainful of dogs to one of those "Who wants to get on the couch with her Mom????" saps I had always made fun of.
(In my defense, look at these pictures from when we brought her home... can you blame me?) So here is why Hannah is so important to me: she helped me realize I can be a mom... maybe even a great mom. Nurturing a puppy and taking care of it sure feels like a preview to parenthood. I look at these pictures and find myself feeling what I'm sure I'll think in just months with my son. "I can't believe you were ever this little!" "They grow up so fast." I mean, Hannah is a DOG, and I am near tears thinking about bringing her home and how much she's grown in the past two and a half years. In that time, she's taught me that you can still clean up someone's pee and poop and still love them. She's shown me that snuggling with someone little and warm is the best antidote for a bad day. She's let me embrace the role of being someone's protector and caretaker, an experience that runs the gamut between giddiness when they do something cute or learn something new and heartbreak when they're sick, hurt, and helpless. I could continue for a LONG time (clearly), but I'll save future Hannah musings for another time. The bottom line: our Hannah Bear has enriched our lives so much, and, indirectly, created the more loving home her little brother is about to enter. Awwwwww!