Much of the daily drama in my life does not come from my kids. I’d say ranked right up there is the furry one in the house – Bella the 13 pound Yorkshire Terrier. We say she’s part Yorkie and part shark. We also like to refer to her as a Yorkshire “Terror”ier. We bought Bella almost 8 years ago as training wheels for kids. We lived in NYC at the time and thought (as many moms-in-training do) that if I could keep a little dog alive, I could certainly keep a child alive. How naive I was. We bought a Yorkie because I wanted a dog I could tote around in my purse. We were sold a bill of goods because before we knew it, she was far too large for even my largest tote bag and was constantly trying to leap right onto the sidewalk from my bag. Apparently, we also didn’t read the “do you REALLY want a Yorkie” handbook thoroughly because somehow we missed the chapters that Yorkies bark constantly and truly hate children. All this being said, I loved Bella – no, I take that back – I was OBSESSED with Bella for the first 3 1/2 years of her life. I was one of those people who talked about her dog as if she was a child to people with children and now I see why they had that, “oh god make her stop” look on their faces as I went on and on about how wonderful she was. Sadly, the day Hannah was born Bella fell down the ladder one rung and when Luke was born down two or three more rungs. I’m not ready to have her live in the garage or ready to send her off to the “farm” upstate, but the time I have in my day to show her the love I used to, is significantly less. I’m looking at her as I write (Luke is asleep and Hannah is at school) and she’s lying on her back on her cushion in the sunshine, all 4 legs up in the air, with a hairtie in her hair (she’s in BAD need of a haircut and until I can get her to the groomer I thought it would be kind of me to get her hair out of her face so she could see where she’s going) and I’m remembering why/how I love her so much still. But I know at any moment someone could walk by and she will give her “I think I’m a German Shephard” bark and wake Luke up. And when he does get up she’ll start whining and whining (like I don’t hear enough whining from my kids!) for attention and Luke will start chasing her around trying to pull her tail and I’ll worry that she’ll snap his finger off. And when I eat my dinner she’ll beg until I actually show her my plate to prove there’s nothing left to eat. Some days I want to jump out of my skin because she causes such a commotion, but other days… when I’m sad or sick or lonely, and somehow she knows I need a cuddle, I know she’ll be there with her head in my lap, licking my hands and legs and I’ll remember that although she was in no way training wheels for the drama in my life, she’s absolutely a big, important part of it.