Not Your Average Pet: How Getting a Dog Changed My Family's Life for the Better

Emir, Ayelén and Mochy.Emir, Ayelén and Mochy.

Almost fours year ago, for his 5th birthday, my son Emir asked for a little dog. It was a dream for us to hear him talking and requesting something so specific. Those are the times when we parents would bring down the heavens for them if we could, but realistically, it's not always possible.

We lived in a very small apartment then. Emir was allergic to many things and he was repeatedly having respiratory infections. So after feeling excited about his wish, I came back to reality, knowing that getting him a dog was not possible at the time.

But when a pure heart dreams, dreams may come true.

Our neighbor was walking her dog when Emir saw her. He was delighted and surprised. She was a shy, tiny little doggie. With the intention of giving Emir the experience of taking care of a dog, I told our neighbor we would dog sit for free at any time. She happily agreed.

The next day, I opened the door to a surprise. There was my neighbor holding her little dog while telling me that she was unable to keep taking care of her. She said she didn't have enough energy to give her a good life, as she was too old to walk her and provide her with the quality of life she deserved. She said,"Listen, I know this family will be a perfect fit for her. I live next door, so if at any time she misses me, let her walk to my door." That was her only condition for giving us the opportunity to adopt "Mulchy." Our Yorkshire arrived on the same day Emir turned five.

Rapidly "Mulchy" turned into "Mochy," as a result of two kids with speech challenges and a Latina mom with a strong Hispanic accent.

Related: The top 10 most popular dog breeds of 2012

"Mochy" grew up in an American home with a mature lady, so just imagine her reaction when she woke up the next day in a very Latin family, surrounded by two little ones trying to catch her.

She was grumpy and upset. People were speaking in another language. A little girl was trying to dress her up with doll clothing, and a hyperactive little guy was throwing her a ball. On top of that, nobody knew how to pronounce her name correctly. I can picture her thinking, "What's wrong with these people?"

But sooner than we ever expected, Mochy became an essential part of our lives.

- On those days when the kids are sick, she sits next to me while I keep track of their temperatures or give them a respiratory treatment.

- She wakes up with me, and waits for me to go to bed at the end the day.

- She takes care of us the whole night. She's always alert and ready to go check on the simplest sound she may hear.

- She's not only bilingual by now, but also perfectly understands what my kids want to say. She doesn't see them as different. She just treats them as what they are, two kiddos who drive her crazy sometimes, and other times make her smile (yes, she smiles).

- She has learned to play dolls, hide and seek and how to catch a ball.

- She's the only one brave enough to take a nap at the middle of the day while the kids jump on top of her. She trusts them.

- She wakes up every day happy and excited, and awakes the kids with a wet kiss.

- Sometimes I write an article or two, and she's the first one to listen to them. She never complains, but instead listens carefully and always wags her tail at the end.

- She's loyal, honest and mature. She knows when to play and also when to give the kids "that look."

I love this dog. She's a blessing to our lives. Sometimes I feel like I don´t know how to pay her back for her unconditional love and dedication to us, so I send her for a bubble bath or a day at the spa. She deserves it! Her plate is always clean and her water fresh. She has a fancy pink leash and a beautiful bed. Sometimes she steals the kids' candy, but that's okay. She's allowed to misbehave sometimes.

Those are those moments in life when God, or whatever you want to call it, surprises us deeply. That day our neighbor knocked on my door and handed us our Mochy was one of those moments.

- By Eliana Tardio
Follow Eliana on Babble

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