Life at the Kellar Estate means never taking the status quo for granted. One minute you’re humming along, thinking you’ve got it all pretty well figured out and then ... well, things change.

— Such was the case this past week. I am not at liberty to go into all of the details, but to make a long story short, we have a new baby. In the next best thing to the stork actually arriving on our doorstep, we accepted a child for what is expected to be an indefinite placement.

His name is Jason, he is almost six months old and, if he wasn’t spoiled rotten before, he currently is in the process of becoming so. He has a big head of dark hair and we are literally having to fight off Reba, Vida’s mom, who insists on putting him to bed each night.

Jaylynn, almost 8, is thrilled to suddenly have a baby brother while her big brother, Nick, 17, barely had time to get to meet the tike before he and the rest of the Greenville High School band took a weekend trip to San Antonio. Still, we could tell he was as charmed as anyone else who has met Jason.

I am still in shock at having a new son who seemed to have dropped out of thin air. It also surprised me how easy the whole process was. Vida and I had talked about foster care in the past, but I had visions of how complicated it might be.

Nope. You fill out a few forms, meet with the folks from the agency and a few weeks later, there you are (or there it is, I guess).

It is impossible to describe what this child, whom we are still learning about, has already meant to our family and how much joy and love we understand we could be sharing in the years ahead. Based on our experience so far, my advice to anyone who is considering being involved in foster care or adoption or anything similar is to just jump in with both feet and hang on. There are lots of kids needing your help and the rewards are more than you can imagine.

— Speaking of continual changes, Jason arrived right on the heels of our other new housemate: Bosco, the Unusually Large Schnauzer Puppy. Bosco is a complete attitudinal opposite from our other dog, Millie, the Vicious Spaniel-Mix Pooch Hound, whom we have had for about three years.

While Millie tends to be quiet and laid back most of the time, Bosco is in constant motion. Bosco wants all the attention he can get from anyone in the room, lives to steal laundry and is endlessly picking fights with Millie in an attempt to wrest the title of “Top Dog” from her. At first, Millie merely tolerated Bosco’s harassment, but has lately taken to fighting back. It normally isn’t a problem, but they tend to want an audience, which means they really put on a show while Vida and I are trying to watch television.

While I want Bosco to focus on why we are outside in the first place during his evening walks, Bosco prefers to use the time either trying to pick a fight with the miniature Doberman who guards the yard behind the Estate, or attempting to woo the female Dalmatian mix next door. Many is the night I struggle to pull Bosco away from the fence while he and his unrequited love try to reenact the balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet”.

— And, speaking of canine drama, I have an absolutely true story to relate to you. In times past, Millie has had occasion to walk through the Estate, favoring her right front paw. The “injury” would heal itself as soon as we checked to see what was the matter. We learned it was an attempt by Millie to gain our attention and that there really was no wound involved. We never imagined how far she would take her act, however.

Wednesday afternoon I was at work when Vida called, concerned how Millie was holding her right front paw high in the air and refusing to walk on it. When I arrived back at the Estate a short time later, there was Millie, huddled with the napping daycare kids, still with a raised paw, whimpering and shaking.

OK, I am not a veterinarian, although to me it appeared there was indeed something the matter, so I decided to take Millie in for an exam. I asked Millie if she wanted to go for a ride and she didn’t move, which was also very strange, as a car ride is the best thing in the world to her.

I gingerly picked up my trembling, whimpering puppy and rushed her to Animal Medical Center, where the attendants promised to see Millie — who still had her trembling paw in the air — as soon as possible.

We sat on the bench in the waiting room, this time with me trembling, as I imagined a series of expensive vet bills.

Millie calmed down and I gently set her on the floor. A kind lady held on to what appeared to be a Terrier a short distance away and suddenly, Millie is trotting over to say hello. Seconds later, Millie is running across the room to check out a little baby and a kitten in a cage, before running back to me.

It’s a miracle!

Imagine my embarrassment as I had to explain to the folks behind the counter that yes, my dog had been faking it the entire time right before we made our escape, with Millie running to the car as she anticipated another ride.

— As if all that wasn’t enough, the Estate played host Saturday morning to the first-ever yard and bake sale benefiting Brownie Scout Troop 565 in Greenville. The event was a rousing success, with the Troop earning enough funds to take a trip to Six Flags Over Texas. The Troop wishes to thank the Goodwill Baptist Church for the use of the tables, Bonded Sisters Book Club members Sheila Sunday and Amy Ensley for the baked goods and all of the individuals who stopped to purchase items.

The yard sale also helped clear out some space inside the Estate, which is a good thing, because apparently you never know what might show up on our doorstep ...

Just a thought ...

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