Friday, July 3, 2015

There's Something New Around Here

Almost as soon as we put our sweet ole Beck down, I started thinking about a puppy. The year has just been SO sad. I can't make a birth mother choose our family. I can't get my boys the sister they pray for every night. But a puppy, well, that I can do.

I asked my parents what they thought because we'll be with them for over two weeks this month. So they kind of needed to weigh in. My arguments were strong. The boys got out of school today and don't go back for six weeks. It's the perfect time for all of us to love a puppy and train a puppy and really get to experience the joys (and horrors) of a puppy. Additionally, I talked about my sad, sad children and how I just really wanted to bring them some NOT SAD. My parents concurred that the whole puppy thing really kind of needed to happen. At least, that's what they said to me. Behind closed doors they probably cursed me and my cockamamie ideas.

We started looking. And we found this litter of puppies that would be ready for their forever homes on July 2. There were ten of them...
(Focus in on the puppy on the left because we fell in love with her.)

We met her when she was five weeks old. It would be another two weeks before we could bring her home. That was actually good. Our house was sad and lonely without our Beckster but I don't think I was ready for a yapping ball of fur. Beck was old and broken in. He was nothing at all like the little curious furball we brought home today.

We saw her on a Thursday but didn't actually put a deposit down until two days later. We got to see her again and play with her and fall in love and decide that waiting twelve days might KILL US ALL DEAD.

But then it didn't. Today we picked Garrett up from his last day of school and went to pick up our girl. Over the past twelve days, we've whittled a whopping 22 names down to one. 

I loved the idea of a Tahoe related name and came up with several (terrible ones) that we rejected right off the bat. Ponderosa (Rosa). Little Jo(sephine). Fanny. (Troy refused to stand outside at night and yell, "Fanny!" for all the world to hear.) There were several others like Rubicon (Ruby), Dixie (for M.S. Dixie), Lake and River that stuck around for awhile but didn't ultimately make the cut. We also threw in several others that had not a thing to do with Tahoe. We also loved Summer because, well, it's the best time of year.

On the day we decided to put down a deposit on her, Garrett threw out Tessie for the legend of the lake monster, Tahoe Tessie. I didn't love it. It had already crossed my mind but I didn't want to go with it so I didn't say anything. "Tessie!" he'd yelled with enthusiasm, so proud of his creativity. And, truthfully, I do love that it's a total reference to my favorite vacation spot but it's not so overt that everyone we come into contact with will know it.

Still, I wasn't ready to commit. I realized that she was born the day my mom and I went to The Cloisters and Rockefeller Center and Magnolia Bakery. "Magnolia! MAGGIE!" I threw out. (Because that is a very cute name and who doesn't want to share their name with a delicious cupcake shop?)

But my eight year old had all but contacted the American Kennel Club himself to confirm that his pup would be named Tessie. In a last ditch effort, I texted Troy and asked him if he was sure we didn't want to go with Maggie. I received this picture with the caption, "The Diet Coke has spoken."

And it's perfect really. Because golden retrievers are notoriously known for their long lasting puppy stage. Who better to name a dog after than a fictional (I hope) monster? Today we officially registered her as Tahoe Tessie Lady of the Lake. (We might as well throw two legends in to one name, right? Why not?)

But, we've already taken to calling her Tessie, Tess, The Tess, Little Miss, and Red (the breeder called her Red Girl) so she's not lacking for nicknames.

The boys are head over heels in love with her already. And, what with her popcorn paws and puppy breath, it'd be nearly impossible not to love her.

His smile says it all. My heart is so happy to see the grins of pure excitement on the faces of my boys. Also, Tessie is one cool cat, er, dog.

Speaking of cats, these two do not love each other. Oliver has been moping around since his best friend died and you'd think he'd be happy but this is definitely NOT his best friend. She is small and smells funny and is very unpredictable. Their encounters today were based on a mutual terror of one another. At one point they went nose to nose for the briefest of seconds before Oliver recoiled and Tessie ran away and hid. Every time Ollie would make a cat sound, Tessie crept away and stood in the corner.

At one point, Tessie zonked out and Oliver approached. I managed to snap this picture before he ran away again. I have high hopes that they'll get along soon enough. Today it was just a victory on account of the fact that Ollie didn't hiss and/or claw at Tess and she didn't try to eat him. (She's a VERY mouthy puppy which is VERY not awesome. I was on the couch tonight with my foot hanging off and she stalked it, leaped up and bit my toe before I ever even knew she was there. Those puppy teeth sure are sharp.)

We can't replace Beck. He was our very first baby. Our practice child. If we could keep him alive, we could try our hand at actual human babies. And we managed for eleven and a half years to do that very thing. He is gone but never forgotten.

However, if you're going to bring another one home in an attempt to heal hearts, it might as well look like this...

Tahoe Tessie Lady of the Lake--May 14, 2015

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