Sunday, February 27, 2011

Baby #4

Congratulations are in order! I finally talked Ben into another baby - no, not a human baby (that probably would have been an easier sell, to tell you the truth) but one of the canine variety. Her stats first, then the story. The puppy is a labradoodle (half labrador retriever and half poodle), born Jan. 30, a girl, with a very curly coat and will probably mature to around 45-50 lbs.

Here's the story: Fiona has been asking for a dog since she could ask for anything. We have been putting her off with a variety of excuses, but a year or so ago I told her that when Matilda was walking and talking we would look into a dog. So last fall, when we learned that the mother to my mom's dog (Barkley) would be having her final litter soon, we began the campaign to win Ben over. And let me tell you, he made us work for this one! He was not going to go merrily into dog ownership, no, no, not at all. Linda had taken on the task of gently introducing Ben to the idea, but he was not taking the bait. So when the puppies were born I stepped things up, showing him pictures of the puppies and making lots of meatloaf for dinner. We went last weekend, while we were at the Great Wolf Lodge, to look at them without the kids. Ben lasted another 5 days before finally giving the green light.

Here's Fiona, holding Lily

Before I go much further, I should explain why we want a puppy from Daisy (Barkley's mom) so badly. To put it in simple terms, she is one of the finest examples of a dog I have ever met. She has a marvelous personality, practically human, and seems to pass those traits on to her offspring. She is also cute as a bug and was bred to another doodle whose coat is really curly. My mom's dog Barkley, one of Daisy's offspring, is wonderful with the kids, and is very calm and sensible. And as a labradoodle, the puppy should not bother Ben's allergies. Also, the breeder is incredibly responsible with her breeding and raising of the puppies. They are inspected and certified for everything possible, and I have the utmost confidence in this arrangement. With young children involved, one wants the most number of guarantees possible to avoid heartbreak, you know? I realize that in many ways it would be vastly preferable to adopt a pet from the shelter, but at this point this seems like the best choice for us. Primarily because Ben is really allergic to dogs and he is already sacrificing enough for this whole enterprise. Anyway, enough on all that, on to the rest of the story...

Whose puppy is this anyway??

Well, all this time I had not said a word to the kids about this possibility. We decided that this should be Fiona's puppy, and that she should pick it out and name it. The puppies are 4 weeks old today, so we went up to Traverse City to meet them and pick one out. Fiona picked a female dog, the largest of the females and also the one with the curliest coat, and named her Lily. Fi was so cute, she was so surprised she didn't know what to do. Rachel was a superstar - in the car, on the way to the kennel, we had told her what was going on so that she could be prepared. She was very gracious and hung back so that Fiona could have her moment in the sun. After 10 minutes or so, Rachel asked if she could come in the pen and hold the puppies, but she was really careful not to take away from Fi's experience. I was so proud of both of them.

Rachel, with one of the little boys

So, we'll bring home our Lily on or around March 25, the first weekend of our spring break. I am sure we'll have much more to say on this subject, and many more pictures, but we are all looking forward to her arrival. I am absolutely positive that Lily will be a great addition to our family. Once she is housebroken and has stopped eating our shoes!!

1 comment:

Dan said...

If Lily is even half as wonderful as Barkley (and we know she'll be way more than half), she'll be a terrific addition to the family! I can hardly wait to meet her :-}