Perhaps you remember how when we lost our backyard chipmunk this past summer, that Joel promised we could get a dog. But then he kept sort of back-pedaling and saying we'd have to wait all the way until spring or summer, because it's too hard to deal with a puppy in the middle of winter (he was right). But really, he just wasn't too keen on the whole puppy idea anyway.
So, as soon as he said that, I began to research puppies, breeders, rescues, etc. I kind of live in the middle of nowhere, and there just aren't a lot of puppy-obtaining options here, even though it seems that 99% of the population owns a dog. I finally settled on getting some sort of small poodle mix. I grew up with poodles, and they're great dogs, but I was really liking the mixes. Our neighbor across the street, Tim, had a schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle mix) and she was a great dog. I found a breeder near Green Bay (about 4 hours away) that bred both schnoodles and shi-poos, which was my second choice dog.
In December, Tim's dog was hit by a car. He took it really hard (of course!), and I eventually ended up giving him the name of the breeder I'd found in Wisconsin, because he had decided he'd like to get another schnoodle because his dog had been such a wonderful pet. At the end of February, he told me that he'd driven down the day before to have a look at the latest litter and had chosen a puppy. He planned on getting her over Stake Conference weekend, and there was one puppy left.
I immediately felt like this was our puppy. So I called as soon as I got home and placed a deposit on her. We decided not to tell the girls--not only would it be a wonderful surprise, it would save a lot of "when are we getting the puppy?" questions, too.
Stake Conference fell on Chloe's birthday, so it would add an extra special layer to the surprise.
After the Sunday meeting (in which I conducted the stake choir--something I haven't done in AGES since I'm married to a real conductor), we told the girls we were going to follow Tim down to a farm so he could pick up his new puppy. They thought that would be really fun, which is what we were counting on.
When we got to the farm, Joel said he'd go help Tim with "stuff," and the rest of us got out of the car. The girls were immediately enamored of the chickens and roosters, the cows, and the kitty. After a few minutes, Tim and Joel came out with Tim's new puppy. The girls oohed and aahed over her, took turns holding her, and had a wonderful time doting on her. Then Joel said, "Oh girls, there's another puppy in there that I think they'll let us see, too." He went back in and brought our Puccini out, wearing the collar and the ID tag we had brought with us.
Chloe was the first to kneel down and pet her. Joel told her to look at the tag and see what her name was. She happened to see the side with the address and phone number on it first, though, but she quickly realized that this was our puppy. Once the other two heard that, they came rushing over and it was just really fun to see their reaction.
I'd show you the video, but we lost it in a technological accident. I watched it about 5 times, though, so I sort of have it memorized, even though I'm really sad to not have it anymore. Stupid technology.
I did take pictures, though!
In fact, when Bria wrote her biography for a school project a few months ago, the last line said "Bria wishes she had a dog with all of her whole heart." I'm so happy she finally has one. And I think you can tell from this picture that she's pretty thrilled, herself.
The ride home was long, but Puccini did great and has assimilated herself into our family quite well. She loves Joel best, and Joel is in love with her, too. Of course, I knew it would happen that way, and I'm glad it did. She's a puppy, and she's lots of hard work, but it has all been nothing but wonderful for us.
Even if she did poop in the house three times today.