Tuesday, September 13, 2011

our new puppy.

Today we adopted a dog!

It's something we've been thinking about a lot and now that R is scheduled for a deployment next year, we thought it was time. So we went to an adoption event on Saturday and met some cute puppies. They told us there were more at the shelter in Chesapeake. More puppies? Needless to say, R only had to see the look on my face once before he caved.

We got to the shelter and sure enough, there was a litter of lab puppies. Cute, wrinkly puppy skinned, cuddled all on top of each other, adorable babies. There were a bunch of yellows, a black, and even a foxy brown. As I broke the shelter rules and stuck my finger in the cages so their teensy puppy teeth could nibble me, R and I wondered if one of these could be our dog. We stood up to go look at some of the other dogs, and there he was.

A 2 year old, chocolate lab mix. He was a stray that no one claimed and he'd been there 2 weeks. When we walked up to his crate, he just stood up and looked at us, like, "Hey guys. Can we go home now?" We asked to play with him, and he was all puppy energy, running and fetching a toy...until it was time to pet him. Then he leaned into us, hungry for a good scratch behind the ears, calm and sweet.

We just knew.

So we got the paperwork and set off to get our realtor approval and told him we'd be back for him on Monday. Then for the rest of the weekend, we talked and talked and talked. About dog food and training, socializing him and how we would discipline him. We talked about house training and whether or not we would let him jump on the furniture... We were parents.

We picked him up today. And all afternoon we've been enjoying being "new parents". We shopped for a few of his things, "What about this dog food? No, this bed is too hard. Let get him a bone from the butcher instead." (R's words, not mine. I bet I know who his favorite is going to be...) We worry about every little thing, "Is he eating enough? Do you think he's limping? What is this scrape?" We comment on his every behavior, "Oh look, he sat so nice! You didn't pee inside! You are such a good boy!"

And, in the true test of new parenthood, we debated long and hard over his name. Many options were chosen. He had about three names when we got him home. And then one just stuck; it just seemed like him. It pays homage to Wisconsin (as in Lambeau Field), something we wanted. It's short and easy to yell at a dog park. It's unique. And the more we said it, the more we knew.

His name is Beau.

We are so excited to add a new member to our family and as we learn more about him and his personality, I'm sure you'll be hearing all about him.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

the tale of mr. mousey.

We had a visitor a few days ago. Since I was not able to capture the evening's events on camera, I took the liberty of illustrating what occurred. Here is the story.

Once upon a time, on a quiet evening in August, we were sitting down to dinner. Well, we were standing up because chairs and sitting are hard to draw. And we were eating turkey because that's easy to draw. And I mean, just look at R, he needs all the protein he can get. But anyway, we were just minding our own business when suddenly...

...a little mouse went running by! I screamed and jumped and almost lost my mind.
"Was that a mouse?!" I yelled, hoping R would tell me that it was just my imagination or that it was a fuzzball that flew past. But the look on his face told me that it was not a fuzzball.

At this point in the story, R would like you to know that we are not dirty people, but that we live in a very wooded area. Please do not judge us on account of our little friend, who I named Mr. Mousey.

All my screaming and yelling probably scared Mr. Mousey pretty bad. He stayed hidden for a little while, but then he scurried out of hiding and booked it to a little hole near the fireplace. That's right, he ran right across the room. Mr. Mousey had a lot of gumption.

When I was little, one of my favorite books was 'The Tale of Two Bad Mice' by Beatrix Potter, where two little mice, Tomb Thumb and his wife Hunca Munca sneak into a doll hose and break things and steal the dolly's feather bed. But then they feel really bad about it so Tom Thumb pays for the damage and Hunca Munca comes in and sweeps the dolls house up every morning before anyone wakes up.

R assured me that Mr. Mousey was probably not going to pay us for any damages (we think he chewed up a wooden spoon a while back) and he was definitely not going to help me with the cleaning, so we'd better get some mouse traps.

So we did. And I wish I could say that this story has a happy ending, that I caught Mr. Mousey sweeping one morning and he squeaked his apologies for scaring me and assured me that he did not have a wife and kids, and promised me he'd stay out of our way and even help with the rent as long as we agreed to let him live.

But that is not how this ends. It actually ends a little like a who-dunnit. You see, we set several traps in his hangout spots. But I went out to the garage the other day only to find his little lifeless body in the middle of the floor. No trap, nothing. R and I just stood there for a minute wondering how he died. Maybe just knowing there was a price on his head and that his days were numbered caused his tiny little heart too much stress. Maybe he nibbled on something with chemicals in it.

R would like you to know that it is definitely not because there might be more than one mouse. Because we're not dirty.

Either way, it was a sad day for Mr. Mousey and now I can stop being so jumpy, thinking every thing I hear is a mouse. Goodbye Mr. Mousey.

The End.