May 20, 2007

Our Newest Addition

5/20/2007 — cori
We went to an organic farm for an awesome day of learning, picnicing and fresh-out-of-doors fun organic puppy?!? Can someone please tell me how this happened? We surely didn't wake up this morning thinking, "Hmmm, if there are free puppies for the taking at the farm today, I think we'll just make a spur of the moment decision that will eventually change the course of our lives forever and just bring it home. Let's give no thought to the myriad of vet bills, shots, supplies and time this will eventually cost us. No, I think acting on impulse and pure emotion is a skill we need to teach our children. We haven't done enough of that." That's just not how my brain thinks. Yet...that is exactly what happened. It was love at first sight. We're suckers, alright!

Here are some of the events I witnessed first hand within the first 24 hours of bringing her home:

1. First, Gavin ate some dog food to see if his new puppy would like it.
2. Then Bennett followed suit and actually liked it.
3. I found Gavin brushing her with my hairbrush.
4. Gavin has already drawn 4 pictures of the new love of his life.
5. Bennett is going around "shushing" all of us because "the puppy is sleeping."
6. Chloe (who is still petrified of dogs) screams at the mere sight of the puppy.
7. Found the boys inside the kennel.
8. Found Gavin intently reading his newest book, "The Chosen Puppy"
9. Found Gavin sleeping in his sleeping bag on the floor next to the kennel, with his face right next to the puppy's so she wouldn't be scared at night.

We held a huge family forum on the drive back from the farm with the newest member of our family. The topic of discussion, "What shall we name the dog?" The three kids instantly said, "Sunshine". Who are we to veto their imaginations? But...that name just didn't strike Chuck or I as something that would stick. We'd had dogs prior to children and had always named them British names, such as: Heathrow, Emma and Libby. We kinda wanted to follow in our previous footsteps. So we started throwing names out of the hat. Man, is it hard to come up with names! Finally, by the grace of God, we all agreed upon Beth. Gavin and Bennett really wanted to call her Elizabeth. So...Elizabeth it is, but you may call her Beth for short - Gavin and Bennett said so.

Okay, now about the breed. Come to find out, we were just handed a 'free' dog that will grow up to become a small giant (oxymoron - as is the word free). Elizabeth just happens to be a Great Pyrenees mix. Upon immediately entering our house and making a mad dash for the computer so that we could Google 'Great Pyrenees', we learn that our adorable little puppy will grow to the healthy size of 80-100 pounds. Ahhh, lovely! But we also learned that you couldn't ask for a more gentle, kind, obedient dog who is also excellent with children. That's a plus because we do have children.

Ah yes, and then there's Chloe and her innate fear of dogs. She has always been scared of dogs. I, too, used to be scared of dogs as a child until we got our own and raised her from a puppy. We thought this would be a wonderful way to slowly show Chloe all the virtues of dog ownership and the multiple benefits that ensue. But she's not buying it. I think she thinks she's fixin to be eaten alive by a 3 pound carnivore. That's the only explanation I can think of for her shrill screams, hiding and river of tears that happen whenever she sees Elizabeth from 25 feet away. Maybe this wasn't such a smart decision afterall...I guess only time will tell.

But on a positive note...our new prodigy has already potty-trained herself, letting us know she needs to go outside. She also doesn't make a mess in her crate - unlike previous pets we've had. This is a strong plus in her favor. Another key point...she doesn't howl all night. At least she didn't last night. I sure hope I won't have to amend that last statement after tonight.

So, I'm sure there will soon be multiple entries with references to Elizabeth in the near future. I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I know something will happen and when it does, I will write about it and it will go down in history as just another one of our crazy, fun-filled, any-thing-can-and-will-happen days!

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