Thursday, April 22, 2010

Puppy Love--Our Own Beagle

Last night while I was standing outside in the pouring rain waiting for the puppy to do "it's business", I wondered, yet again, how we had ever ended up the owners of a puppy. I put off writing about our experiences with Daisy because Utah Dad got such a hard time from his dog-hating family after I wrote about our initial discussions about owning a dog a few months ago. But Daisy is obviously here (most of his family knows that we have succumbed to the "dark side") and we love her, so it's about time I write about it on the blog.

Early last week I caught Utah Dad looking at Beagle websites on his computer. I didn't realize just how much he wanted a puppy for our family. I mistakenly thought it was a phase that would go away with time. That night we had another long conversations about the benefits of having a dog. Utah Dad felt that owning and training a puppy would teach the kids responsibility and that it would be especially good for Neal who has been having a rough time lately. Just that afternoon, Neal had come home from a bad day at school and Utah Dad thought that if he had a puppy to love and play with, it would help cheer him up. Utah Dad was going on and on about emotional stability.

In secret, Utah Dad had continued his research on dog breeds and still felt that a beagle (they're very gentle with young children) would be the best fit. He showed me some websites that were selling beagles and I balked at the price of shipping a puppy from the Midwest (because I'm cheap). Besides, I wasn't going to buy a puppy online. I wanted to be sure that it was actually cute. There was no way I was going to own an ugly dog. I pointed out that certainly there were beagle breeders in Utah and suggested that we look on That was the tipping point. There were lots of beagles for sell in Utah. In fact, there were several litters of puppies in the neighboring towns. Owning a beagle puppy just became a lot more of a possibility. While I was on I also looked longingly and nostalgically at Labrador puppies. Oh. So cute. Utah Dad shook his head. A lab would get too big and eat too much food.

Anyway, Utah Dad and I decided to continue to think and pray about it and go look at puppies on Saturday. But Thursday morning as I was getting ready to take the younger kids and run errands, Utah Dad stuck his head out the door of his home office. "There are beagle puppies for sell in ----" he told me. "I just talked to the owner. She posted the deal yesterday and has already sold six. She only has three left. I told her that you would be coming to see them today."

I took Thomas and Lilly and we went to see the puppies. I was prepared to negotiate on the price. I was prepared to walk away if they weren't cute. I was prepared to come home empty handed. But oh, they were cute. Really cute. With droopy, begging brown eyes and soft floppy ears and freckles on their noses. And how do you negotiate on the price when your children are hugging on a puppy? After all, it's not a car. I couldn't just walk away. Right? We picked our favorite and asked the owner if she would hold on to the puppy until we finished our errands (which now included a stop at IFA for puppy goods).

Our new puppy rode happily on the seat of the car between Thomas and Lilly. She snuggled up to Thomas and he pet her all the way home. I couldn't help smiling as I glanced at them through the mirror. The older kids were just getting home from school when we arrived. Neal had two friends over and they all greeted the new puppy with squeals and surprise. After all, Utah Dad and I hadn't let them in on our most recent "dog conversations".

There really is nothing cuter than a little boy playing with his little dog. My cold heart melted a little more.

Deciding on a name for our puppy was surprisingly easy. I suggested the name "Daisy" for our girl puppy and everyone (except one of Neal's friends who only got a half vote) agreed.

Everyone loves the puppy. Neal and Amberly wake early every morning so that they can take her outside, feed her and play with her before school. The puppy especially loves to cuddle with Neal who is old enough to hold still for a few minutes, anyway.

Amberly loves to hug the puppy and is working on training her to sit. Two nights after we got the puppy, I was tucking Amberly into bed and she said, "The last two days have felt like a dream."

Thomas loves to have Daisy keep him company while he digs the hole in our backyard (he sincerely believes that there is a buried treasure down there--I'm afraid he's going to dig all the way to China). Daisy loves to chase Thomas around the yard.

Lilly is slightly apprehensive. The puppy is smaller than she is but has been successful at knocking her down and licking her face ("The puppy is eating my face," she screams). Lilly is learning to stand up when the puppy comes to her and we are trying to teach the puppy not to jump or lick.

Molly was completely freaked out but strangely intrigued by Daisy. Molly would follow the puppy around but then scream when the puppy moved. Molly preferred to watch the puppy from behind the window. However, last night, Molly was brave and reached out to pet the puppy when I held her in my lap. We're spending more time outside together (it did finally get warm for a few days in a row) and going on walks.

Of course, the kids have school and so the main responsibility *surprise* for the puppy has been Utah Dad's and mine. We are the ones waking several times in the middle of the night to take the puppy from her crate inside (I don't want the neighbors to stay up all night listening to a bawling hound dog and therefore hate me) to the far corner of the yard so that she can relieve herself. Daisy did cry most of the time the first night but she has gotten much better. She also seems to be learning what part of the yard is OK to relieve herself.

Since we got Daisy, we are realizing the realities of owning a beagle (I keep calling her a bagel--food is just always on my mind). While at Barnes and Noble during our double date on Saturday night we bought "The Beagle" by Diane Morgan. If you are considering owning a beagle, I would suggest going to the library and reading this book. If you still decide to buy a beagle, then I would suggest that you buy the book.

Utah Dad and I were both a bit overwhelmed when we read in the training section of the book: ". . . an owner so beguiled by the soft eyes and tender expression of this breed that she is completely misled about its true character: stubborn, willful, determined, independent, obstinate, unyielding, uncompromising, strong willed, bullheaded, muleheaded, pigheaded, headstrong, and tenacious (p.96)." Basically, Daisy fits in the family quite well. She's just like our kids.


Katie Stoddart said...

Daisy is so cute! I am glad that everyone is enjoying have a puppy. It is a lot easier to fall in love with a puppy than an adult dog. THen when they are naughty you don't get quite as mad :)

Marie said...

I want one too! Maybe we can just visit yours. :)

anna said...

I am still in shock, but that could be due to fever and the flu. My brain isn't processing things well. Maybe when I come out of this sick fog I will discover it was just a dream or a joke. Seriously, you got a dog?? I am happy for you guys if you are happy. Well as happy as I can be withe and Clarke both so sick we had to call our home teacher to go buy us medicine and bread. I'm hoping for a speedy recovery to make it to the wedding.

Scott said...

Cute kids, they remind me of our family.