Meet Jake - the newest addition to our family unit. It has been about 1-1/2 years since we've had a dog in our home - some tragic circumstances caused the death of our previous dog, and since then there has been much discussion about when it would be the right time to get a new dog, would he be in indoor or outdoor dog, how would we split out the duties so no one felt over-burdened by our new bundle of joy, etc, etc, etc.
Frankly, the last 6 months has been mostly hemming, hawing, and arguing - but all was brought to an abrupt halt by the ice-cold willpower of Papa Chuck, who held up his end of the quitting smoking bargain (yep, that's another post all on its own), and demanded immediate payment on all deals, written or verbal, in the form of a canine companion for our boys.
- . . . side note - on the way to Waterville last weekend, we had the luxury of getting to use the Sirius radio. On one of Matt's memos (you can set it to beep when your favorite songs/artists come on a different channel than what you are listening to), Pirates of the Mississippi, came up singing a classic song that Matt and I remember from our high school/college years - Feed Jake. It was a nostalgic moment that put the song at the forefront of our minds. As is probably obvious by now, this will be important later in the story . . .
We had been casually looking through the ads each week, and last week I found an ad for Jake's litter. So, the gal brought Matt some pictures at work, and we found ourselves loading up in the car and heading to a nearby town to pick him up. We didn't tell the boys what we were doing or where we were going. Actually, after a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up some puppy things and groceries (Matt got puppy things and hid them in the car - the boys and I got groceries), the boys were fighting and carrying on so much in the back seat, that they didn't realize we weren't heading home until about 30 miles into our journey!
We picked Jake (at that point, he was actually no-name boy puppy) up without incident, and piled back into the car to head home - No-Name-Boy-Puppy nestled comfortably in the back seat between the boys.
I grabbed a pen and paper, and we started a name list. What an interesting experience. The boys are so creative, but they can also be pretty ornery - many of the suggested names dealt directly with how big of poop Jake will have when he is full grown. Isn't it fun living in a house full of boys? Anyway, here is a sampling of the name-storming session: Narsan, Cub, Woof-puff, Sparkle, Mojo, Grump, Nugget, Jake, Jedi, Han, Saber, Red, Deuce, Nick, Rudolph - and many, many others. All-in-all, we had about 30 names by the end of the session.
Our next step was for each person to pick their two favorites - because a couple of us picked Jake, we were down to a 7-name pool. Next step was that everyone could eliminate one name from the pool, which put us down to 3 names: Narsan (you guessed it, there's a story here, which I'm sure will be blogged in the near future), Bud, and Jake. Jake won, 3-1.
It's been a great couple of days, watching the boys play with their new dog, remembering what a puppy smells like, buying some fun and cool new puppy things, and just seeing every one's attitude around the house kind of lifted. It's also been a challenge - remembering that new puppies whimper for their mama through most of the night (Colton wanted to either take him back or go back and buy the mama, too!), potty training, keeping all chewable objects off the floor, and rescheduling our routines to include one more little guy who currently has lots of needs!
Matt, bless his heart, has really lost every battle on this road, and has still come through it with a happy heart. Thanks, honey, for letting our boys (and me) have another puppy. Thanks for allowing democracy to rule during the name-picking, and not resorting to a dictator philosophy so you could have your way (although, if Woof-puff had made it any farther in the running, I may have conceded to the dictator!). Thanks for letting him be a house dog (not lap dog!), even though he's going to be as big as a horse when he's full-grown. Thanks for helping with the late-night potty breaks, and for being patient with the boys as they learn about their new responsibilities. You are a great daddy!
And now, thanks to the Pirates of the Mississippi, I don't have to think of a clever way to end this long, long post that has stretched out further than I intended. I'll just leave you with . . .
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake, feed Jake,
He's been a good dog,
My best friend right through it all,
If I die before I wake,