Monday, November 16, 2009

Our New Family Member, the First

Over the past few months, the wife and I have been talking about getting a second dog. Mostly, we're interested in this to help socialize our first dog, Sadie, when it comes to members of her species. Partly, though, the wife just wants a truly enormous dog and preferably a full blooded St. Bernard. As I've detailed at some point in the past, the wife likes St. Bernards and has wanted another for a while now. Sadie is allegedly part St. Bernard, but the other half of her is Border Collie (again, so we think) and that offsets the overall size and drool factors (some of us would say nicely) while amping up the intelligence, stubbornness and energy. It's a great mix, really, but the wife would still like nothing better than to get a "real" St. Bernard, cause Sadie seems to have topped out at only 70 pounds.

Three Sundays ago, as merely a theoretical discussion, we happened to bring up the topic of a potential future second dog over breakfast. We agreed that, again in theory, a second dog might be a good idea. At least one of us in the conversation, however, was of the opinion that discussions were about as far as the subject would take us for probably another few months. Then, an hour or so later, I was working at the computer when the wife called from the living room, saying, "You need to come see this." I found her seated before her laptop with the picture of a brown puppy with a black nose centered in its screen. The wife, you see, had decided to surf by a St. Bernard rescue page--which is how we originally found Sadie. What she'd found was a painfully cute puppy listed as a mix of St. Bernard and Leonberger and located what turned out to be a couple hours drive from us. Now, I'd not really heard of Leonberger before, outside of possibly seeing one on a dog show on Animal Planet one time. But they looked kind of cool and were supposed to be a mix of St. Bernard, Newfoundland and Great Pyrenees. In other words, a butt-ass large dog.

The wife called the humane society where the puppy was located and asked if he was still there. They said he wasn't, which was disappointing news until they backed up and clarified that he had been taken to an adoption fair for the afternoon and if he wasn't adopted there he would be taken by a lady in New York.

"How do we get to the adoption fair?" the wife asked.

A couple hours later, me, the wife and Sadie pulled up to the parking lot of a movie theater in Grundy, VA, where there was indeed an adoption fair in full swing. Before we could even leave the car, we spotted a young lady holding the very puppy we came to seek. He was even cuter in person. He was also the last of a litter of six, all of which had already been adopted. The wife held him for a few minutes and even carried him over to the car to see what Sadie's reaction would be. Sadie barked at him, of course, but she was barking at everything at that point. The new pooch was a little scared at this, but still very sweet and just ridiculously cute. I paid the $30 adoption fee and after a quick stop for a pre-trip potty break, we hit the road home.

Once in our own yard, it took Sadie a couple of hours to get used to the new guy. We weren't sure if she was considering whether or not he would be good to eat, for a while, because she began drooling. And, on occasion, she did try to squash him by collapsing her front half on top of him, pinning him wrestlig-style, or just mashing him with a paw. But after a brief period of nervousness around Sadie, the new puppy warmed up and began to play back, biting and barking with the best of them. His little voice sounded kind of hoarse and squeaky and we wondered if he had laryngitis from yipping away in his cage back at the pound.

While neither we nor the humane society knew how old he was, exactly, I was guessing from his size that he was around 6 or 7 weeks old. (We got Sadie at around 8 to 10 weeks. )

It took us several hours of brainstorming to come up with a name. We considered things like Leon, Louie, Grundy, and Pudding Head Jenkins. Eventually we decided to follow my family's longstanding tradition of giving animals a name and then calling them something else entirely (i.e. Boots = Bay, Luke = Boo, Winston Churchill: The Infinitely Bad Kitty = the Kitty or Hey Cat, Avie = Kissy, Sadie = Sadie Mac Dog or Mac or Say Say or Mactastic, etc.). So we named him Seamus, but exclusively call him "Moose" for short. It just seems to fit.



Daisy Porter said...

omg, he's *ridiculously* cute.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say *exactly* what Daisy said.