OK, so these pictures will seem really out of order until I tell you the whole story and the whole truth about how we got Duchess. How come there are pictures of us at home with the dog first and then us at the pet store buying her second? Let me tell you.
So, Saturday, August 20, 2011, I went out in the morning to get supplies for Jase's birthday party which was a family affair due to start at 5 pm that afternoon. A part of my errands included a stop at Office Max which was right by PetSmart. We had been talking about getting a dog around Christmas, so since I was there without the children, I decided to go in and ask about various recues and adoption options around town.
Lo and behold, there was an adoption / rescue set up right there in the store for the day. I asked questions about getting a puppy vs. a dog, pure bred vs. mix breed, costs and shots, etc. We knew we wanted a smaller dog and preferred a mix breed. If we could rescue one and get it at a low price, that would be a huge plus in our book. The lady told me she had two mix breed puppies coming in one hour that were rescues from Georgia where they have a 3 day euthanize policy. I told her I was just asking questions at this point, but thanks for the information. This is where I thought the dog part of the day would end. Boy was I wrong!
I went home and while the children were upstairs cleaning their rooms before the party, I talked with Jason about what the rescue people said. To my shock, he said he'd been thinking about it and now might be a better time than Christmas to get and train a puppy. <insert my shock!> Plus, let's just say the price was much better than anything we had imagined we could get here in Orlando, Florida. (In case your family is looking for a new furry family member, please consider Lotsa Love adoption / rescue. After calling around, you won't find a better price anywhere! It was literally one third of what any other place quoted us!) So, he encouraged me to go back to PetSmart and see these puppies she was talking about.
At this point it's noon and our birthday party is starting in 5 hours...and I'm going to look at a dog? Seriously?!?! The deal was that if the puppies met our requirements, I was to call Jason and the kids to come look at them. For those of you coming to this story later in our lives, you have to understand that our former dog, Rocky, was unfortunately very much MY dog. He didn't love on the kids or even allow them to pet him. He was a unique dog who only bonded to me. So, it was VERY important to us that our next dog be a family dog and VERY good with children.
I went to the store and saw the two puppies. I was told they were beagle mixes and would only get to be about 30 pounds. That's a little larger than we originally planned, but after having a long haired dog before, the short haired dog started looking appealing to me. Plus, there was just something about her...maybe it was the big brown puppy dog eyes and my incredible burning desire to have another baby...I don't know! But, I called Jason and the kids to come look.
After sitting there holding the dog for over 30 minutes, I called Jason to see what in the world was taking them so long! He had desperately been trying to call me, but my phone was in my purse behind a desk so I could be playing with and holding the dog. I had the keys to the van and I was driving Jason's car - he couldn't come without keys! So, I told the kind workers that I had to go home, get the family and I'd be back. They STRONGLY encouraged me to take the dog home and let the kids play with her in our own home setting with no one else around and not in the busy aisles of PetSmart. I simply couldn't believe they would even let someone do that! I tried to discourage them, but they absolutely insisted. If the family liked the dog, we could come back to pay and if it didn't work out, just bring the dog back. Again...SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!
So, now it's about 12:45 and I'm coming home with a cute little puppy in my lap. I called Jason to prepare him. He was NOT thrilled. So, I had an idea. I'd come back with the puppy, but told Jason to put a video on for the kids and meet me across the cul-de-sac in our park to meet the puppy first. If he liked the puppy, we'd try her out on the kids. If not, I'd head back to the store. He liked that idea. It gave him a chance to play with the puppy first which he wouldn't have had at the pet store. He agreed that this might actually be best course of action for everyone.
When I pulled up to our park, Jason was there. He took the cute little puppy right out of my arms and played with her on the grass for all of maybe 20 seconds before scooping her up in his arms and RUNNING to the house with her. I was in such shock, I think I was about 5 seconds behind him yelling "Jason - NO! Let's talk about this!" But I was too late. He opened the door and happily shouted, "Kids, look what I have!" The kids were all into their video and didn't even realize what was going on, but when they finally looked long enough to see the puppy in daddy's arms, oh my goodness - this house started exploding with excitement! I RAN for my camera, desperately wanting to document the moment in case this dog really was "the one." :)
From here, I can let the pictures help me tell the rest of the story...
Yes, this puppy was most definitely a "kid friendly" sort of dog!
She let everyone pet her and lavished tons of kisses on everyone.
She even let Siri pick her up and carry her around like a baby.
Now, the outdoor test. Would she play with the kids outdoors?
See picture. Need I say more? She passed the test with flying colors!
What a cutie!
At this point, we've already decided to keep her and we're trying to figure out
The middle name is in honor of the Darling family in Peter Pan. Jason just finished reading the original to the kids not so long ago and we wanted to use a book name. Again, since it's a Disney name and means so much to our family personally, Darling seemed like the perfect choice. Plus, Duchess is a darling puppy!
Our biggest test was to see how much Duchess would love on Jase.
She would even fetch!
More of the Jase test...
So, at 1:45, we all jumped in the car and headed back to PetSmart to pay for
OK - this is one very happy new pet owner!
the Dewey family at PetSmart with our newest member...
Duchess and Jase
Duchess and Siri
Back at home, playing around...
I figured I should get a picture with the newest Dewey girl -
Duchess loves belly scratches from Kira.
Such a cutie!
My favorite picture of Duchess
So much excitement for one day!
All of a sudden, Mommy realized that it was only 2 hours until the party!
Then, we transferred her to the crate.
Her first doggy treat.
Dancing with Daddy
At 5:00, 35 people showed up at our house for Jase's birthday party.
Daddy and Jase during the party
One of our guests was kind enough to snap a few family photos.
The newly expanded Dewey family!
After the party, each of the kids got some special one-on-one time with Duchess before bed.
Jase with Duchess
Kira with Duchess
Siri with Duchess
Sleepy puppy dog
After the kids went to bed, she perked up and seemed to want to chew on something.
The kids hardly get out of bed once they are lying down, but this night, every single one of them made up an excuse to get out of bed and check on Duchess. We figured we'd give some grace on this one very special night.
Our new puppy