Monday, April 02, 2012

Puppy Surprise

Perhaps you remember how when we lost our backyard chipmunk this past summer, that Joel promised we could get a dog.  But then he kept sort of back-pedaling and saying we'd have to wait all the way until spring or summer, because it's too hard to deal with a puppy in the middle of winter (he was right).  But really, he just wasn't too keen on the whole puppy idea anyway.

So, as soon as he said that, I began to research puppies, breeders, rescues, etc.  I kind of live in the middle of nowhere, and there just aren't a lot of puppy-obtaining options here, even though it seems that 99% of the population owns a dog.  I finally settled on getting some sort of small poodle mix.  I grew up with poodles, and they're great dogs, but I was really liking the mixes.  Our neighbor across the street, Tim, had a schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle mix) and she was a great dog.  I found a breeder near Green Bay (about 4 hours away) that bred both schnoodles and shi-poos, which was my second choice dog.

In December, Tim's dog was hit by a car.  He took it really hard (of course!), and I eventually ended up giving him the name of the breeder I'd found in Wisconsin, because he had decided he'd like to get another schnoodle because his dog had been such a wonderful pet.  At the end of February, he told me that he'd driven down the day before to have a look at the latest litter and had chosen a puppy.  He planned on getting her over Stake Conference weekend, and there was one puppy left.

I immediately felt like this was our puppy.  So I called as soon as I got home and placed a deposit on her.  We decided not to tell the girls--not only would it be a wonderful surprise, it would save a lot of "when are we getting the puppy?" questions, too.

Stake Conference fell on Chloe's birthday, so it would add an extra special layer to the surprise.

After the Sunday meeting (in which I conducted the stake choir--something I haven't done in AGES since I'm married to a real conductor), we told the girls we were going to follow Tim down to a farm so he could pick up his new puppy.  They thought that would be really fun, which is what we were counting on.

When we got to the farm, Joel said he'd go help Tim with "stuff," and the rest of us got out of the car.  The girls were immediately enamored of the chickens and roosters, the cows, and the kitty.  After a few minutes, Tim and Joel came out with Tim's new puppy.  The girls oohed and aahed over her, took turns holding her, and had a wonderful time doting on her.  Then Joel said, "Oh girls, there's another puppy in there that I think they'll let us see, too."  He went back in and brought our Puccini out, wearing the collar and the ID tag we had brought with us.

Chloe was the first to kneel down and pet her.  Joel told her to look at the tag and see what her name was.  She happened to see the side with the address and phone number on it first, though, but she quickly realized that this was our puppy.  Once the other two heard that, they came rushing over and it was just really fun to see their reaction.

I'd show you the video, but we lost it in a technological accident.  I watched it about 5 times, though, so I sort of have it memorized, even though I'm really sad to not have it anymore.  Stupid technology.

I did take pictures, though!
IMG_3366 PIcking up PUccini web
Here's Chloe just minutes after finding out that this puppy was coming home with us.  It was a very happy birthday for her, and she considers it her best present, even though it was for the whole family.
IMG_3367 picking up PUccin web
Sophia is holding Tim's puppy here, while Chloe cuddles with Puccini.
IMG_3373 picking up Puccini web
Sophia takes a turn holding our newest family member. It took her a little longer to understand that this puppy was definitely coming home with us, and once she got it, she was totally thrilled. 
IMG_3371 picking up Puccin web
This just might be my favorite picture from the whole entire day.  Bria has NEEDED to have a dog for her whole life.  My parents' dog has sufficed, but we have lived so far away from her for most of Bria's life, that it wasn't exactly enough.

In fact, when Bria wrote her biography for a school project a few months ago, the last line said "Bria wishes she had a dog with all of her whole heart."  I'm so happy she finally has one.  And I think you can tell from this picture that she's pretty thrilled, herself.

The ride home was long, but Puccini did great and has assimilated herself into our family quite well.  She loves Joel best, and Joel is in love with her, too.  Of course, I knew it would happen that way, and I'm glad it did.  She's a puppy, and she's lots of hard work, but it has all been nothing but wonderful for us.

Even if she did poop in the house three times today.
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. I just totally cried when I saw Bria's picture. And then I read what you wrote and cried even more. So sweet. Miss Puccini is one of the cutest puppies I have ever seen!

  2. So happy you posted this!! Puccini is ADORABLE and looks like she is really loved :) We hope we get to meet her one day!

  3. I cried too reading this!! What a tender experience for your whole family. Pets certainly do add another element of love in the family. Our Porter who passed away loved our cat, Pebbles, so much that I will dread the day she is not with us anymore because of how much he adored her.

  4. Yay for dogs! Yay for kids getting to grow up with a dog!

  5. Bria's picture kills me. You can just feel the innate joy in it. Her little heart is written all over that moment. I'm so happy for your family. And Puccini is a beautiful puppy!

  6. What a great story! That last picture with Bria and Puccini really made my heart leap. I know how much a puppy/dog has meant to me and I understand the "need". Dogs are truly amazing creatures that quickly become a member of your family. I don't know what I would ever do without the dogs in my life. I'm so glad you are giving your children this wonderful experience. Puccini is truly a cutie pie! Enjoy her!

  7. What a sweet story. I do not like toddler poop, let alone dog poop, but i must say, Puccini kind of makes me want a dog. She is adorable!!! And I cannot believe how old Sophia is looking in these pictures. My boys ask about when you guys are coming all the time! Maybe I shouldn't have told them so soon.

  8. So cute! Taking care of a pet is a sacrifice we make for our kids that ends up being totally worth it!

  9. Alas, poor Chippy! We had a Chippy when I was growing up, too. He lived in the wood box.

    Sweet puppy!