When CC and I were on the road together years ago, back when he was just my boss, I used to ask him if we could get a sound department puppy. Preferably one that the props crew would take care of. Nobody went for it.
The kids started asking us when we were going to get a dog pretty much the minute they started living with us. We had lots of conversations about care and taking responsibility, but really it all boiled down to one thing: dog poop. We weren’t willing to talk seriously about a dog until all the kids unanimously agreed that they would handle the dog poop. It took longer than you might think.
I didn’t know this before, but puppies are contagious. All it takes is for one kid in the neighborhood to get a puppy and bam! everybody’s got one. There is apparently no vaccine.
Two years ago, a kid across the street got a puggle puppy and would bring it over to our house to play. It was summer, and CC was letting me sleep in until the puppy came over for its morning visit and then he would let it into our bedroom, where it would jump on my head and be all like “Oh my gooood! I’m a DOOOOG! Isn’t it GREAAAAT? I can’t BELIEEEEEEEVE it! YAAAAAAAY!”
It’s something, being around so much enthusiasm.
Before long I was online, looking for puppies. We did a little research and a lot of soul-searching and decided that more than anything we wanted a puppy that was happy. Enthusiastic, if you will. That led me to a puggle breeder about two hours away that had two puppies. They were the entire litter. I wrote a little about them here.
I packed four kids into the minivan one Sunday and trucked out on a road trip to look at some puppies.
We couldn’t decide. I’d thought that there would be some magical bond, some way that I would know The Right One For Us, but it wasn’t like that. Especially when there were only two to start with. It was more like eeny-meeny-miny-moe.
CC had to work and I sent him pictures, but he wouldn’t say which one he liked best. The kids were evenly split (#1 had opted out of the road trip). I wanted both of them, but that’s insane. Who gets two puppies? I picked the goofy looking one because he seemed to fit into our family the best:
He howled the entire way home, and he doesn’t look it, but he’s loud. That’s the Beagle in him. Then he pooped on my shirt. The kids thought that was hilarious.
As soon as we got him home, I realized the error I had made. Our puppy-to-kid ratio was way off. There was so not enough puppy to go around. Poor Jack was all tiny and blinking, cowering there with five kids hovering over him. CC admitted that he wouldn’t say which one he liked best because he wanted them both. I traded some texts with the breeder. They were willing to cut us a deal.
Three days later we went back for the pretty one:
When we brought her in the front door, Jack smelled her before he saw her and started dancing in circles around us. They were so happy to be back together. Then they immediately started fighting:
And it’s been like that ever since.
I will probably always refer to them as “the puppies” but today, Jack and Casey are two years old. They are ridiculous dogs. They are way more expensive than they should be. They are the one thing that we all agree on: we love them bunches.
Back when CC and I were just touring together, before any of this crazy stuff happened, I wasn’t ever planning on getting married to anyone or settling down on the east coast or buying a house or definitely not being a parent, but I did want a puppy.
I finally have a crew of five to take care of them.