When we lost our Socks last summer in that intense heatwave of early July it seemed too much to add another little animal to the long hot days of summer but it was always our intention to add another dog to TheCastle. We didn't want Jack to be an only dog. We needed at least two dogs to pet. But I was not in any big hurry, either. I felt the new dog would come along when it was the right time.
Himself, otoh, had different plans. He began to hanker after another Lab in August and one day he called me at work with the news that he was looking at Labrador puppies. I was a bit surprised since I'd thought we were going to get a pound puppy first. But I could hear the longing in his voice. I knew it was time to get a puppy and it was time to get another Lab. It was a given that we wanted only girl dogs and I'd already told him that if we got another Lab I wanted a black one. But that was merely abstract thinking. Puppy love knows no color and since this summer, in Virginia, most of the litters with girls had only white, yellow or chocolate, I was willing to have a look.
We had cousins F and A visiting the day we drove up to Fauquier County to wallow in puppylove, so we could get lots of opinions on which one was the cutest. There were 8 girls in 2 litters and they were all so perfect I could hardly pick among them. They were only 3 and a half weeks old so it was a moot point anyway but we plunked down a deposit (Lawsie I was not prepared for the price of AKC labs) and went home to wait.
Last Monday the furbabies were at last old enough to go to new homes and BD and I drove up to pick out our own little sweetie pie. It was still impossible to pick because each one of them was a perfect specimen of cuteness and puppiness. First we narrowed it down to the two girls who were old enough to go home with us then and there. One was a little more golden than the other - a selling point with us since Jack is so white already. She was also the most high octane energizer of them all, though her sister was no slouch, chewing on her cousins from the other litter. Wild baby never stopped chewing and pouncing but suddenly she began to make little coughing sounds as if she had some puppy fur caught in her throat and the whiter one ran up to see what was wrong. That tenderhearted gesture was the tipping point for me. I knew I had my new dog.
So home we came, Little Miss Tenderheart sleeping in my arms the whole way
Jack is already taking an avuncular interest in her, teaching her all about long walks and leaving the garbage can alone. When those needle teeth sink in too deep, he just rumbles in his chest a little and she backs off. Besides, there is always something else to chew on in TheCastle. You can be sure - my good shoes get put in the closet every night.
It was hard to go to work every day last week. There were moments when I wondered if we ought to have waited till Friday to pick her up - though I comforted myself with the thought that, had I not picked her on Monday, somebody else would have gotten her. But my long absences made it hard to pick out a name. I liked Molly. BD liked Toots. I said Toots was not a name a woman would ever use. He thought there were already too many Labs named Molly. We kicked around 2 or 3 dozen names till Friday night when we got to borrowing names from our Bedford cousins; the Burks. It felt funny, sort of like we were poaching, but we've always loved all their dogs: Cora, Ace, Belle. And I liked the name Bella because our puppy had such a pretty face. But them BD said "Calliope" - which actually means beautiful voice... she is the muse of epic poetry .... I knew we had a name.
And I believe she approves.
(or maybe she's just hot)
So - look who is at home in my lap while I struggle to reach the keyboard.