Monday, January 20, 2014

January 2014: Piglet and other things

Well here we are again.

Christmas arose on a very sick little boy in our home.  He spent the day on the couch-turned-bed with barely enough energy to lift his head up.  Presents were of no concern to him, even though had been updating his "Santa list" on a daily basis for months.  It was a little bit awful.

Therefore, our glamorous 2013 family Christmas photo looked something like this:

I think Hallmark is just about to call for the copyright.

Luckily, we brought home a sweet little Boston puppy in late November so we had a nice distraction in the house.  We responded to an ad in the Kansas City paper for a litter in Topeka, Kansas.  I was sent a text containing this picture of Boston puppies over-spilling a basket (and this wasn't even all of them!)

Ours turned out to be the one climbing out on the far right.
That did it.  We hopped in the car the next morning and drove the 5+ hours to collect our girl.

We were the first ones there (by about 10 minutes!) so we had first pick of the litter.  There were eight Bostons (a huge litter!) and four females to choose from.  We insist on girl pets.

It's not easy to choose one puppy--or even to keep straight which one is which--when there are so many stumbling around and clambering all over you.  

In the end we had narrowed it down to two puppies.  One was a bit bigger and naughtier (ie wouldn't stop eating my purse) and the other one was timid and would not leave the safety of my lap.  Although timidity isn't normally a characteristic I am drawn to in a dog, this one was incredibly endearing.  With big, clear eyes she just kept staring up at us, willing us to love her.

Topher watched the other dogs wrestling and biting and tearing their blankets apart.  Then he looked at the one who was sitting anchored in my lap.  I could see his brain-cogs turning.  I knew what was coming.

He chose the quiet one.  The one least likely to disturb the balance of our household.  And maybe most importantly, the one least likely to eat all his toys.
Her markings weren't quite as "perfect" as some of the others (although they were still quite nice) but we all fell hard for her sweetness.

And so we brought her home, suggesting and vetoing names the whole way.  We noticed right away that she was good in the car.  We drove nearly 6 hours that night and she slept on my lap the entire time.  Not wiggling to explore or get away, not barking or whimpering.  Just content.  We think the "big litter" life didn't suit her very well.  

She seemed to be saying, "Just keep driving.  Take me away from the chaos and just love me."

And so we did.  

 Along the way we named her Piglet, because to us she looked exactly like a Hampshire piglet.

 I mean, come on.  

Piglet even accompanied us to our December temple trip (she was left with a heated blanket in her crate while we went inside).  That trip was the 12th of its kind for 2013, meaning that we hit our goal to make it to the temple every single month last year!

We are still not used to Sassy being gone.  Even though Piglet is adorable, I can't help feeling like we are trying to fill an enormous Sassy-shaped hole with a tiny Piglet.

But she is growing on us, even as she shows her true colors.  Bostons have energy, and our "calm, timid" girl is no exception.  She is so fast that, at top speed, we can all be diving at her from different directions and we cannot catch her.  Her teeth are typical puppy teeth, alarming in their razor-sharpness and ability to draw blood in a split second.  When she gets feisty and starts growling, biting, and seems all-around ready to rain havoc on us--or in other words, when she is being a typical puppy--we have taken to calling her Tilikum. (Which may be a little in bad taste.  Tilikum is, after all, the largest Orca in captivity, responsible for the death of a couple trainers.  Sorry about that, but the urge to compare her to other black and white animals is quite overwhelming.)

So she has her sweet, cuddly moments.  She has her Tilikum moments.  But the main point is that she loves us, and she is shaping up to be a great family dog.  She's no Sassy, that's for sure.  But she is Piglet.  And I guess for trying to shine in the shadow of the world's best dog, she's actually doing alright.  I have to admit that her pig-worthy assortment of grunts, snores and snorts are growing on us all.

After all, bath-time has never been livelier.

And let's face it: when a puppy knows how to snuggle a Christmas-day sick boy, you will overlook a multitude of Tilikum moments.  She's a keeper.

I LOVE this photo.
That's all the news I can drudge up from the depths of a long, cold Iowa winter. 

Farewell until I neglect my blog for far too long and then cram our lives into another endless post.  :)