For months now my daughter has been asking me for a dog. Our pup of many years died a couple of years ago, and though I was sad to lose him, I’ve also been pleased not to have to wake up in the middle of the night to let him out, not to have to find a place for him to stay when we’re out of town, not to have to listen to his shrill barking at times when it’s annoying. We’ve also since made a bunch of improvements to the house, including new carpet, and I haven’t wanted a dog to come along and destroy those improvements. And finally, it hurts to lose a dog, and you do eventually wind up losing the dog. I’ve maintained that I was perfectly happy just visiting with the dogs of friends and family. It’s been a pretty good few years for me dog-wise.
But my daughter is persistent. A couple of months ago, she started occasionally emailing me pictures and videos of cute dogs. She has of course continued to talk about wanting a dog. Any time we’ve visited with a dog, her happiness has been hard to look past. All of these things seem to have led to my deciding that maybe a dog isn’t such a bad thing after all. They’re soft and snuggly and friendly, and they make kids happy. They make my wife feel less vulnerable when I’m traveling. There’s a lot to be said for owning a dog.
I spent a few weeks mulling it over sort of passively, by which I suppose I mean that I learned that my daughter should go into marketing because her tricks influenced me to convince myself that I might like to have a dog not merely as a concession to the rest of the family (who all wanted one) but also because I might find it pleasant myself.
So the other morning, I told my wife I thought we should consider getting a dog for Christmas (there’s more to the story, but that’s the end result), and we found a sweet looking dog on a local shelter’s web site and drove to visit with her. A few hours later, after some time waiting, some time getting her bathed, and some expensive time at the pet store, we brought home the very nice dog pictured below. She’s a yellow lab (maybe some kind of a mix?) about 9 months old and about 43 pounds.
We had some initial contention about what to name her. My wife and I both sort of wanted Jolene, mostly for the comic effect of calling her to come in from the back yard. My daughter wanted to name her Dumbledore. One of the kids wanted to name her Chewbacca (though we’re not really super big Star Wars fans and haven’t seen the new movie yet, so I’m not really sure where that came from). One of the kids mentioned that a friend’s dog was named Daisy, and it made me think of Maisy, which I think is cute and which shortens to something that sounds like maize, which is a yellowish color for our yellowish pup. Our family has a weird, complicated name, so I proposed that something weird and complicated might be appropriate, and we agreed in the end on Maisy Jolene Hyzenthlay Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore Learn-Houston.