Monday, April 30, 2018

Oh, My Darlin' Clementine

If we are social media friendsies, you probably already know that we got a puppy. If you are anything like me, you may be questioning my sanity right now.

Here's the thing: I love puppies.

Here's another thing: Getting Cooper as a puppy twelve (12!) years ago, totally traumatized me. That guy chewed EVERYTHING. Air mattresses. Flip flops. Flip flops belonging to friends. Handbags. Harry Potter Book 5 (I'm still not over it). He was a nightmare. He was also a potty-training nightmare. He peed every 5 minutes and he was SO clueless about it, that rather than make a little puddle, he would streak around the house, living a dribble trail of pee behind him. I remember calling my mom sobbing as I scrubbed yet another trail of dog pee through our home because I was SO TIRED of cleaning carpet and I was also supposed to be studying for my major field exams.

Anyway, Cooper turned into the best dog ever, but I swore I was never, ever getting a puppy.

David recently got it into his head that our mornings are not chaotic enough and what we need is another dog underfoot. I was leery of this idea... Cooper is hit or miss with other dogs. He can be totally chill (as he is with my friend Monica's dog, Leia) or he can really get off on the wrong foot (as he did with my brother's dogs, who them taught him a stern lesson about picking a fight with two dogs who are each literally three times your size). I sort of thought that we should let Cooper live out his twilight years as an only dog and then worry about getting another dog much, much later.

But David couldn't let it go. He was sending me adorable dogs on Petfinder and my heart was melting.

I fell madly in love with another puggle named China who has a slightly deformed leg but is otherwise fine and she's 7 years old and needs to lose some weight and I was basically like, "THIS IS COOPER'S SOUL MATE" but we never heard back from our inquiry, so I hope/assume she was adopted.

Then David found a super cute little cocker spaniel named--wait for it--Caroline. We were joking about her being Caroline III in our family and we set up a time to meet her. Her foster mom suggested we meet at Michael's and we were in a grassy spot on the parking lot, but she is still not very socialized (they don't know much about her history... she apparently wasn't mistreated/abused, but she was not socialized and had little human contact so she's still warming up to her foster family). She did NOT warm up to us and the traffic noise scared her and then she panicked and tried to run and I was envisioning her pulling out of her collar (because she totally could have) and running into traffic and my children witnessing her get run over by a car, so I stayed calm, cool, and collected immediately started panicking and trying to cover my kids' eyes and David tried to pick her up but she was really freaked out and thankfully her foster mom emerged from the store at that time. She calmed down after that, but I knew this was not the dog for us. If I were single and dogless, I'd totally want to take her home because I know she just needs to bond with a human to come out of her shell, but the thought of bringing an anxious pup into my house with an elderly dog and two little kids was making me anxious.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that unless we happened into a situation where an elderly person could no longer care for a beloved pet, if we adopted an adult dog that had been rescued, we were going to be dealing with some trauma. Obviously I WANT these dogs to have a good home, but I also don't want to stress out Cooper or put my kids at risk (having little Mac taught me to love dogs but also to fear them). It occurred to me that we might be better off with a derpy puppy who would let Cooper be the alpha dog and would grow up socialized and gentle with the kids.

David set up a time to meet Caroline III again and see how Cooper did with her and I just stood there smiling because I knew as soon as we got in the car I would be SHUTTING IT DOWN. I didn't feel bad about it, because she's a gorgeous dog and very adoptable--no health issues or anything, and her foster mom mentioned that another woman is interested in her--but I knew she wasn't right for us. (Even though Zuzu wanted to name her Isabel and call her Izzy and she does look like an Izzy, so that was appealing.)

Anyway, I think David already knew that Caroline III wasn't right for us because on our way home, he suggested we stop at Petsmart. One of Zuzu's fish passed away (RIP Fish we've stopped naming because we can't get emotionally invested in these creatures with s 2-day life span--for real, though, we've got the tank water where it needs to be and this last fish actually lived several months and his sibling is still alive). She wanted a goldfish and the Petsmart employee kept trying to explain that a goldfish needed a bigger tank than the one we have until I finally explained that when we say "goldfish" what we mean is "yellow or golden-colored fish." So then she chose one and we were supposed to be headed home.

But it was pet adoption weekend. And there were a bunch of darling lab puppies (nope, nope, nope), and a really yippy chihuahua mix (nope), and this girl hanging out in cages.

So he got her out for us to have a look. She was nervous and shaky like Caroline III, poor thing, but unlike Caroline III, all she wanted was to curl up on our laps.

Coco's face looks concerned here, but she loves Clem.
Love at first sight.

Obviously I'm partial to these amber-colored dogs, and floppy-eared dogs. She looks like a farm dog mutt to me, but a very cute one. And I guess that's what she is--she and her litter-mates were rescued from Warsaw, MO (if you're not familiar with Warsaw, MO, think Winter's Bone). Her mom was chocolate cocker spaniel, and her dad was a black mouth cur. The owners wouldn't bring them inside for the winter and the puppies were freezing, so they surrendered them to an animal rescue organization.

So she is a farm dog mutt! And a six month old puppy! And we really have no idea how big she will get! BASICALLY THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT I WANTED!

But of course we love her.

I mean... go rescue a dog right now so you can have this at your house.
Also funny is I woke up on Saturday morning with the name Clementine on my mind. I actually love the name for a little girl, but then I woke up thinking that it was just as well because Clementine Duckworth was really a mouthful. When we met Caroline III, she did not look like a Clementine (she really did look like an Izzy), but that name was still in my head. It truly came to me in a dream.

So when I saw the puppy at Petsmart, the first thing that came to mind was, OMG she looks like a Clementine.

Oh my darlin', oh my darlin'...
Zuzu was not thrilled with the name... she liked Rainbow or Shimmer or Izzy (and suggested her middle name should be Audrey, lol), but once David was determined that she was coming home with us, I made her a dog tag that said Clementine so there was no going back. I mean LOOK AT HER! She's a Clementine if I've ever seen one. I explained to Zuzu that little cutie oranges are often clementines so she decided her middle name can be Cutie Pie.

There is nothing cuter than a kid with a puppy.
We are adjusting... she's been crate trained, so we're using our dog crate at night and while we are at work. She's mostly potty trained but had one accident. She and Cooper have had a few scuffles, and honestly I feel more stress about introducing Cooper to a new dog sibling than I ever felt about introducing Zuzu to a new human sibling! We are working on peaceful coexistence and taking lots of walks, which is good for everyone. Plus David is taking the lead on walking and he and Zuzu plan to take her to obedience training together. The girls are love her because she is so interested in them, which leaves plenty of time for me to give Coop extra love and attention (it's kind of clear to everyone at this point that Cooper would prefer to live alone with me, except that the girls drop food for him to eat).

A doggie scuffle occurred one second after I took this photo. Coco has on leftover facepaint from a carnival.
(The disparity of agility and reasonable BMI that I saw when we brought her home to Cooper was appalling. I immediately ordered him new diet food and am putting him on a strict twice a day walk regiment because holy crap. Bubba is super fat. I am not body shaming, but I am concerned about his health. I always knew intellectually that Coop is a few pounds over his ideal weight, but I didn't realize how much it was hampering his activity. I'm hoping by the end of summer he'll be slimmer and trimmer! #dogfitnessgoals)

At one point this morning, we had all six of us in one bathroom, with Clementine standing on her hind legs and putting her front feet up on the bathroom sink. So... chaotic mornings mission accomplished!


  1. Very cute! Good luck with the transition! And please have David call Kirk with the top ten reasons we need a dog!

  2. I’ve always said I would never get a puppy, but that face certainly would be hard to pass up!! I can’t wait to get home to our old, white faced pup!

  3. Oh my! We are saving the puppy thing as a bribe to transition moving again hopefully next year, hoping that our dog makes it that long. I am glad it is mostly going well! Her paws don't look too huge so hopefully she is medium sized-smallish. (Our next dog will probably be a goldendoodle not adopted...I am over dog hair after the husky and we want something with a pretty safe bet temperament-wise with 3 boys and a crazy house.)

  4. Also! Most importantly! She is adorable!! I think she looks beagle'ish to me. You could always do a doggy dna test to see. Good luck with transitioning Cooper. Our two dogs never really did become besties but tolerated each other for the most part, most of the time.

  5. How could you resist, right?? Great name! Love the photo of the two dogs inspecting each other, lol. Alas, pet stores here do not sell puppies anymore (this is Ontario, not sure if it's the same in other provinces?) -- there was a mega pet store in the mall where we we used to live and we used to love to go watch the puppies playing together. Re: doggie diets, our nephew's miniature dachshund (also named Cooper) was recently put on a diet by the vet... he's supposed to weigh no more than about 11 lbs, & he was 16!! That's a lot for a little dog to carry, and we want him with us for a long time. Poor Cooper keeps sitting hopefully by the cupboard where the treats used to be kept. :( It does seem to be working, though!

  6. She's darling! And definitely a Clementine. And, yeah, it's funny how you know you've got a good one when you've found one. Our rescue cat Goldie had just arrived at the RSPCA, a bit manky and underfed with a terrible puncture wound in his front leg -- and all he wanted to do was cuddle. I scratched his chin and knew he was going to be a good 'un. (And he is. Except when he's sitting on my pile of exams while I'm trying to grade them.)