I have given up hope that Dave will ever say yes to another baby. My ovaries might be overacting every month, all dressed up with their good bra and matching panties and cleavage shirt on and ready to go, but they’ve got nowhere to go and no one to go with. All little insinators of mass fertilization are blocked at the gate and alas, it’s always lonely up in my reproductive tract.
This week friends came over with their baby and she was the first baby to put her tiny little feet on our stairs. This house will never hold a baby crib or hear late night feedings. This poor, poor house. All those sweet baby kisses and laughs just broke my poor little heart too. Though there isn’t much I can do about getting a baby*, there are a lot of things I can get instead. First, I decided I wanted a dog.
Dave: Want kind of dog do you want?
Me: I don’t know. I’m torn between a big dog who we can take camping and would run with me if I ever decided to run again, and who can run around with kids and jump in the car. Or a little tiny dog who I can carry in my purse and dress up every day. I think I have it narrowed down between a Labrador and a Yorkie.
And when you tell an engineer you’re thinking of doing or buying something, it results in extensive research. An engineer never impulse buys.
Dave: Turns out that Yorkies aren’t very good with kids.
Me: I guess we could get a lab now and then when the kids are grown we could get a Yorkie. It will be our airplane dog. She’ll fit in my purse with the little bow in her hair, and we’ll take her everywhere in your airplane. We will name her Kathrine Elizabeth Cordelia. A Yorkie may be the perfect retirement/empty nest dog.
And so the hunt for a Labrador began. I scoured Craigslist and the local shelters. We needed a puppy, because I really wanted one. And we already have Frank, the killer bunny, and 20 chickens. We need to train a puppy not to kill our already existing pets.
Serindipideously, Sunday evening I found a puppy available to adopt Monday morning from the Humane Society.
I printed out the preliminary adoption application.
Me: I don’t know how to fill out some of these questions.
Dave: Like what?
Me: Well, it asks how old everyone is. Should I lie and say the twins are 6, every web site says “not for kids under 5”. I don’t want them to rule us out because they don’t know how awesome our twins are.
Dave: Just put 5 and 11/12. What else?
Me: There’s this trick question, ‘How often will your dog go outside’ What is the right answer? 2 hours, 4 hours?
Dave: How about, ‘ as much as he wants to’. You know these aren’t hard questions.
Me: What if they won’t let us have a puppy. What if we don’t qualify. How ironic, we can raise 5 humans but not a puppy from the pound.
When we got to the humane society we were an hour early. We were the only ones there.
10:15 another car pulls in.
10:25 A truck pulls up.
10:35 Another car drives in the parking lot.
10:40 Two guys get out of the truck.
10:42 A lady emerges from her car.
Dave: Well, if someone gets out, we all have to.
Me: Do you think they are all here for Licorice?
Dave: You could ask them.
Me: No way. Then we’ll have to block them at the door.
By 10:50 There was quite a crowd around the door, including a few families with little kids talking about the puppies they were going to bring home. I was getting quite anxious. And deciding if I wanted this puppy bad enough to break a 4-year-old’s heart. I did.
Dave: Well, it looks like you and that other guy might be the only ones who can read directions, since you’re the only ones out of this crowd who has the preadoption application.
Me: Or maybe everyone else is already preapproved. I’m getting kind of nervous.
The whole time, I’ve been positioning myself closest to the door. So that I can be first in when the door opens (which I am not). Fortunately the first two people in line hadn’t filled out their predoption application. Thorough reading and direction following FOR THE WIN!
Me: Hi! I’m here to adopt Licorice!
Her: And will there be a problem with any of your other household members who aren’t with you. Why aren’t they here?
Me: Well, we didn’t want to break their little hearts if we didn’t get her. If we don’t, they’ll cry and want something else, and we might end up going home with Giana, the geriatric diabetic cat over there with 4 teeth.
We went through a very quick interview and were left with the dog.
Me: Oh, my gosh, I think if she likes us and we like her they’re going to let us take her home.
Dave: That’s kind of how it works. I don’t think they’re too picky who takes the dogs home from the rescue shelter. I think they really only care if you have $250.
And $250 later we were the proud owner of a lab puppy.
When I brought her home, the kids were ecstatic. We fight about who gets to sit closest to her, who gets to hold her leash, who gets to take her out to poo. I can only hope that they are just excited about that next week.
We decided that though we loved licorice, she needed a better name.
Stormy, Abyss, Angel of Darkness, Gold, Killer, Cocoa, Richard Parker.
Me: That’s a boy name. And if she was a he, I’d name him Sean Connery or Indiana Jones.
Nate: How about Christina?
Me: I don’t think Auntie Red would appreciate us naming a dog after her. If she was yellow, we could name her Sunny, after my grandma.
Dave: I love that! Sunny, is now the forerunner.
Me: I’m pretty sure my grandma wouldn’t appreciate a dog being named after her. I don’t think she even liked dogs, and I’m not sure if I could ever yell at a dog with my grandma’s name.
We consulted the great internet. I searched for famous women mathematicians. I was partial to Sofja
Mike: Are you sure that’s a woman?
Dave: Why a mathematician?
Me: I just think it would be better to be named after someone who discovered Calculus rather than a piece of candy. Let’s keep the bar high.
Dave: How about Heddy, a beautiful smart actress who invented wifi?
Me: It’s perfect!
And so is she!
*without losing a husband, and I’ll choose this guy over a new baby every time.