If you’ve had your cuteness ration for the week, you might want to escape now. I’m not saying that if you don’t find our new puppy extremely sweet and loveable, you’re a heartless Grinch, but, well, you are.
Ladies and Gentlemen (and Heartless Grinches), I present to you…
I don’t know much about dogs, but I do know that in only two short weeks Weasley has had an impact on our lives. And by the way, I’ve been dealing with some guilt over the fact that we got him from a breeder (please don’t douse me with a bucket of pig blood) because every single pet I’ve owned up until now has been a stray. But enough about me and my callousness…
Weasley’s breed, my wife tells me, is often used as a therapy dog. I can see why. One of my biggest challenges as a human being is to relax. I have to continually remind myself to relax because it’s not at all a natural state of existence for me. But when I’m holding Weasley on my chest or in my lap, I feel a great deal more at ease. He seems to like me too, for whatever obscure canine reason.
More importantly, my wife loves him and has essentially accessorized him over the past fortnight. Wherever she goes, he goes. When she teaches piano or voice lessons, there he is, chin on paws, reposing in her lap. When she cooks dinner, he sits faithfully at her heels, blissfully unaware of the boiling water percolating on the stove (notice how my safety monitor OCD has already extended to our dog?). When she climbs into the shower…actually, Weasley hates baths, so he doesn’t follow her in there. But I’m sure he waits anxiously for her to finish up so he can resume his curly-headed vigil.
Just as important as his relationship with my wife is the manner in which he interacts with my kids. My youngest—we’ll call her Peach—is constantly trying to snatch him up and tote him around. This concerns me, as she clearly hasn’t learned the meaning of finesse yet (at three, I suspect this trait will take some time to cultivate). But Peach loves him and clamors for equality in the Weasley Holding Wars of 2014.
Speaking of the WHW, my middle child (I call her, among other things, Scoopy, a nickname I suspect my wife detests…I mean, another nickname for her is Sparkle, but the Cloying Quotient of this post has already reached terminal mass, and I fear a repeated utterance of Sparkle will move the needle all the way into nauseating territory—What? We’re there already? FINE! Grinch). Anywho, Scoopy is absolutely addicted to the puppy and will protest violently when one of us dares hold the puppy in her presence. Weasley is her dog, and I do have to say, she has been extremely faithful and cheerful about taking care of him. I don’t think many six-year-olds would eagerly take the puppy outside to use the restroom in zero-degree weather, do you?
So yeah, I’m pretty proud of Scoopy. And proud of Peach for not dropping Weasley on his head yet.
As for my third child, my oldest, my son…well, my wife calls him my Mini-Me, and though I hear that term used a lot for kids and parents, in this case it really is true. While there are of course differences between me and my son—at age eight his legs are already more muscular than mine are now, he’s better at math, and he can draw without it looking like he’s afflicted with a caffeine-induced palsy—we are eerily alike in many ways. So Bubba (one of his many nicknames) has as much trouble relaxing as I do. But from the moment he first held Weasley, I could see a softness pervade Bubba’s features, a subtle euphoria that would only be apparent to someone who knows him really well. Bubba loves to play with Weasley; he sees it as his personal duty to tire the puppy out so Weasley will sleep well enough to give my wife and me some rest too.
Bubba also enjoys the feel of the puppy, which is a good reminder to me that he’s a very tactile young boy. I love to hug Bubba and kiss his head, and watching him do the same to Weasley reminds me that this probably isn’t just a stage in Bubba’s development—he truly craves and enjoys giving that physical affection. And no, don’t worry. I’m not going to kiss Bubba’s forehead in front of his high school friends someday. Unless Bubba wants me to, in which case I’ll kiss that forehead so much it’ll prune, his friends’ opinions be damned.
I better wrap this up now. In case you’re wondering, Weasley is named after the ginger-haired family in Harry Potter. My wife chose the name and now wants to change it to Louie Lambykins. I’m against the name change on principle, not only due to my love of the Harry Potter books but because I can’t imagine opening up our backdoor and bellowing “LAMBYKINS!!!!” I mean, I’m secure in my manly macho toughness and all, but something tells me I’d be biologically incapable of shouting that word without feeling in some way diminished. Is that silly? Yes. Am I absurd for feeling that way? Absolutely. But at least I can admit it, right? At least I’m unafraid to overshare with complete strangers about irrational aversions. Doesn’t that count for something?
So have a great Saturday, friends, and remember to support Harry Potter Canine Naming. It’s easy, it promotes great literature.
It’s the right thing to do.