Dogs

River of Love

The gift of love is very personal, powerful, and transformative and our love has been all those things. My husband and I are in our 20th year of marriage, though, and we can lose the plot now and then when our strong wills take the lead. We always find our way back to our hearts, but Valentine’s Day often leaves us flummoxed and anxious. We’re not very sentimental, but we know we need to do something to celebrate our love, right? What if we don’t do a good job and the love of our life feels a cold shoulder?

standard poodle, apricot poodle

Sorry for the poor-quality cell phone pictures. I promise to do better soon. See that schmear on her nose? Yup, that’s from her massive car sickness on the way to our house. Thank goodness she’s really sweet!

We knocked it out of the park this year! We gave each other deep, unconditional love wrapped up in loyalty, sensitivity, and a little bit of mischief. Yes, we gave each other a puppy for Valentine’s day this year! After the tragic loss of Nutty on January 2, 2017, we just felt off-balance. Nutty was so full of energy, spunk, and mischief that he left a large void. We had our four children underfoot for so many years that four dogs feel just right. We took matters in hand and looked for a non-shedding dog that bypasses my dog allergy. Living without dogs is out of the question, so we just have to find ways to make it work.

standard poodle, apricot poodle

River thought she’d try one of the little dogs’ beds. Hmmm. This bed is too small!

After searching the human society, some rescues, and Craig’s list, we got a standard poodle girl who is five months old. It has been so fun! She had been living with a breeder, sleeping in a very well-kept barn. She was well-behaved, didn’t bark much at all, and is a sensitive little girl. The first night, we put her up on the bed to sleep with the other dogs and us, and she looked a little confused. By the next night, she seemed to like it. By the next morning, you could see the look on her face – this is so much better than the barn! It’s soft and warm! She discovered that cuddling humans is just as good as cuddling her siblings had been. She already knows to go out the dog door to do her business and has not challenged our three existing dogs. The cats were a new experience. She spent a good hour in the backyard hiding from our cat that hissed at her when they met. They’re both over it now, and she doesn’t pay the cats any mind. They are so relieved because Nutty liked to chase them. They were fleet of foot and clever of paw, and there was never a skirmish, but he loved to stir them up a bit.

apricot standard poodle

She’s all legs right now! Can’t wait to get her groomed next week. I gave her a bath, but she still looks a little shaggy.

We have tentatively named her River Song. We’re waiting to see if she likes it and responds to it. If we don’t get any response soon, we’ll try another name. When I cooked up their homemade food, she thought it smelled pretty good. When she tasted it, I swear she gave the new food got four paws up, and it definitely beat what she ate in the barn! She fits in, and everything feels balanced at home, now. The love machine is getting groomed next week, and I hope to have better pictures soon!

I hope your Valentine’s Day is just as good!

apricot standard poodle, shaggy

Tribble, laying a bit behind River, wonders what all the fuss is about.

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