I was en route to Philadelphia last week when my wife sent me a photo of a Golden Retriever puppy with a caption below that read: "I won!"
The hospital where she works received a donation of three new Golden Retriever pups. They sold 300 tickets for each of them to benefit The Children's Miracle Network and, of course, my wife bought more than one ticket.
Learning of this decision was frustrating to say the least as I was traveling for 3 days and my wife was working...a lot... which is not a situation conducive to the hourly attention a new puppy requires. I understood why she had accepted her "prize". We had spent the previous two weekends at the local SPCA trying to find a family friendly (and housebroken) dog amidst a surplus of pit bulls, pit bull mixes and a myriad of mutts described as "collie-shepard-boxer mixes" and things of the like... that really just looked like pit bulls with character. I was furious that the "claim of our prize" was never discussed with me (the one who would assume the charge of housebreaking him) as I would have, at least, suggested we postpone taking the dog home until my return. My wife offered to take the dog back...an option I refused due to the fact that I could imagine the resulting 20 years of therapy it would take for my daughter to realize exactly why and when she stopped loving me.
Over the next few days we had doctors, nurses, PAs and spouces of my wife's partners... all pitching-in and stopping over the house in succession to see this adorable fur-covered defecating machine and let him out.
When Catherine first saw the puppy, she immediately crouched down, extended a hand and said: "Hi there little buddy!...Is that your name? Little Buddy?" ....and so it was...until she overheard me speaking on the phone to a local home builder named Dudley. After hearing his name she laughed and said "Now THAT'S a FUN name! Dudley! I like that name!" She then proceeded to march around the house chanting the name "Dud-ley, Dud-ley, Dud-ley...." over and over... as if she was cheering for someone attempting to consume a large quantity of alcohol very quickly.
Our 2yr old Newfoundland, Lulu, has been tolerating Dudley quite well. They play for 3-4 hours a day and lounge on top of one another whenever Dudley is left out of his crate. The playing gets pretty fierce until Lulu either leaves the room or almost completely swallows Dudley's head and then bites down as hard as she needs to but not quite as hard as I suspect she wants to.
They're an incredibly cute pair of animals and I am happy he's here....even if it means two more months of hourly bathroom breaks and chasing him around the house on occasion like Rocky Balboa trying to catch a chicken in an alley.
The puppy is learning a lot from the already well-trained dog which seems to shorten the curve a bit. He constantly follows behind her like an eager little brother looking up to his big sister...mimicking her every move and demanding her attention. She indulges him most of the time but on occasion she will look at us sadly and release a heavy sigh... as if she is wondering when this guest will be going home.