Since the day we got Murray and saw the joyousness that is two dogs playing together, we pretty much knew we'd have two dogs for the rest of our lives.
Not only is it adorable when they play together (even when it sounds as though they're killing each other), they can entertain each other, learn from one another, be better with other dogs -- and all with relatively minimal effort on our parts. It's really a win-win, like, all over the place.
So we knew, when we lost Bubba, that another dog was in our future at some point. The question became: When? When have we grieved enough, when will it feel as though we aren't trying to "replace" the dog we've lost, when will Murray be so sad that we just have to get him another little brother (which is what happened the last time around)?
In the end, it didn't come down to any of those things. Murray was, actually, OK with being an only dog this time around. Neither of us felt like we were overwhelmed or wanting to replace Bubba -- he'd been sick for so long, we'd made our peace with losing him, as much as one can. It ended up a matter of practicality.
Both of us are home much more now. Caring for the constant needs of a puppy would be less of a burden than if both of us were at an office full-time. We have neighbors who are excellent and willing caretakers if we ever need to go out of town. And, most importantly: We still have Murray, who has proven himself a stellar big brother, teacher, patient playtime companion and selfless snuggler.
T found a couple in our area who were selling boxer puppies. This worried me. I understand my husband's strong desire to get a puppy, so we can train it from day one, but I don't want to perpetuate the puppy mill atrocities. But I agreed to go look, with the understanding that we'd hightail it out of there if I got a whiff of mill-dom. And, because we are impulsive when it comes to these things, I forced T to leave his wallet at home. :)
My worries were put to rest the moment we met the lovely elderly couple. The boxer parents were their beloved pets, living in their home, and not churning out litters left and right. After taking the day to think about it and discuss (to death) all the possible pros and cons, T went out and bought this bed:
...and we brought home our new family member, complete with a blanket and a few weeks' worth of food from that lovely elderly couple. (Have I mentioned they were lovely? They were.)
Here, we introduced the two new brothers. Apologies for the grainy cell phone pics; just assume Murray's face is saying, "Seriously? You brought me another one of THESE?" Shortly followed by "PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!"
So, world: This is our Ozzie when we brought him home at six weeks old, just a teeny-weeny, itty-bitty thing:
Tiny pink paws! I die.
"Hey, New Mom. You do realize this toy is as big as my head, right?"
There are many things I love about our little muffin. One of my faves is his nose:
It's splotchy! Part of it is pink! His lips look as though they're coated in pink lipstick!
We were pretty much destined to love him.
It helps to remember this when he's biting our toes (OMG, I forgot about puppy needle teeth!), carrying shoes that are bigger than him across the room, chewing on the coffee table and the curtains and the drywall (...really?) and generally just being the spawn of Satan.
It also helps that he knows how cute he is, and understands the value of crawling into Mama's lap for a nap.
They call it "the puppy dog look" for a reason, people.
More photos to come. (Um, duh.)