A pregnant woman, a toddler and a puppy walk into a room. Sounds like the setup to a Rodney Dangerfield joke, right? Nope. Just the new reality in the Donohue household. After Lola’s shockingly quick goodbye in the spring, we all felt a little loneliness in the house and when the opportunity suddenly popped up to get a new cocker puppy, it felt like a gift we couldn’t pass up.
We picked up Dash(iell) Hammett Donohue last Saturday and the whirling little dervish has been nipping his way into our hearts ever since. We adopted Lola when she was five, so a puppy is a new experience. So far, so good. He’s sleeping through the night (not in our bed!) and adjusting to his crate. Leash training will be the next big hurdle. There won’t be a dull moment for awhile. It will be chaos and cuteness for the rest of the summer and fall.
Who knew that the birth of our daughter would morph our fastidious and rather indolent cocker spaniel into a regular border collie. This will get interesting as Cecilia gets more mobile, but for the moment, it is just plain cute. Cece isn’t close to a full on crawl yet, but she is managing a sort of hybrid Army/inchworm wiggle at a drunk snail’s pace across her play mat. I ge the feeling that Lola believes we’re being a bit brazen just letting our little hairless pup mosey around so freely. Anytime we set Cece down and encourage her to break free from her stationary bonds, Lola springs into action and ensures that the only way Cece will go falling down any abandoned wells is over her dead body. Quite literally. She will plop right beside or right in front of Cece like a canine roadblock. Given her motor skills so far, Cece’s only option is to move ahead doggedly into the furry wall like a confused Roomba stuck in a corner.
Other than that tic, the two of them are becoming thick as thieves. A situation that will only cement itself, I’m sure, once Cecilia starts dropping edible bits off her high chair to her four legged accomplice. While Lola’s favorite activity is herding her furless charge, Cece just plain loves waving and holding out her fingers for Lola to lick. Given the hilarious way she busts a gut, you’d think we’d hooked her up to a nitrous oxide IV or that Lola was acting out scenes from Annie Hall.
They’ve gotten to be such buddies that Lola, a dog that typically runs and hides upstairs when she hears the creak of the bathroom spigot being turned on, will now happily prance into the bathroom and sit by the tub while her “puppy” gets a bath. Babies really do change everything.
A post with a baby and a cute dog? The internet might explode. Any fears we had (and they were pretty minimal with Lola’s temperament) over Lola meeting Cece have largely dissipated. Heaven help us if Cece cries and we don’t move fast enough.
Here’s how it goes:
It’s 2:30 AM. Cece mewls in her crib. Lola’s head pops up from the other room. Parents roll over. Cece makes another noise. Lola looks at sleeping owners. Nothing. Lola marches to the head of the bed and picks a target. Cece cries again, really giving it some oomph this time. It penetrates the sleepy parent’s skulls. Parents peel eyes open. One of them is the lucky winner of a hot dog breath sauna. Satisfied that we are taking this seriously, Lola will hop down like Lassie and stand by the crib till one of us moseys over to the nursery and makes sure Cece hasn’t fallen down any abandoned wells.
I fear a conspiracy in the making.
After some tough negotiations, Lola has graciously abdicated the throne of the house to Cece. I’m pretty sure there were some back room deals involving future high chair airdrops, but regardless, the deal was sealed with a sniff a careful lick of the tiny hand. Lola is doing fine. She’s curious and gets a little nervous when Cece cries, but overall she is happy to sit beside us on the couch or sit in her bed in the nursery.