Saturday, July 26, 2003

Oh My, What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?

So the familial unit is out tooling the highway and byways of Knox County this afternoon, soaking up some sun, seein' the sights. We go through downtown so GiggleGirl can see the "Sunspear". Hang a Ralph to travel down Chapman Highway (also known as the Highway of Doom(tm)) and pass all the lovely strip malls and mom&pop tattoo parlors. If you keep driving Chapman to its para-logical conclusion, you run smack-dab into Sevierville, gateway to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains beyond.

But wait! We're not headed that far today, our destination is a bit closer in - the bustling metropolis of Seymour, TN. What's in Seymour, TN this fine Saturday afternoon in June that could attract a family of four in the proverbial RugRat Chariot? Baseball game? Nope. Cookout? Guess again, Chester. We're headed for the parking lot of a little church near Wendy's. You see, GiggleGirl's daycare teacher (soon to be unemployed, see previous rants) seems to have something she needs to get taken off her and her family's hands. Several somethings, actually, and they wiggle, bark, whimper and poop.

We's a-getting a puppy!

Now, those who've known me personally might now I've never owned a dog in my life. Up until I got married, I'd never owned a cat (now we have two). My wife, however, has gotten it into her head that she wants a Bassett Hound, has always wanted a Bassett Hound, and will not let me forget she wants a Bassett Hound till we're old and gray.

Worse, the meme has infected our kids. The add-a-dog-to-the-family meme spread through our little ka-tet faster than a liberal blogger posting new fake WMD documentation evidence. Dad, however, was the only holdout. Yes...mean, unfair, cold-as-ice, might-as-well-throw-gerbils-in-a-blender Dad.

Ok, we'll go look.

So we did - and there they were. Momma Bassett and her 5 or 6 wriggling balls of fur. Cute, ok, they were cute. The littlest one is brown & white, and she was the runt of the litter.

Mom and GiggleGirl were charmed. Even Dad gives it a begrudging nod (I know, call me a curmudgeon). BrainyBoy v7.5 was less than enthused...

Now, I haven't said much about BrainyBoy. He's 7-1/2, going on 8 and knows everything about everything. He also knows this - he likes dogs, just...from a distance. A safe distance. Say, 1.26 light years distance.

While the girls are all ooh-ing and ahh-ing together on little Rain (that's the name the owners gave it), BrainyBoy is sulking back at the van. Dad investigates:

Dad: "Hey C. c'mon over here and hold the puppy!"

C: "Um, no, that's ok. I'll just stay here in the van."

Dad: "Huh? Why?"

C: "Well, because it's hot outside...."

Dad: (Yeah, right) "C'mon, just hold him. Er, her. it is."

C: "NO!"

Dad: "I thought you wanted one of these?"

C: "I do, I want one really bad. I just don't want to hold one..."

<Fast forward past much hysterics, pouting, whining, and cajoling. Eventually he accedes when given an ultimatem...>

Dad: "C., either you walk yourself over to that pack of puppies - the mom is safely restrained elsewhere - and pick up that little pup and hold it, or we're not taking one home tonight."

Well, I was proud of him. With his back against the wall and his manboyhood in question, he did exactly that. He marched over, picked her up like a 3 pound ham and promptly set her back down again. He looked over at us, "Well?"

Laughing, we gave in. Pup's ours!

Now that the barrier has been broken, BrainyBoy was happy to have her ride in his lap all the way home (with a stop-off at PetSmart for food, bowl and other supplies).

Now everyone's in bed, pup's been watered, fed, walked, introduced to Fang and Crusher the Cat Enforcers, amid various hissing and arching of backs - oh, they'll get along fine. Eventually. Someday. When cockroaches finally rule the earth. But that's another story.

So, we're the proud owners of a 6-week-old Basset/Beagle mix with chocolate brown eyes and a sweet disposition. And she doesn't even smell too bad, either (one of my big dog-hangups). I'll post pix once we get them developed.

I've got great video of her romping with the kids in the front yard, too.

Our next task: a name. None of us really like Rain, so we need another name. Our preference is something from a Disney flick or a cartoon that the kids like. My first choice is Jesse, from Toy Story II - other names floated have been Lilo, Stitch, or Francince from the Arthur cartoons.

Oh, and anyone with special knowledge of raising Bassett Hound puppies - please inquire within.

God help us all ;)

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