If you're a person who measures your life in dogs, the day a new one joins the family is the beginning of an era. Before we belonged to that dog, now we belong to this one, in a chain that goes back to the first time a wee pup wiggled under your hand to get it's ears scratched.
I did not think we would be starting a new era quite so soon. To be honest, in the past I've been a little judge-y when others "rush out to get a new dog the day after their old one dies". But when we had to have Moe put to sleep I realized that--as it's actually been rare in my life to only have one dog--I've always been in a position of privilege on that score. No matter how many dogs you have, losing one is always sad, but it's an altogether more lonely thing to come home to a completely empty house.
So, we started looking.
My heart may never be ready for a terrier again, and we're just in such a different place. I wanted more of a family dog. One that wouldn't be quite so wicked smart and stubborn. And maybe a dog big enough to run with eventually? (I've only had about two quasi-scary encounters, but--as #yesallwomenrunners will tell you--sometimes having a big dog at your side is not a bad thing.) I stalked rescue websites for a few weeks without much luck, and then I came across a litter of goldendoodles in the paper.
Sweet Husband and I purposely left the kids with a sitter when we went to see them. I wanted to make sure we felt good--about the parents, about the situation the pups were being raised in--before things went any further. But mama was a sweetheart. Dad was appropriately interested in us, but settled quickly with a toy. And their breeder was obviously madly in love with the whole little doodle family....so, we picked one and were finally able to bring her home last weekend.
But I know what you're asking yourself, dear reader. How--in a house with a five year old who loves Paw Patrol and some wretched cartoon called "Bubble Guppies"--did I get away with such a cute, sensible name? Well, the truth is, I lied.
I was thinking about Minerva (McGonagall, from Harry Potter). And then about the Dowager Countess (Violet, from Downton Abbey). But neither name really rolls off the tongue, right? But you can see what they have in common, yes? So Dame Maggie, it was!
And--once that was settled in my own head--we just told the Kid, "Well, bub, her mama named her Maggie. We can't change it now or she'll get confused." (I pinky-promise that I will let him name...almost all of the chickens this spring to make up for it.)
Thus far, she's settling in well. Welcome Dame Maggie!