July 26, 2015

The Story of Gracie

So, I haven't blogged forever. Well actually, it's only been about six months. I'm going play a bit of catch up.

Thinking back over the past six months and trying to figure out what I should blog about, the main thing that stands out in my mind is Gracie–Gracie the dog, that is. Yes, we got a dog. I was beginning to think it might not happen again in my lifetime, but Katie finally caved.

I must have been a good boy this past year because for Christmas I received five rentals from Puppies For Rent. This is a business that rents out puppies by the hour with the intent of getting them adopted. The cool thing is that each rental fee can be applied towards an adoption fee. When Katie gave me the gift, she did say we could "possibly" adopt a dog "sometime" in the future if we were to find the "perfect" dog. Well to me, that translates as, "We're getting a dog now!"

I've never been able to pick out my own puppy before. We've always ended up with rescue dogs. Each one of them had issues–shedding, killer breath, and overall obnoxiousness. I was determined to make a great choice and find the perfect dog for our family.

One night for Family Home Evening, I was in charge of the activity. I rented Bubbles, an Australian Sheep Dog. Bubbles was very cute and fun to play with, but once I saw the size of her paws, it hit me how big she would end up being. The perfect dog for our family would be a smaller dog. Big dogs make big poops–that's all I'm sayin'.

Fun with Bubbles.

We had to wait a while for our next puppy rental. All the puppies available were large breeds. However after a few months, Prince came along. He was a chihuahua mix. After taking my last final for the semester, I rewarded myself with a puppy rental. Prince was an adorable dog and everyone liked him. We even rented him a second time. We decided to apply to adopt Prince. But, we were too late. Someone else snagged him. We were slightly bummed, but I figured there was another puppy out there for us.

Prince–You snooze you lose.
After Prince, I checked Puppies for Rent's website daily waiting for another puppy about Prince's size to show up. About three months later, Sophie showed up. For me, it was love at first sight. I immediately scheduled a rental.

This was the photo on the website. There's no way I could have resisted.

This was another photo posted on the Puppies for Rent website.
I don't know who this cute little girl is, but I knew I had to save the puppy. 

When Sophie arrived, we were amazed at how tiny she was. She easily fit in the palm of my hand. She is a chihuahua/poodle mix. Many call this breed a poochi, but the boys like to call her a poohuahua. That first rental, the puppy mostly slept. When she was a awake, she did play a bit, but the slick wood floors proved tricky. It was pretty hilarious. The puppy was very smart. She seemed to know who she had to please–the two non-dog lovers, Katie and Liam. Both of them took to the puppy almost instantly, so I knew this dog was the one for us.

In the beginning, she did a lot of sleeping.
I didn't waste any time applying to adopt the puppy. It didn't take long to hear back that the dog was ours. We had to wait about a week, since the puppy had already been scheduled for a few rentals. I figured that in the meantime, we might as well rent her again since all the rental fee go to towards the adoption. It was during this second rental, we decided to come up with a name. No one was really sold on Sophie. Chloe was the first to offer a suggestion. She really, really wanted to name the puppy Princess Blossom Pepperdoodle Von Yum Yum. This was the name of a cartoon cat in the PSB children's series. While it's an interesting name, Chloe was unanimously vetoed. The second suggestion came surprisingly from Liam. He offered the name Gracie. Everyone but Chloe liked the name. I was especially happy that Liam came up with the name since he's not a big pet fan.

I went to the pet store to prepare.

Our first rental of Gracie was on March 30. At that time we were told, she was five weeks old. Counting back, we figure her birthdate was February 16. Not like we're going to throw the Gracie birthday parties like some family members, who shall remain nameless, but it's good to know.

Here Gracie is at about three months. Is that a little shirt she's wearing?
Um...yes. We have now become those kind of people. I'm afraid that's just
one step away from throwing the dog a birthday party.
One of Gracie's favorite things to do is dig. I took this photo of her while she was "helping" Katie do some gardening.

A few minutes after this photo was taken, Gracie was covered in mud.

When Chloe came back from her internship in Mexico and a side trip to visit Aunt Bita in Mexico, she brought Gracie back a Texas outfit. I guess I am just going to have to buy her a BYU outfit now.

Hook'em Horns!

Because Gracie is part poodle, her hair continues to grow. She was beginning to look really scruffy, so I took her to the doggy salon for a haircut. She looked much better afterward.

After the haircut, I had to buy her a new outfit. She has a pug
friend who lives behind us named Sweetie Belle. Sweetie Belle
wears a new outfit almost daily. We have some work to do
to catch up.

Here is Gracie's official five month portrait. She's so cute we've let her up on our brand new couch.

She's workin' it.

All in all, Gracie has been the perfect puppy for our family. She has had her share of accidents and getting into things, but overall she's a good dog. Right now, we are working on training her. We've got "sit" down, but that's about it. It's going to take a while. Gracie does not have much patience and is a bit hyper. I think that's the chihuahua side coming through.

We are very happy Gracie has joined our family. The kids are worried she might be becoming the favorite child. They don't need to be too concerned. Well...maybe. I see how my parents treat their dog, Bella. So kids, watch out. Here comes Gracie!