I’m trying to sneak this in the narrow window of puppy nap time; you know, the brief stretch where they sleep off the excitement of all the new sites and smells and sounds while you’re sitting in your chair, eyes bleeding because you’re only allowed 30 minutes stretches of sleep overnight, praying for the day they’ll stay asleep through the night so you can 🙂 By the grace of God, at least the period of waiting for a puppy to do it is shorter than waiting for an infant humanoid to. By the way? I wouldn’t change one single damn thing 🙂

My daughter picked me up at 6:30 a.m. yesterday, and we settled in for a 6-hour drive one way to pick up Miss Alice. Now, as road trip people, long drives are nothing new for us; in a recent past life, living my lifelong dream of owning horses, I did countless runs between Texas and New England with horses in trailers, picking some up and dropping some off. A 12-hour same-day round-trip run to New York would be easy peasy.

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Once the coffee(me) and the tea (daughter) started clearing off the “too damn early for any human with any self-respect to be out of bed on a Saturday” fog, she told me that her husband is out of his mind, excited about me getting a Newfoundland and can’t wait for Alice to get home. Then she tells me he said he has always wanted a big dog (they have a Shih Tzu and a Westmoreland), and he really wished he could get one too. My daughter loves big dogs but loves them more when they go home…she much prefers the little ones.

She told me he went to the website where we found Alice, saw that some puppies were still available, and pointed out the one he liked the most. He told her what he would name the puppy if he got one. Then she did what all wives of nearly 20 years do… Acknowledged and Affirmed his feelings while quietly, to herself, thinking there would be no fucking way a big dog in their house with the hair and the drool and the shit piles that would be bigger than her dogs, was ever going to work in their lives.

As my oldest daughter, she and I have developed a reputation over the years of being so quick to mischief and so prone to random spontaneity, that we aren’t allowed to go out together unsupervised because you never know what we’re going to do by the time we get back home from an adventure. As she told me this story I started thinking how cool it would be if we got that puppy and kept it a surprise from him and just handed it to him when we got back.

She had already been thinking the same thing, and she said that she really would like to give him what he wanted – his birthday had just passed, and mine was coming up, but she was stressed about the money, afraid the surprise might not be met with enthusiasm because maybe he was thinking out loud wistfully, and she was very conflicted. Me being me… And us being us when we are together unsupervised… I said, “Fuck it, even if he changed his mind, it’s not like we’re driving 6 hours to take it back, so let’s just open a new chapter in everyone’s lives together, and go for it !”

Now that she has become the responsible adult, and I have become the doddering old carefree father, she has to keep both of us out of trouble, so about the time we got within 30 minutes of the Breeders location, she started getting cold feet. She decided to text her husband and tell him what she was up to, that she wanted to surprise him but didn’t want him to wish she hadn’t, and that she wanted to make sure they were on the same page. His answer? “Fuck it- put it on the AmEx… Let’s do this!” As she quietly read the text, she laughed aloud and said, “Who is this person, and what has he done with my husband?” I knew in that moment that a lot of lives had instantly changed,

When we got to the breeder and exchanged greetings, she led us into a room drowning in dogs. For those of you unfamiliar with large dogs, or having only been around one at a time, entering a space where there is well over a ton’s worth of canine – Each of which is at least 120 lb if not more like 150 – is the most glorious and overwhelming experience of love, drool, and hair, and happy tails strong enough to knock you over, and it’s something you’ll never forget, I was in heaven, my “little dogs are perfect for me” daughter was suffering a little bit of sensory overload. All it took was putting Little Miss Emma in her hands, and you could see in her face that feeling of”Fuck it, let’s DO this!”

We went into the birthing rooms and saw two litters of incredibly adorable little babies at various stages of growth, we went to the area where Alice was with her mother, and the breeder handed her to me and then leaned down, scooped up Miss Emma, Alice’s littermate, and went back out to the larger area to do the paperwork. Because of my eyesight issues, my daughter always signs everything for me… She has all my PIN numbers memorized when a card number is involved (my two granddaughters as well)… And I sat down on the floor with our two new babies in my lap. The second I sat down with the girls, all of the mothers and fathers took turns licking the babies, licking me in the face, demanding that I Pat every one of them all at the same time despite only having two hands, and I just allowed the whole love Bubble to wash over me. It was glorious. All of the parents and even the grandfather of our girls sized me up, checked me out, gave me a face full of kisses, and went back to their other business. I “get” that this is not the sort of thing a lot of people would be particularly amused by, but I don’t even know how to put into words that would do it justice by saying this was one of the happiest moments I’ve had in my life in a very very long time… I’ll leave it to you to make of that what you wish.


Any good Storyteller worth his salt waits until the end to make the larger point of the story that needs telling, so thank you for reading this far, and understand the deal I made with my daughter to get her off the fence and embrace the magnitude of the sea change she was consciously making and her new life of living with a big dog; I committed my house and my time for doggie daycare while the grown-ups go off to work. Emma will be dropped off here in the morning; I will tend to the chaos, the housebreaking, and the nap management… Veterinarian visits for the continued shots and worming they will need over the next several months (her oldest son works the second shift, so he’ll be doing the driving), and Jillian will come here after school for some quality time with both girls. I don’t know about you people, but I have died and gone to heaven. Not only do I have Miss Alice in my life, I have her sister and I get to watch the two of them grow up together to become thick as thieves… My daughter and I have already decided to nickname them Thelma and Louise, and we’re just waiting to see which of the girls’ personalities evolve and present themselves over the next 6 to 12 months so we can decide which is Thelma and which is Louise.


PS: I really have no idea, just yet, how all of this will affect the volume of my future content creation in the short term, but I’m pretty sure I said somewhere above, that I can’t imagine being any happier about the reasons why that might become a bit sporadic for now. FWIW, I’m considering either “Alice Adventures” or “Alice Diaries” for entry titles as the future unfolds. I’m leaning toward the latter, thinking it would be cool for the tone to sound like she’s doing the writing so she can make fun of humans in her content… Thoughts? Either way, Life is pretty freaking good today. 🙂

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