We talked about getting her one for Christmas, but then we found out we were having a baby right around then, and it seemed like a foolish idea to be taking care of a puppy and a baby and their eccentricities at the same time.
And then one of Jeff's students mentioned that his girlfriend's mother was fostering a pregnant dog that had been shipped from Georgia, starving and abused. When her puppies were born last July, she wasn't able to nurse them, so the foster mother and her family had to take care of them, an around-the-clock job that I cannot imagine. There were twelve pups in the litter, but only nine survived.
Anyway, by October, there were only two puppies left, so Jeff suggested we go look at them. If we got Ari an early Christmas present, the puppy would probably be acclimated by the time the baby was born in December.
Ari was adamant that she was going to name her new puppy "Chewbacca". However, we had kind of an amusing surprise when we got there.
The foster family had quite a sense of humor; each of the puppies was named after a character on The Big Bang Theory. The two remaining dogs were Leonard and Howard, and Ari fell in love with Howard right away.
There was no question that Howard would be our dog. The question was why Ari wanted to keep his name Howard when she'd been so vehement about naming him Chewbacca.
Ari, who is a fan of The Big Bang Theory, explained it thus: "His name is obviously Howard because he is all over the ladies."
And so Howard arrived and quickly became a member of the family.
His first night and morning home:
Howard quickly learned that hiking is an endeavor his family enjoys. He quickly became a fan, too.
He gets along well with other dogs, especially his "aunts", my mother's dogs.
He loved Gabrielle when we brought her home, and was unspeakably gentle with her from the start:
And then came Christmas
We are definitely going. After all, how often does this sort of chance come up? (And Ari wants to know if Sheldon the puppy is anything like, you know, Sheldon the TV character)
And how lucky are we to have had this amazing, annoying, loving, mischievous puppy come into our life? I can't believe it's already been a year.