When Ellie first came home with Sean and I, she made her opinion of us quite clear – “You stink, and I want nothing to do with you”. Our first tentative attempts to coax her out of her crate were met with undisguised contempt and loathing, and we were left wondering if she’d ever warm up to us.
We knew she was growing to love us the day that she decided she wanted to eat dinner with us. Ellie and the dogs ate in the kitchen, two rooms away from the living room. Ellie was always a slow eater, still working her way through her kibble long after the other dogs were through, and usually Ellie would come and join us when she was finally done. One day, during dinner time, we noticed Ellie running back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. We finally figured it out – she was carrying her food out to us, one mouthful at a time, and eating it sitting beside us. Carry one mouthful out, chew, go back for more, repeat.
After that, it was Ellie’s dinner time ritual – she’d bring her food out so she could eat dinner next to us, and Sean and I finally fell head over heels in love with her.
Two days ago, while I was doing some cleaning in the puppy room, all of the pups were sleeping in a big pile in their bed except for Jellie Bean, who was still picking at her food. When I looked over at her, I noticed she was grabbing a mouthful of kibble, and then carrying it over to the edge of the pen, so she could sit and watch me while she was eating. My heart instantly broke into ten million tiny little pieces, and I will admit that I broke down and cried a little bit.
Every puppy that we have carries echoes of the dogs that came before them. Every litter has a moment when I am struck by a resemblance to another puppy, or another dog. Every time I send puppies home with their new families, I send pieces of myself along with them, and the memories of all the wonderful, beautiful, beloved dogs that are their families and their heritage.
In other heart breaking news, Dexter has gone off to Michigan, where he is about to embark on a dual career as lothario and show dog. He’s staying with our friend Sue Case, of Epic French Bulldogs, where he’s about to discover the joys of fatherhood (hopefully). After that, he’ll be hitting the show trail. We’ll post a list of his entries, so that anyone who is in the area can drop in and cheer my little man on. He’s a bit of a momma’s boy, so please be sure to give him an ear scratch and tummy rub from me if you see him!
Some new photos of the crazy kids (who really, really love their green crinkly tunnel!) are below, or over on Flickr.