23 May 2016

A Pup Named Kip


We thought Deacon would be our last dog.  In a way, he's responsible for teaching us to never say 'never'.

I remember a walk we took last winter when my husband and I talked about taking trips together once Deacon had passed away.  We were dreamily making plans for the future, after our boy had lived out his natural life.  Deacon looked over his shoulder as if to say 'I'm right here, you know'.  We laughed and then apologized in the silly way you do when talking to your pet because...if they understand 'treat', 'car', 'drive', 'walk', 'play', 'toy', 'swim'...you get the idea.  We had no idea that cancer had probably already taken hold in his system.

My husband and I are the softest dog owners you could ever meet  This meant separate holidays and short outings while watching the clock.  Oh the trips we would take together one day, and just imagine the spontaneity of booking into a hotel instead of driving home simply because we could.  New hardwood floors would be nice.

Our boy has been gone nearly three months and we have no desire to book into a hotel...or plan a trip, or have shiny floors to stare blankly at.  What we do want is to held accountable to the demands of a ball of fur the size of a soccer ball.  We want our clothes to bear smears of dog spit and even the odd hole down to a playful tug.  A bit of fur in the vacuum would be nice, the more the better.  Sparkly clean floors devoid of paw prints are highly over-rated.

After a few weeks of trying to find a rescue and just missing out on one sweet boy, I called the breeder we bought Deacon from.  A litter had been born just three days before.  There were three red and white pups, three black and white - only one being male.  The photo above was sent and last week my husband and I drove for just over two hours to meet what now looked more like a guinea pig than a dog.  Once the pup nuzzled and complained about the lack of a food source he settled down for a nap in my arms.  And just like that we were smitten.

If all goes well, this little bundle of joy will come to live with us towards the end of June and we've settled on a name - Kip.

Having lost two dogs to cancer, my husband and I have been doing some research on causes.  It's been said that heredity is the gun, environment the trigger.  Deacon was obsessed with balls and would go through one every couple of weeks - they were plastic and made in China.  It's shocking that companies profess to cater to dogs with a litany of products and then put profit ahead of safety.

While we'll never know for sure what caused Deacon's cancer, losing him has taught my husband and I to question so much more than we already did.  We spent some time yesterday making homemade chew toys (youtube is full of ideas) and will make our own treats.  I home-cooked for Deacon towards the end of his life and plan to do more of that for Kip.

Reading for pleasure has been a bit slow lately but I finished reading a novel by Jean Rhys this morning and it was brilliant!  I'll post my thoughts in a few days...enjoy the long weekend!    

12 comments:

  1. Oh, well done, Darlene, and the best of luck to you all!
    (Can't wait to follow Kip's progress.)

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    1. Thanks, Karen! We're in for some very busy and trying days but those puppy cuddles make it all worthwhile. In choosing the name I thought of your girl, Pippin, quite often. Hope she's doing well!

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    1. Who could resist?! Lovely to hear from you, Audrey...have a lovely weekend!

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  3. Congratulations on the new family addition! Can't wait to see more photos when Kip comes home. I know what you mean about missing the mess & the companionship. I only lasted three months after Abby died before I was down at the shelter meeting Lucky & Phoebe.

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    1. You have the best luck when it comes to choosing lovely cats, Lyn! That extra heartbeat(s) in the house really make a house feel like a home, don't they. Deacon has been gone almost three months and I still can't bear to take up his food and water bowls - the only thing for it is to bring another dog into the house. Stay tuned for photos....

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  4. I so loved reading this. I'm really happy you are getting Kip. If we end up getting a second Labrador and he's a boy, we're naming him Kipper after the books and tv series.

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    1. Dogs are just the best and I love the idea of two, or even more. Though there are those muddy spring months when wiping paws could be a part-time job!
      There's a lab puppy just a few doors down from us and he's the sweetest boy you could ever imagine. He seems to make sticks appear from nowhere and his soft, floppy body is irresistible. Cuddles to your dog, Nan.

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  5. What a lovely little puppy. You could pay Deacon no finer tribute than you are, taking another dog into your hearts and home and giving him a lovely life. I'm sure that you'll look at him and think 'Deacon did that' or 'Deacon didn't do' that and so a young dog will bring an older dog's younger days back to you. That's what happened to us when we found Briar, after thinking no other border terrier could be a lovely as Pip, but then finding that our family would be incomplete without another of her kind and that Briar was completely different but just as lovely.

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  6. You are so right, Jane. My husband had the shovel out this past weekend and was moving plants. Deacon would have his nose close to the shovel with each plunge into the soil and barked with excitement as he 'supervised'. Those furry little beasts just make everything more fun.
    I'm smiling at the thought of Pip - I've only ever known you to have Briar! Another lucky dog to have enjoyed playing on your beautiful coastline - and who knows, perhaps even have modelled your knit hats with as much style. Thanks so much for your helpful words of support, Jane, it means a lot.

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  7. What a lovely puppy! What breed is he? I know I couldn't last too long without a dog. We just sent our beloved Golden Retriver Lucy up to Michigan for the summer so she doesn't have to suffer through the overseas move. It's better for her to join us later but I do miss her terribly though I know she's having lots of fun up North. Looking forward to more puppy photos!

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    1. Thanks, Karen...he's a border collie. It sounds like your girl is in good hands with a plethora of new areas to discover but I know how you feel. Thankfully the move will keep you very busy but oh...the empty spaces, lack of dog feet padding the floor, gorgeous eyes...I could go on. Here's hoping the time flies and you're back together very, very soon. All the best!

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