Just 23 short days left and our perfect baby boy puppy will be ours. And, oh readers, oh lovers of mine, I’m in full nesting mode.
Last night, William, Gabrielle and I sat around the kitchen island looking at collars online. We’d decided on the Blueberry brand with the help of one of our friends, so now it was time to choose color and pattern. You’d think we were picking out a prom dress with the amount of deliberation that went into it. Scottish tartan? Too fussy. Flamingos? Too Floridian. Cupcakes? Too gluttonous. Was he a red man? A blue man? Both seemed too predictable. We finally decided on yellow, which we felt would go nicely against his sharp black and white coat.
Our baby is a Boston Terrier, and was chosen thanks to our friend Hannah’s dog Pepper, who is also a “roundhead.” It took just 15 minutes of being around that little charmer before my husband, who would never be accused of being overly demonstrative, was on his haunches yowling, “Who’s my good girl? Who’s my good girrrrrrl?”
Gabrielle and I had long wanted a dog, but our family had never been able to agree on the breed or timing. But suddenly, here was Pepper, both part of the party, and, with the self-possession of a sage, an observer of it too. She was smart, amusing, discriminating and adroit at getting her needs met. At one point, after my husband had briefly vacated his spot on the couch, Pepper climbed up onto it, nestling herself on the cushion and swinging her haunches— “Mmm, mmm, mmm” — to get nice and comfortable. After William returned, he couldn’t bear to move her. He pulled a chair from the dining room, parked it beside her, and sat on it instead.
Bostons are otherwise known as the American Gentlemen of the dog breed world, in part because their coats look somewhat akin to a tuxedo. It’s in this vein that we’ve decided to call our fur baby Fitzgerald, Fitzi for short. First off, F. Scott is one of my favorite writers. Second, the name just seems to capture what we’re sure is going to be Fitzi’s worldly sophistication. We imagine, for example, that he already has a right British accent, maybe of the African colonial variety, the kind that always makes you think that the speaker is deep into a second martini: a little swishy, occasionally slurry, peppered with confirmations like “Right” and “Quite.” We also imagine he’ll have a very active social life and, in his free time, be rather sporting.
In fact we’re so sure William decided last night that Fitzi shouldn’t be limited to just one collar. Yes, the yellow one might be appropriate for when he plays tennis or cricket. But didn’t he need a leather one for more formal occasions like, say, hunting?
“I don’t wear the same tie every day,” William posited, “So why should he have to wear the same collar?”
His rationale was met with absolutely no argument from me. In fact, it made my heart swell that he cared so much. He then also announced that he would be the one to find and buy the leather collar. I mean, come on: How cute is that?
That’s one surprising thing I’ve learned on this dog ownership journey: how much it brings you together. I’ve witnessed that with my little brother Matthew and his wife Jennie, who adopted a puppy in the summer. Jennie said sometimes she just can’t stand the cuteness that comes from watching Stevie and my brother together. I imagine it will be the same with me. Watching your spouse love on something you love is really pretty incredible.
And now little, perfect Gabrielle will finally have a dog at our place. She’s been begging for a pet for years. We conceded for a while and gave her a few hamsters, which was a horrible, stinky, dissatisfying experiment. She finally made due with a plant in her bedroom and called it Sir Peter. But now she’ll have a real, good pet.
I couldn’t be more excited for her and for us and, to that end, a warning. Because what happens when you have a baby in the house? That’s right! You talk about it all the time. And, dear readers, I’ve gotta tell you: I’m going to get really annoying in the next weeks. Expect pictures, videos on my blog, and an endless amount of Fitzi-themed columns. It’s not going to be pretty. But who can help it? A baby is coming! Our baby is finally coming!