You see, Nick wasn't so keen on the idea. I had done so much research and so much planning and we believed together that choosing the right dog for our family would be a difficult task that would require us to meet many dogs, research many breeds, and be in just the right life stage. It turns out that like the adage "life is what happens when you're making other plans", life had already picked out the perfect dog for us and dropped her into our path. Of course it helped that Border Collie and King Charles Spaniel were two breeds I had researched extensively as options for us, and when I heard the combination, I practically jumped at the opportunity to meet the puppies.
In my puppy books, experts had intoned that choosing a pup was a science -- meet all the puppies in their home environment so you can see what they're growing up with, meet the dam and the sire, ignore the pups and observe their play and interactions with each other to determine future energy level. Choose the puppy who displays the kind of energy you are looking for -- assertive for those who want a guard dog or show dog, quiet, looking to the parent for guidance if you want an attentive lap dog. Instead of using all of these tips as I had intended, I received four pictures on my phone by text. One of the sire, one of the dam, and one of each puppy. I was told "We're going to take the black and white one, so the little tan one is the last!" This from my mother in law, both of us ecstatic over the idea of having litter-mates that could grow up together, kept within the same extended family.
|The photos I had to go on before I met our pup.|
The pups had been sleeping in the car and were very much out of it still, so it was impossible to know anything about them except that when this little pup licked Nicks beard, we were in love with her. We had already talked about a name and, completely invested, I told Nick "she looks like a Lola", and that was that.
Lola and Molly curled up together in the middle back seat, having traveled to us in a laundry basket. They slept during our long drive home, and Lola loathed to say goodbye to her sister when it was time to put her, alone, into the backseat of our car and drive away from Nicks parents. She was very brave, very tenacious, and very sleepy her first night. I couldn't bear her cries when we put her in her closed crate, so I tied her to the crate with the door open and she opted to pass out on the carpet just outside (the monks of New Skete recommend tying your pup to your bed if you're not crate training so I at least got this idea from an expert, haha) . Once she was asleep I gently lifted her into the crate and closed the door. She didn't even notice.
Ever since, Lola has been the cornerstone of our lives together. She shapes our relationships with each other and our friends, and has enriched our lives very much. We've even made new friends through dog walks and trips to the park, and the fresh air has done us all good. Friends remark that if there's one way to describe Lola, it's "Happy" and indeed, she's always smiling and keen to play. She's our little love, and I spend every day away from her excited to return for hugs and kisses with Lola.
|Photos of Lola at our wedding by Genevieve Renee Photographie|