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And baby makes 5

Our beautiful new Anatolian Shepherd mix puppy, Cleopatra. Or, Miss Cleo for short!

Last Saturday night, I just could not get to sleep. I had been helping with the babies at church the previous evening, and it got me all mushy and wistful. Stupid uterus and hormones. I was cruising around on Facebook, as you do in the middle of the night with nothing else to do, when I saw a desperate post. There was an abandoned litter found in the cold night. Mystery pups. Rolling stones. They needed people to take them in before they froze to death.

So I jumped without looking. Or even talking to The Hubs about it. I asked for the little white girl dog that matched my big white dog. I crawled into bed at 2 a.m., and he rolled over and asked what I was doing.

“Becoming a mommy again, I just took a rescue puppy.” He didn’t even bat an eye, so relieved it wasn’t a real baby.

We picked her up the next day and went straight to PetSmart. She needed food, puppy pads and a crate. She was skinny and shaking and was in desperate need of a bath. After dinner and a dip, we talked for a bit about names over dinner. She’s only about 8 weeks old, all Frito-smelling feet and puppy breath. Like my male dog Dutch, she is white with dark markings around her eyes, like someone used kohl to line them. I suggested Cleopatra or Elizabeth Taylor. A friend said her eyes made her look sultry, so I added Blanch Devereaux to the mix. The Hubs pitched Starsky, as in Starsky and Dutch, like the old TV show. I suggested we wait a day or two before making any decisions, let her personality come out a little.

We crated her the first night, expecting some whimpering and crying. The Hubs gave her a heads up as we went to bed. “You are not sleeping with us in the bed, Little Missy.” But she didn’t care what he said, and set out to show him who was boss. Y’all. She took crying to a whole new level. She does this woeful combination of a cry and a howl, head thrown back like a coyote under a full moon. And it lasted for what seemed like forever. After shushing her, moving her, petting her and taking her outside to go to the bathroom again, The Hubs was wiped out. He put her in bed with us, and I fell asleep laughing. He is such a sucker.

When the kids awoke the next morning, Bodacious had her own name suggestion.

“She can really cry! It sounded like a song, we should call her Adele.”

The dog also bears a strong resemblance to the KISS rock band character Spaceman. But I don’t think I want to name her after a rock star. She is going to be a handful already, I can tell. I don’t believe in tempting fate. The Hubs has already noted that she and Bodacious have similar personalities. “Only you could manage to find a dog exactly like your daughter.” They are all love and curiosity and drama.

We have had her for a week now, and Mama’s worn out. It has been a long time since I had a puppy, I had forgotten how needy they are. I take her out every hour, but she still has accidents in the house. I don’t know if you can really call them accidents though when she looks at me all haughty and glossy-eyed, saying “I will not be told where I can go and where I cannot go!”

We’ll see who has the last laugh though. I decided to Amazon Prime her some doggy diapers yesterday after I stepped in a more, shall we say, solid, accident. It took me 30 minutes to track down all my boot prints and scrub them up. My Roomba, Mr. Carson, has also suffered under her rule. I am telling you, you haven’t lived until you have picked poop out of the vacuum’s tire tread with a toothpick.

Messy or not, the kids adore her. Our whole house now revolves around tending to her needs. I have put Mr. Carson away until potty training is complete. Wish I had thought of that sooner. I know it won’t take long though, she is smart and treat motivated. She has almost mastered sitting on command as well using the dog door. Little Son, who has been home all week with a nasty case of the flu, has bonded with her already. He asked me who I thought the dog liked more, him or his sister.

“It doesn’t matter who she likes, Son. She will love your dad the most.” All kids and animals love him above all others, he’s magic that way. Despite the praises, cuddles and treats I’ve given her, though, when I put her in bed last night she went straight to The Hubs. She climbed up on his pillow, and slept across his head like a cat. I know he isn’t sleeping well with her in bed, and every time she makes a peep, he launches them out of bed and into the backyard in case she needs to go to the bathroom.

Did you know that Cleopatra translates into “the father-loving Goddess?” I guess I have tempted fate.

As he staggered around this morning, late for work with no breakfast or coffee, I smiled and said, “Oh, this is just like having a baby again!”

He agreed. “Yeah, but her baby stage won’t last nearly as long. This will be over in a few months, not three years!”

Well, like Mark Antony, I guess I better take what I can get. All hail the queen. Cleopatra requires a treat and a tummy rub before her naptime.

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