Monday, November 25, 2013

Introducing Phoebe

This is going to be a very doggie post.  It's funny how so many things that are worthwhile in the long run, involve a lot of pain and suffering--childbirth, stripping paint, raising a puppy. It has been a long time since we've had a real puppy around here.  Sancho is eight, and we adopted him when he was three months old, and already housebroken.  We adopted Luna when she was only five weeks old, but that was so long ago (1999) that I'd forgotten just how much work a puppy is.  There is a world of difference between a three month old puppy and one who is just a few weeks old.   Of course, all this is a preamble to tell you that we've got a new puppy--Phoebe, a seven-week old coonhound.

It took 1,000 tries to capture the head-tilt of intelligence. 

And she's delightful.  I love her wrinkled houndy face and her huge flapping ears and her little puppy squeaks, but oh my goodness, I'd forgotten how much work a puppy is, although Grace and Seamus have been enormously helpful.   The advent of Phoebe brought a rush of suppressed memories.  When we adopted Luna, Seamus was an infant and not yet sleeping through the night.  The other kids were really little and Jon was working night shift.  So guess who was getting up in the night to nurse the baby AND getting up in the night to let the puppy out?  I seriously do not know how I survived that.

We've had Phoebe for a week and she has settled in well, and seems to love us, although I think she is a little afraid of me, probably (I hope) because she knows I am the alpha female. She isn't housebroken yet, but I can tell she understands the concept of outdoors = toilet.

Her tummy was bloated the day we got her,
but it has gone down and our vet has declared her worm-free.

I have had a hard time getting good photos because Phoebe is more or less the exact same color as our floors.  I tried to take some pictures outside, and she's also the exact color of the fallen leaves.

blending into the floor.

Sancho:  Thanks.  Thanks a lot.

Sancho's initial reaction was pointed indifference, followed by mild curiosity and faint annoyance. Ian wasn't with us when we brought Phoebe home, but came over to do laundry a few later, and Sancho cried and cried at him, as if to say, "Look what they've done!" Now, after a week, he has progressed to tolerance--as long as she doesn't cross certain boundaries.  I think they will be good friends once she stops trying to use his face as a chew toy.  Our sweet Luna would have loved Phoebe and wanted to mother her, but she died last winter at age thirteen.

How did we arrive at the name Phoebe?  I campaigned hard for "Edwina" but Jon was not having it.  (Jon wanted to name her Kali or Aoife but the kids and I rejected these with vigor.)  My second choice was Violet, which Jon hated as much as Edwina.  There was a lively argument while we tossed names around: Harriet, Norah, Matilda, Oonagh, Nellie, Maude.  For a while, we all agreed on Maude, with the understanding that Jon could call her Mo, but my great-grandmother's name was Maude which troubled my conscience.  At last we settled on Phoebe, which has the Victorian old lady sound I was hoping for and also won't embarrass Jon when he calls to her in public. It turns out Phoebe is a trendy name for girls and suddenly we know several people who know people who have girls named Phoebe.  What would you name a puppy?


  1. What a delicious-looking puppy! Sancho looks understandably indignant.

  2. Adorable! Although I've held out on getting a dog because one, I don't want to have to housebreak it (and it will fall on me) and two, we really need a fenced in spot in the yard where I can just let a dog out to run.
    I've always wanted to name a dog "Jack" after that line in "The Weight" ("If you'll take Jack my dog..."), but with a father-in-law named Jack, I don't think I'll ever to get name a dog that. I might have to settle on Jake, which is not the same.

  3. Awww! So sweet! We have an 11 year old Treeing Walker Coonhound that we've had since she was a puppy. We got her when we lived in Colorado, so we promptly named her Georgia since there aren't many coonhounds in the west. She has moved with us from Colorado to Germany to DC and now to cville. She's an awesome dog, even though the breed can be challenging. She's loud and stubborn and intelligent and obsessive...She's my baby. And as much as I love her, I don't miss those puppy days. :) Enjoy miss Phoebe. Her name suits her well.

  4. Congrats on your new addition--looks like a cutie!

  5. Despite the fact that I can only give birth to human babies, my mammalian ovaries exploded upon seeing this sweet puppy's face. She's adorable!

  6. She's a cutie! We've only had one dog, and it came to us as a rescue, already named. That one made us realize that dogs are SO much more work than cats, so now we're back to cats :-)


    OK, I got that out. :) She is adorable! My coonhound was such a pain in the ass as a puppy. I hope that's not a breed thing haha

  8. Just found your blog through It's a Dog Lick Baby World. PUPPPPPPPY!!!!!!! Adorable. I don't know how you had a puppy at a newborn at the same time. I would have scratched my eyes out. We adopted a 14 week old coonhound/lab mix in 2011 and the first few months were painful (but he is cute and eventually proved himself worth it). We have a 6 mo old baby now and I maintain that I would get another baby before I'd get another puppy. The baby at least sleeps in his crib (most of the time). We are still trying to break the dog of his "co-sleeping" habit.

  9. Also diapers. You can change them inside. Housebreaking in the dead of winter is really unfun.