Tuesday, December 26, 2017


We added a new family member last week and the boys are just over the moon about him! We'd like you to meet Hank, our new baby boy!

The boys have begged and begged and begged for a dog all year long. In fact, James asked Santa for one last year (about 3 days before Christmas - and that was the first time ever!). Santa told James that a dog was a BIG responsibility and he needed to be sure he was ready for that commitment. He never told him no, but it was such a sweet conversation and I'll be forever thankful that he had that conversation with him.

So the boys asked about a puppy all year long. Our yard isn't fenced in and we've intended to fence it since we moved in, but other things have taken priority over that and we've just not had it done. But this summer, Scout (my 11 year old lab who lives at Grandmama's house - because they have a fenced in yard {and a playmate that she won't leave!}) got hurt and wound up having to have about 10 stitches and a drain. She couldn't go outside (except to potty) for two weeks so she came to our house and lived in the dining room in her crate. The boys LOVED. IT. They were so helpful. I literally didn't lift a finger. If she needed to go out, they walked her. They helped feed and water her. They followed her around and wiped up the floor where the drain dripped. They played with her and loved on her. We were so very surprised!  So when they continued to ask for a puppy (even more after Scout went back to Grandmama's), we began listening.

Every Christmas list James and Will have made this year had DOG at the top. James' list has pretty much been - 1. Dog, 2. XBOX One. Will's has pretty much been - 1. Dog, 2. Dirt bike. (#nothappening) Eddie and I went to Columbus a few weeks ago for his office Christmas party and on the way I brought up possibly giving them a puppy for Christmas or at least telling them that we would begin looking for one. He agreed and the search began. We started by looking in shelters, but puppies are HARD to find in a shelter. I think they get snatched up quickly OR you have to go through a foster home and they're just hard to track down (in my experience). We were completely open to adopting a puppy, but we had a hard time finding anything. 

We've always had pound puppies or dogs that friends had who were mixes. However, one of my teachers at school texted me one day that they had beagles and had one left from their most recent litter. Beagles? What??? No, we are a lab family. That's pretty much all we've ever had. And we're a black lab family at that. HA! A beagle wasn't even on our radar! I immediately texted another friend who had a beagle when we were very young and just asked if they'd had more and what their experience with them was. She responded very quickly that they've had SEVERAL beagles and that they LOVE them. She said her mom has always described them as a nose with four legs because they are hounds, but that they are very sweet and loyal and the perfect size for kids.

The Wednesday after that weekend we went to see this beagle baby and he was PRECIOUS. I honestly didn't expect to like him as much as I did. We played with him for a few minutes, asked some questions, and then went home to think about it. I let her know the next day that we did want him, but that we couldn't pick him up until December 17th, which was 10 more days. We wanted to give him to the boys the week they were out for Christmas so that he could get used to his new home while we were there instead of having to leave him from the beginning in a crate all day long. We also had our first round of Christmas this weekend, so we wanted to wait until after that so that we could enjoy those festivities without being distracted.

So the Sunday after school got out was the day! I distracted the boys while Eddie went and picked him up. We let the boys open a gift that had a stuffed animal beagle and a book about beagles in it. We told them that since we hadn't been able to fence in our yard yet, we would let them practice with the stuffed animal. Will immediately said, "I'm taking him outside to potty!" So out the front door they went to "potty" their "puppies" while the real puppy watched on from the porch, unbeknownst to them. It only took Will a few seconds to notice him and they FREAKED OUT. And so began our newest chapter with a sweet little love named Hank.

So far, so good on the puppy chore front. We've pretty much had someone that is willing to feed, water, and walk him from the first moment he arrived. Sometimes they are too helpful. I'm sure that will wane, but hopefully they'll always take good care of him. The only problem we've had so far is that he has been using the boys as a chew toy. He likes to gnaw and gnaw and gnaw and they don't understand that he's playing and that he's teething. They have also been a little nervous about picking him up. I think it will all work itself out, but I've been reminding them that HE is not to be the master over them. (Hank means boss of the home, or something similar, so I'm hoping that it isn't a prediction of things to come! As bossy as my children are, they don't need a dog telling them what to do!)

As for Hank (whose full, registered name is still being debated but may be Hank Elvis or Prince Hank Earl of Lakewood - because he must have an E middle name like the rest of us), he is doing pretty good so far! He has lots of energy until he doesn't and then he completely passes out. He's the best napper I've ever seen. The potty thing hasn't exactly been worked out yet, but we're hoping he catches on soon. Please. His crate is too big and we know that's an issue so tonight we got a smaller crate for him. He has also been spending a little time in our outdoor pen (it's like a 12x12 fenced in area in our backyard so he's able to move a little more AND we aren't constantly wiping up tee-tee {GLORY!}) when it's been warm(ish) outside. We are also looking into the wireless fence/collar systems that would allow him to be all over our yard but not in the street. OR a fenced in yard. Let me know if you have some pros/cons we haven't thought of.

He weighed 9 pounds, 6 ounces at his first vet checkup. Overall, he seems to be a happy, healthy boy! He is mostly black with brown on his nose and legs and white on his chest and paws. He doesn't have the typical "saddle" look that a lot of beagles have, nor does he have a white tip on his tail. The breeder we got him from likes the darker back so that's what they try to achieve. The top of his head and his ears are black and his ears have brown borders around the edges. His head looks to be changing from black to brown, which is sort of fun. (From top to bottom of this post is chronological order so you can tell how much lighter his head has gotten over the past week.) He may look completely different as an adult!

I'm doing a lot of reading up on how to train beagle babies. I want him to be friendly, but also polite. There's not much worse than a dog with bad manners! HA! James said earlier that he isn't a good listener and I told him that Hank fits right in with the other boys in our house.

James, Will, and Hank. Buddies for life!

1 comment:

Anna Catherine said...

Much like children, dogs have personalities all their own!! After 9 years with Finn, we are still learning how to parent him!