It’s been five days now that we have loved on the new member of our family, a puppy we (okay, I) decided to add to the already demanding back to school transition. What’s one more thing?
His name is Friday Hopper Hampton–Friday because Lainey fell in love with the name and was completely committed (even though he came with the name Brinkley, and I petitioned to keep it because of You’ve Got Mail), and Hopper for the fine strapping man that is Chief Hopper in Stranger Things whom I fell in love with after slipping into the abyss of a 3-season binge-watch marathon over the summer (I know, I’m late to the game). I remembered after Lainey named him that Mr. Rogers’ puppet is King Friday, and so now he is King Friday to me. Other nicknames include Small Fry, Stir Fry and Freaky Friday when he’s speed-running figure eights in the living room at 5 am.
The plan after Latte died has always been to add a puppy to our family after the summer. Since that had already been agreed upon, I took the liberty of surprising the family (Lainey was in on the surprise a few days before). And by surprising the family, I mean I walked into the house at 10:30 at night while Brett was watching T.V., and I said “Oh hey, this is Friday. Surprise!” His reaction is something I will tuck away in the 1000 Reasons Why I Love Him box that carries me through the harder moments of marriage. He laughed–shook his head and laughed for a good several minutes, holding Nella’s hand with one hand and reaching out to pet the puppy with the other and a sweet little “Hey Buddy.” Five minutes later, he called the puppy to sit on the couch with him and watch T.V. Go Google “Dads and Dogs Memes.” You’re welcome.
And the moment the puppy was placed in Lainey’s arms earlier that night? Tears pooled as I watched a little part of her that has been sleeping reawaken. It was an electric moment I will never ever forget.
I loved Sophie and Latte, but I don’t think I realized their impact on our home and family until they were gone and the grief of a pet loss felt bigger than I imagined it would. The dogs were our family for as long as we’ve been a family, and the space without them has felt so different. It is nice to hear paws tapping on the floors again, nice to restore the dog food jar’s true purpose, nice to walk into Lainey’s bedroom and see paws draped over her legs while she reads. After losing our dogs, I love this puppy so much more knowing what he will become in our memories…a legend.
As for how the last five days have gone, it’s exactly like having a toddler in the house. We are crate training (like letting your kid cry it out in his crib), and the kids get so sad when he cries. I take him out about 27 times a day, yet he’s matched that in presents he’s left for us in the house: “Mom! I made you something! Mom! Look what I made you! Mom! Mom! Mom! Handmade present, office floor, go get it!”
Safety Dad™ has added Friday to his roster of Lives He Must Keep Safe, instructing me very seriously on the dangers in our house that could hurt him. And Dash. Oh heavens. A puppy is one thing. Dash with a puppy is a monster of a responsibility of its own.
I’ve found Dash locked in the dog crate with the puppy on at least five occasions. “He wanted me.”
Five of Nella’s Barbies are now missing hands, three heaps of Friday-marked laundry are piled in front of the washer, one sandal is missing, and Mrs. Hedgehog turned her entire home to face the wall to prevent B&E and missing property. Puppy training advice welcome!!!
But then we have this:
…which makes it all worth it.