Heavens to Betsey Johnson (Duchess) Reyes


Perhaps you recall the last pets we owned. A collection of innocent hermit crabs were brought to our home and lived what I believe must have about the most exciting (if somewhat exhausting) life a hermit crab could hope for. To know more, you can find their adventures recorded here and here.

Well we have graduated from hermit crabs to dog owners. I know, this is quite a leap in pet status. You see, the kids are now taking showers on their own (occasionally actually using soap and rinsing out the shampoo), and are officially burned out on pop tarts (won’t even touch the stuff), so I feel slightly more able to care for another living creature.

The only way I would even consider such a responsibility was that this dog seemed like such a perfect fit if we were going to be a “dog-owning” family. She is a three year old Westie, totally house broken, crated, small but sturdy and energetic, barely sheds. My friend, Brenda, had to get rid of her because she was moving in a place where the dog couldn’t come. We prayed about it, researched the breed, and decided to our children’s delight to take the dog.

Her name was Duchess. In honor of my aunt who breeds Maltese and names them after designers (Gucci, Prada, etc.), I wanted to change her name to Betsey Johnson. Our dog is not exactly a Gucci kind of gal. Isn’t Betsey a cute name? Betsey the Westie. Is it wrong to rename a three year old dog? We have found that whether we say “Duchess” or “Betsey” using the high pitched type of voice, she responds equally. Still, she has so many adjustments to make lately I hate to add one more.

Yeah, adjustments would be the understated way of saying it. Duchess/Betsey came from a one child (girl about 11 years old) family to a four extremely enthusiastic-about-dog-owning family of three boys and a girl. They pretty much burned her out on fetch the ball in the first day. Seriously. She refuses to do it anymore (after two hundred times, who could blame her?). She has also been walked more than any dog in the history of house pets. The kids are so excited with their little blue clean-up bags…I guess for little boys the “clean up” has a distorted thrill of its own.

But Duchess Betsey Johnson has been fantastic through all of the changes. She hasn’t bitten anybody, or growled. She seems perky and happy – even when she is getting brushed for the 50th time that day (Maggs is particularly grateful for another “girl” in the family, and is saving money to buy the dog an outfit). She hasn’t had an accident, which I guess is a tribute to her being walked so many times a day. But she is still very cuddly, and loves me more than anybody else in the family (don’t tell the kids I said that). She follows me everywhere I go. Kind of sweet now that my babies don’t do it.

We love our little dog, but doesn’t that first picture look like she’s thinking, “what in the world happened to my life?!” And in the second picture she seems to look, well, exhausted.

Welcome to our home, Betsey Johnson!


10 thoughts on “Heavens to Betsey Johnson (Duchess) Reyes

  1. Aww! She’s cute. And I’m with Maggie…all about the outfits! We used to dress the neigbor dog up as an elf at Christmas time….the dog was a black lab…not necessarily keen on being dressed up! 🙂 Maybe more success with this dog! 🙂

  2. She is very cute. I’ve heard good things about Westies. It is quite a tribute to the endurance of her breed that she got worn out after ONLY 200 rounds of fetch. In two more years, her fetch number will be down to 180. 🙂 I much prefer Betsey to Duchess (sorry, Previous Owner). Any dog will go for a name change if there’s food involved. They’ll even tolerate gender confusion for the sake of red meat. “Muffy, girl, want a T-Bone?” chomp chomp…Sure ya do, you good wittle boy.” I wanted to name our dog Penny. It fit her color. Paul said it fit her worth. She is Molly. You guys are brave to take on a dog right before a move, but at least she’ll be good company when your kids are missing old friends. Sorry for the long comment. Me and dogs–love to talk about ’em.

  3. Awww! I love talks and can’t wait to have one! Right now we just have a sweet cat, who I love, but am really more of a dog kind of girl. Your kids will have such a blast with her! I like Betsey better than Duchess too; Betsey is less typical. Dogs are so great for kids. They’re the best of friends. I can remember riding my bike with my dog running along beside me or tramping through the creek. We had Irish Setters a good bit when I was young, my favorite was Shamrock who grew up with me from birth until I was 8 years old and she died. I can still remember how I cried and cried. Although she was great, Irish Setters are so hyper and nutty, I probably wouldn’t have one again. Anyway, congratulations on Dushess/Betsey, or whatever you end up calling her!!

  4. Congrats! Dogs really are a great blessing, and I’m glad your kids will have the opportunity to grow up with one. They make great companions, play mates, and are great for teaching kids responsibility. I love seeing they’re already taking such good care of her. I hope you have many happy years with her, she looks so sweet.

  5. She definitely looks like a Betsey Johnson.

    Just like the girl in the mall said to me:

    “Oh my gosh, is that Betsey Johnson”? (in the most annoying valley girl voice you would hear at Towson Town Center)

    (Referring to my Target skirt for probably under $15.00)

    “no, it’s Target”.

    I think I ruined her day!

    Betsey is better than Duchess and definitely better than Target!

  6. SOunds like she’s being taken great care of and like she’ll take great care of you, too. I’m glad you have her. I think she will be your “healing dog” in many ways. 🙂

  7. Congrats on your new four-legged addition. My girls & I greatly enjoy dogs, but don’t own one yet. We have cared for many of the dogs in the neighborhood & dogs of friends from church. With Pat’s agreement, of course, we’d love to add your Betsey to our dogsitting collection!! And what a big plus that she doesn’t shed!

  8. Hi Laurie!
    Just wanted to let you know Betsey will be well covered in Ohio as my hubby Bob serves as “in house” veterinarian at COG! Free veterinary advice can be an added Sunday morning blessing anytime!
    We are glad you have joined the ranks of dog lovers!
    We think Westies are a wonderful choice. They are so loving and loyal, and rest assured, no dog has ever perished from giving or receiving too much love!
    Can’t wait to meet her and hope Dr. Bob and Betsey can be “special” friends!
    Blessings, Jane

  9. Hi Laurie,
    I can vouch for Dr. Bob and his free veterinary advice. Sometimes the line of people waiting to talk to him on Sunday mornings is longer than the line to talk to our, equally loving and patient, “in house” physician, or even than the one to meet the latest newborn in the “family”, but never longer than the line for coffee. .. ..oh, and thanks for allowing me the opportunity to find out about a Betsey Johnson. I don’t have a lot of time for “blogging” so it helps to find a site that also keeps me up on the fashion world…Thanks for allowing God to work His will in you as this whole Ohio move unfolds. We are praying for you all.

  10. Hey Ohio gals! It is so great to see you in my comment box. I look forward to “real life” interactions soon. In the meantime, you can find out probably too much about our family if you flip through the archives on this site. My kids are so funny. Put “quotable kiddos” in the search engine and you’ll find cute quotes and funny things they say. 🙂

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