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!