For the past two years (maybe more), Mazzy has been begging for a dog. Mike had two dogs growing up and always imagined he would have one as an adult, so he was on board with the idea. I’ve never owned a dog or considered myself a dog person, so I was much more hesitant. Harlow seemed like she could be swayed in either direction. She doesn’t like dogs licking her (I feel the same), but thinks puppies are really cute (also same). She finally conceded that she would be open to having a dog if it had a small tongue. Fair enough. I said I would be open to a dog if Mike and Mazzy promised to take the majority of the responsibility.
That’s where we have been for the past two years. We’ve been researching what breed would work best for us (hypoallergenic, doesn’t shed, kid-friendly, easy to train, not too loud, conducive to apartment living, small tongue) but also debating when and if there would ever be a right time to get one. Every time we got close, Mike and I would get scared that having a dog doesn’t really match our lifestyle. We like to travel, we don’t have a yard, and we are not home during the day. Also, we are in the last stages of our apartment renovation (FINALLY!!!) and I shudder to think what damage a puppy could do to it.
Well, obviously, that all changed with the current shutdown. We are home all day, we are living out at the house with a yard, and travel is off the table. Apartment? WHAT APARTMENT? Plus, we are really trying to keep things happy and positive for the kids while we are at home and they can’t see their friends. We could think of no better way to do that than give them the gift of a puppy. Not to mention the responsibility and life lessons of helping train a puppy.
Our initial plan was to get a Cavapoo since King Charles Cavaliers have all the traits we are looking for and anything combo’ed with a poodle makes them more friendly to people with allergies. But, then we saw a purebred King Charles (they call her a Ruby King Charles because she is mostly red), and fell in love.
I mean, wouldn’t you?
Before I get to her arrival at our home, I need to backtrack a little and talk about how we landed on a name. We knew we were going to get her about two weeks before we were able to take her home. In that time, all we talked about was what we were going to name her. WE COULD NOT AGREE. I was actually the most open to other people’s choices. Mazzy liked the name Winnie and Harlow liked the name Daisy. I was partial to Cleo but said I was willing to go with either Winnie or Daisy if everyone agreed. Mike wasn’t on board with any of them.
After naming about 50,000 options (I looked up everything from names for brown dogs to important women in history to Pixar inspired pet names), we finally landed on Ginger. We all spent the next two weeks calling our future dog Ginger. I even gave her a nickname (Gigi) which everyone poopoo-ed and told me never to say again. I agreed, although I was secretly thinking— I am totally calling her Gigi.
Then, the day before we picked her up, Mike said he wasn’t feeling Ginger. He also gave Winnie, Cleo and Daisy a hard no. So then I went back to the internet again, frantically texting him new name options. I texted— Bailey, Penny, Lucy, Charlie, Chloe, Ruby, Lola, etc. A lot we had to rule out because we know kids with those names or other dogs with those names.
Then I said Brandy. That was it. Mike was sold. I wasn’t so sure I liked it and immediately regretted sending. Mike got Mazzy and Harlow both on board with Brandy. I tried my best to get used to it. But the next morning, I woke up and still wasn’t feeling it. My apologies to anyone named Brandy reading this. Your name is lovely for a human, but didn’t feel right for my dog. An hour before we left to pick her up, I decided to exercise the hard no.
There was some lobbying and politicking, but eventually everyone gave in. Mazzy said, “Why don’t we wait until we bring her home and see what fits then?”
That sounded like a good idea.
This Mazy and Harlow right before we picked her up. They were so happy.
Harlow said that getting the dog was the “most happiest thing” of her life, except for the day she was born, because that was when she started her life. Mazzy (not to be outdone) said that getting the dog was even better than the day she was born, and also definitely better than the day Harlow was born. That stung a bit, so I had Mazzy rewind and declare that it was EQUALLY as good a day as the day that her baby sister was born.
Oh my god, do they have to fight over EVERYTHING???
If you’d like to see Mazzy and Harlow singing the “we got a dog” dance and Mazzy smiling the biggest smile you’ve ever seen on the way home from the kennel, you can find that video here. If anyone is curious, the kennel came highly recommended and was a running a completely outdoor operation. Everyone picking up dogs was waiting in their cars.
When we brought her home, the kids could not get over the fact that a real live animal is actually going to live with us. For the record, I’m still surprised at this turn of events myself.
About an hour after her official introduction to our house, a good friend called to see the dog. This particular friend always calls Mike “Frankie” as a joke, because Frank is Mike’s middle name. When he said, we all stopped and thought, WAIT! Frankie is a perfect name for our pup! Mike agreed and immediately told Alexa to start playing some Frank Sinatra.
So, we did it. We got four people to agree on the name of a puppy. Meet FRANKIE!!!
Doesn’t it suit her?
Obviously, getting a pandemic pup is a bright spot during a challenging time, but we are well aware that this is actually a long-term commitment. We are happy we get uninterrupted time to train her as a puppy and hope that by the time we go back to city, Frankie loves us all so much that she doesn’t see it as a bait and switch.
I mean, the girls are so so smitten and showering her with love and affection.
Harlow wants to teach Frankie tricks. Mazzy wants Frankie to be her new best friend. Mike is excited to have yet another girl in the house. They all know it’s going to be a lot of work, but they’re excited and feel like our family is officially complete.
As for me?
Today, Frankie fell asleep in my lap. I didn’t move for an hour. I had Mike get my laptop so I could work from the kitchen floor. I powered through my foot falling asleep. It reminded me of those newborn days being trapped under a sleeping baby Mazzy or Harlow. That perfect little warm body rising and falling with every breath.
That was it for me. I’m a dog mom now.
I would love to hear your best dog training tips in the comments! And you can follow Frankie and my family in real time over on @mommyshorts Instagram!