Welcome to the family, Pip!

Hi, friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones!  We spent our week relaxing at home. We had a heat wave that week, and while it didn’t feel like “typical” fall weather, it was gorgeous. We enjoyed Thanksgiving morning relaxing at home on the front porch drinking coffee and looking at the ocean at a distance while the kids played.

On Thanksgiving afternoon we went to my parents’ house where we had a great big Thanksgiving meal with my parents and my sister’s family. The kids played with their cousins.

On Black Friday, my family did our traditional picking out of our Christmas tree at the local lot down the hill and we came home and decorated it.


On Saturday, we went and saw Pixar Coco (and cried our eyeballs out—it was SO good!)


In other news, our family has been wanting a puppy for quite a while, but Keith and I wondered if we were up to the task, as having new puppies are very much like having new people babies; we are in a busy season of life as it is!  Chloe has been begging for a puppy since last Christmas. She has written letters (with Jeffrey’s help) to the nature fairies, to the tooth fairy and even to the Switch Witch on Halloween. When she got birthday money in October she said she was going to use it to buy a new puppy, and I told her she didn’t quite have enough to buy a new puppy. She had none of that though.

Flash forward to early November. Keith and I started getting the puppy fever in a really bad way. We kept texting and Facebook messaging each other cute puppy videos, which did not help. The kids kept asking and asking. We decided we’d surprise them for Christmas. And then Thanksgiving weekend came along, and Keith and I couldn’t wait. We had been perusing the animal shelter websites, trying to decide on the perfect dog for us. The kids really wanted a puppy, but Keith and I thought since we’d be rescuing a dog that a puppy was probably not going to happen.

On Sunday morning, while I was crafting tomtens for our upcoming Winter Wonderland Faire, Keith was calling shelters. We decided to tell the kids we were going to go to a shelter after breakfast, and they went ballistic! “Yay! We’re finally going to get a puppy!” they cheered. We didn’t have the heart to tell them that puppies at shelters are hard to come by, but we said nothing, because who are we to decide that? Keith said “Watch, we’re going to get there and they’re going to be like ‘we JUST got this puppy in 20 minutes ago!’ You know how these things usually go for the kids.” We laughed, but then I thought “hmmm.”

On the car ride to the shelter I said a silent prayer that if we were to have a dog that the entire process be blessed so that we would find our perfect pup and that we would be guided to be the best dog parents we could be. When we arrived at the San Diego County Animal Shelter in Carlsbad, we saw many sweet dogs, but none of them felt like “the one.”

Then while I was talking to a 2 year old Maltese boy, Keith and the kids were a few kennels down SWOONING over someone and Keith said “You HAVE to come see this CUTIE!” My heart skipped a beat and when I went and saw him, I knew. Even Keith knew. Unlike all of the other dogs, the photo and description on his kennel did not match what we were seeing so we thought he must be new here. Many other people started coming toward the aisle, so I thought “if we want a chance to meet this guy we better act NOW!”

I went to the front to inquire about this puppy and the receptionist told me, “He literally JUST became available for adoption right now. I just got him into the system and he’s not even been here 20 minutes.” My jaw dropped. “Would you like to see him?” she asked. I did a happy dance inside. “YES PLEASE!” Our family was escorted to a playing room while an attendant went to fetch the pup, and we could hear squeals from other families who had just found his kennel. One child exclaimed “Yo quiero este, yo quiero este!” Another couple said “If he’s available we’re taking him.” He was brought into our room where I sat on the floor and he bolted towards me full of unconditional love and puppy kisses. And I was in love. “Yup, we’re taking him home.” The attendant asked us “Does he have a name?” and Chloe said, “His name is Pip!”

We went out front to fill out our adoption paperwork while many people came and asked about the little black puppy in kennel #56. The shelter told us they put him at 2 months old and they thought maybe he was a terrier mix, maybe some Jack Russell, but who knows. She said “That will be $69. Oh—wait—nevermind. He falls into the category of ‘black Friday’ because he’s black, so he’s just $35!” Chloe insisted on buying him with her birthday money, and we let her. I guess she had enough for a new puppy after all!

The people at the shelter also said he couldn’t come home until he was neutered, and that would be Tuesday, so we spent an agonizing couple days waiting for him, watching a video I took of him over and over and over again. It was good though, because it gave us time to puppy proof the house and make sure we had everything we needed before he arrived.

The four of us went to pick him up on Tuesday and we found him in a sleepy state as he had just been neutered that day. We got him home and he snuggled and slept and gave us warm, puppy kisses. I got to work right away with training him and building a strong bond. Potty training has been going very, very well, and he is really good at “sit” and “fetch” already! The kids love him so much and are SO thrilled!

I have been training him using the modern puppy training techniques I have been watching on Zak George’s Dog Training rEvolution on YouTube. I love this method because it’s cruelty free and based on positive reinforcement rather than the old school punishment way. Pip is appreciating it too. 🙂

We took him to his very first vet appointment yesterday at Mohnacky Animal Hospitals of Vista. They didn’t think he was a terrier mix at all and said he was most likely a “chizer“, which is a mix between a miniature schnauzer and a chihuaha. When we googled pics of other chizers we definitely thought they nailed it, but of course we can’t know for sure being a rescue pup. He is doing really great at home. He is in good spirits and is healthy and happy. He is SO smart and is totally getting this potty training stuff. He is doing a little puppy biting, but he is easily redirected and we couldn’t be happier with him.

Pip the chizer puppy 🙂

I mean, look at this face!!! He is such a sweet little pup!


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