Wow! We actually did it. We said yes. For years the girls have begged for a dog, it's always been on the top of every Birthday and Christmas wishlist.
It was one of those decisions that we've thought about for years, and in the same breath sort of happened quickly. The girls knew that we needed to get a hypo-allergenic (non-shedding) breed because I am allergic. So they searched out different kinds and once I showed Lilah how to look at different puppy websites, it was over. It took a week or maybe two. But she/we found a puppy that didn't shed, that was close to home, that was somewhat reasonably priced and who was cute as a button. I called the breeder to inquire about "Fancy", the name she was given on the website. When I spoke with the women, she told me that Fancy was already spoken for and that the interested party would be picking her up that afternoon. She proceeded to tell me that Fancy probably wouldn't do well with a family with kids anyway because she is very timid and likes to hide when people walk into the room. BUT, the breeder said she had three other puppies that we could come look at that might be the perfect match. I admit, I was a little bummed. From the website pictures, I thought Fancy was the cutest one in the litter and I really had my heart set on her and I know Lilah did too. But, the other puppies were also adorable and I felt they were worth going to look at. So I told the breeder that we would be by that evening to take a peek at the puppies she had left.
The girls were at school and didn't know that I had contacted the breeder or set up the appointment to go see the pups. Thomas and I made a trip to Petco and purchased a kennel, dog dishes, a collar and leash and hid them in the office so the girls wouldn't see.
After the girls got home from school, we told them we were going to go out to a restaurant to celebrate our backyard getting done (well, not done, but the big pile of dirt removed and the rest leveled). We hopped in the truck and headed out west. It took about 30 minutes to get there, the girls didn't think anything of it, until we started driving on country roads leading up to an old farm. Then the questions started rolling...is this the restaurant...where are we??
We pulled into the long driveway and shut off the car and told them that we were just kidding and that we were really going to look at some puppies. They were in shock! But didn't have much time to digest the idea because we were getting out and walking to the house. When we got inside the woman brought us to her living room where she had 3 dogs and four pups just roaming around freely. Right away, Lilah spotted Fancy. She said, "Mom, look that one looks like Fancy!" The woman said, "It is. The people that were going to come get her, never showed and didn't call either." I was stunned. We still weren't really sure if she was for sale or if the woman was holding her for the other couple. So we played with all the puppies. Finally, the woman asked the children which one they liked best, and Lilah ever so shyly said Fancy...I looked at the woman and asked whether or not she was still available and she said without hesitation that yes, she was. The girls' eyes got wide and looked at us like, "Can we keep her?" They were still so surprised that we were even there in the first place.
We paid the woman cash and walked out the door with a brown, black and white 2 pound pup. The whole way home was filled with, "Oh my gosh! I can't believe we got a dog!" over and over again. We each started calling out name choices, and I finally threw out the name, Harley. Everyone seemed to like that and so she became, Harley Belle Kersten.
She was eight weeks old. She was so quiet. She barely made a sound. That first night the girls would sit and take turns reading books to her. Harley would hop on the lap of whomever was reading. The breeder told us that puppies get to know people by the sound of their voice so that you should talk to your pet as much as possible. The girls read to Harley almost an two hours that night. We weren't sure if she wanted to be held, but she really had no choice, ha! ha! We took turns holding her all night long. I think there is a good chance that she will probably be the most loved dog of all time.