Meeting the New Pup - Literally

Ever felt that you were on reality television?  For awhile, a bit of our lives engendered that feeling.  The show could be called “Finding Tiki.”  Or “Middle-Aged Empty Nesters of Sacramento” -- that leaves room for spin-offs.

The show would begin with Becky and me at the vet’s emergency room six months ago.  That day, we lost Darby.  For those of you who are new to Pup Posts or unfamiliar with our history, Darby was our Bichon Frise -- white fluffy dog -- who inspired much of our “artwork” and the band’s name.  Cancer got him.  Fortunately, the cancer was fast-growing and any accompanying pain short-lived.  Unfortunately, nothing could be done.

The cameras roll as we say our last good byes, try to help each other through the sorrow, and deal with the loss in our individual ways.  Becky carefully packed and stored Darby’s bedding, toys, crate, and other doggie paraphernalia.  I resorted to the keyboard of the Mac to write his eulogy.  

As middle-aged empty nesters, we were not going to be dogless very long.  Within a few days, Becky said, “I’m not ready yet, but I know that Darby would want us to have another dog.”  Several days later, the camera might catch her:  “I miss the click of toenails on the hardwood floors.”

So the search for a new pup began.  The criteria were clear.  Bichon Frise -- won’t shed, and Becky is allergic to other breeds.  Reputable breeder -- no puppy mills, no backyard breeders.  Good lineage -- no genetic diseases or dogs needing braces.  Preferably male -- leg lifting is cool, Dude!  A pet -- we saw the movie “Best in Show” (the Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy tour de farce or mocumentary) multiple times.

The cameras roll as Becky googles breeders and calls her friends and contacts in the Bichon Frise Society.  Simultaneously, she researches diseases and doggie medical studies.  She turns to the camera and asks, “Do you know that the School of Veterinary Medicine at UCD found a link between early spaying or neutering and several cancers?”  The camera records her on the phone with a breeder.  “What no puppies?”  Or with the breeder from whom we got Darby, “Oh my, you do not plan on breeding anymore, but your dogs were so good!”

In a new segment, Becky finds a breeder -- in Oregon.  Two females will be bred soon.  Emails and text messages follow.  “Drew Summer’s blood this morning, and her hormonal levels are rising.”  “Summer is in season.”  “She was bred yesterday.”  The show could cut away to an announcer talking about the modern science of dog breeding.  Your parents’ the bitch is in heat is way passe.

The cameras capture Becky at her computer jotting down potential names.  “How about Abe?  Zeus?”  Ultimately, the name comes from a corner of the Doghouse.  Tiki.  “You know that can be unisex.”  So much for the male criterion.  More emails and text messages.  “Summer is beginning to show.”  “Next week is the X-ray, but they can’t tell the sex.”  Becky could turn to the camera, hold up her iPad, and say, “This is Tiki’s mom.  Here’s Tiki’s dad.”  She then announces the due date as both she and the breeder have calculated out the gestation period.

Sometime after 11:00 p.m. on June 25, Tiki was delivered by C-section.  Becky researched the effects of C-section deliveries on dogs.  Isn't the internet cool?  Despite her concerns, she proudly posted pictures of Tiki on Facebook.  When she did not get photos, Becky worried.  Additional email and text exchanges.  More pictures and postings.  Videos.  Soon, Tiki had his own Facebook page.

The next episode will be called, “Let the buying spree begin.”  As the UPS packages rolled in, I realized that middle-aged empty nesters either have too much disposable income or too much time on their hands or both.  Becky displayed the latest -- and very-highly rated, crash-tested -- doggie seat for the car.  You read right.  Crash-tested -- with dog crash test dummies no less!  Her friends in the neighborhood -- also middle-aged empty nesters -- began to discuss a puppy shower.  Holy crap!

Our reality show fast forwards to August 16 -- my late Dad’s birthday.  Becky and I boarded a flight to Portland.  An hour and half flight and an hour drive, and we were at the breeder’s door to meet Tiki.  I assured Becky, “You look great.  No, you don’t have a hole in the back of your hair.”  I then asked, “What if he does not like us?”

Before Becky could answer, the door opened.  We looked past the greeting party of ten barking Bichons and saw Tiki.  He was wagging his tail.  And Becky rushed in to meet the new Pup.

I asked, “How long before he can listen to rock ‘n roll?”  Becky was oblivious as she held him.  Her wait was over as was this season of our reality show.


  • Judith Yocom
    Judith Yocom Interlude to Hood River
    I think TIKI just won the lottery! Very, very lucky to have a mom and dad who are gaga before the first belly rub. September sixth will be here soon.

    I think TIKI just won the lottery! Very, very lucky to have a mom and dad who are gaga before the first belly rub.
    September sixth will be here soon.

  • tonya
    Love this...

    Love this...

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