Twice as hard as it is to raise one. This is the basic math I had forgotten. After a few days with just one pup, we pulled the plug on the deal to get the intended second. Addition, subtraction and finally the use of the inverse square law.

Just like that, the illusion of double-bliss, has been pared down to that of half the poo, half the hair, half the piss.

Nothing’s been simple so far for this “experienced” dog owner. Hell, in retrospect, it feels like it was easier back when I was young and made all the mistakes, diving into being a puppy parent.

Now, I can’t even settle on a name. I’ve convinced myself that everyone expects us to have one NOW, and one that’s (by God) spiffy. I’ve never had trouble figuring out what to call a pet. Cliché or sappy was fine. Now, it’s like I have to be brilliant or face public shame on Facebook. I’m a mess.

One night we were thinking of names as expecting parents will do, and out flew Sushi, Sake, Curry … things we love to eat. Kevin Bacon gets away with it. Hell, I had a cat named Trout–it was perfect for him. Then came my dogs, Monkey, Sierra, Kenai, Bumble, Newt … and they all felt right–named them on the spot. Now I’m second and ninety-third-guessing everything.

Today, we’re calling her Butthead, the Malamute. We did try calling her Curry for a couple of days, a name that was perfectly suited for this tiny Golden Retriever which we (ouch, this hurts) rejected, but it sounded like we were calling the dog for dinner in East Asia, literally.

I’m loathing myself with each turn in this journey to be a good pet owner. All the dogs I’ve passed over to get to this one. I feel like the prick in Sophie’s Choice, the actual copy editor for the actual Schindler’s list. My head’s so far up there, that I’m chewing at my own tail from the inside out.

It’ll all come back to me soon, I know. Yes, she’s adorable. We love her. But it’s mostly work, which we know, will one day pay off. For now, it’s kennel training, midnight potty runs (down both our legs), and puppy proofing her world from harm.  I’m making mistakes. I’m an old dog, trying to learn all over. So throw me a bone will ya? She’s hungry again.

Our new child, still unnamed and untamed. Acquired from Mt. Hood Malamutes, Sandy, OR.
Our new child, still unnamed and untamed. Acquired from Mt. Hood Malamutes, Sandy, OR.