Our new baby girl.

I live in a testosterone-filled world. Boy husband, boy children, boy cat, boy fish. Until October of 2010, I was alone and needing some girl power in our house. Then, we found the Ellie Dawg at the pound. People ask us all of the time what kind of dog she is.

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She’s a brown dog.


Ellie the Smelly has needed a playmate, I have needed more girl power around here, and since those other two stinkpots up there are growing up fast, taking no prisoners in the manliness factor, and there’s an unscrubbable layer of dirt everywhere and poop talk at the dinner table, I’ve been feeling the need to woman up. I’ve tried everything I can think up: some new flowered pillows as couch accents, Scentsy plugins pumping in some floralness, fresh flowers on every possible surface, even bought some fingerless gloves with crocheted flowers on them.

It’s not enough, and thankfully, Hank recognized the deficit and began looking for a special Christmas gift for me last fall. After much time and searching and emailing and researching, he found a lovely breeder in Kansas who had just introduced a new litter of Husky pups, my favorite dog ever (other than boxers – those are cool, too). The pups were born about two weeks before Christmas, so I received a cute little pink collar as a gift under the tree with a promissory note of delivery sometime late January.

By the way, did you notice I made up three new words up there in the “Ellie the Smelly” paragraph? Lexicographers…beware.

Our journey was epic. Epic. It was a six-hour road trip (each way), and our friends offered to keep our two boys for the night so Hank and I could both go. We left about 7:45 on Friday evening, and can I just say that there is not much along Highway 36 in Kansas? Not even the moon was with us that night. Seriously, I think we only saw about 15 other cars the entire time. Aside from nearly running out of gas and having a very hard time finding a place to sleep for the night while it was all of 11 degrees outside, it was quite nice getting to spend that kind of time with my man.

After spending about an hour and a half calling and searching and moving from town to town, we finally found an awesome place to stay. Brand spankin’ new and quite accommodating.

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Evidently, it was in bird-hunting country as well, and there had been a couple of instances of bird cleaning in the rooms. Oh boy. So funny.

Another note? The Sleep Inn in Norton, KS, also has kennels for your bird dogs. Pretty cool, actually.

During an awesome breakfast in Phillipsburg, Hank and I totally felt Portlandia-ish. What dorks we are. We actually asked what kind of bacon we were eating (Cotter style, and I’m probably making up how to spell that since I can find nothing to support it on the Internets), asked if it was local (wth?!), and nearly went next door to the butcher’s place to ask more about it. Thankfully, Hank gave me this look and we stopped ourselves from looking the fools we are. Sheesh.

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The coffee was good too, but we decided not to inquire about whether or not it was fair trade or organic. Yay for restraint.

But on to our girl. What a honey pumpkin she is. Oh, and she also looks kind of like a raccoon.

Meet Willow. Or Willow the Pillow, Fuzzball, Nutjob, Spazoid, or No Don’t Pee There. She has lots of nicknames.

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To say that she was a little sad to leave her siblings and Pam, the breeder, is an understatement. She spent her first 30 minutes with us vacillating between this,

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And howling.

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Oh boy did she miss her first home.

But by our first stop, she starting warming up and playing. And sleeping. And some more howling.

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I love doggy smiles.

You know…she actually sounded suspiciously like a turkey call for a good portion of that sad time. Girlfriend can make some funky noises.

But by the time we finally got home, she was showing us her insane confidence and fun nature, and she greeted the boys with every bit of spunk that is in her.

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He couldn’t wait to kiss her, and boy did she reciprocate.

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Bah. Really bad lighting choice on my part – sorry. And oh look, my elbow shadow is right across my boy’s face. Awesome. What can I say? It was utter chaos and OH MY GOSH WE HAVE A NEW PUPPY!!!!

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By the time we got home, this is all she wanted to do.

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Those first few days were just like having a newborn. She slept at all the wrong times and was awake at night, howling. We’re crate training, and the Ellie Dawg was right next to her in her crate, trying to sleep. Poor little timid Ellie actually fussed at her for howling too much.

She’s fitted herself right into our family, though.

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When you pick her up, she still makes the cute little puppy grunts. And she’s sorta shaped like a football; that belly ain’t just for show, she means business when she’s hungry.

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More of her to come. She and Ellie have become fast friends and playmates, and Willow has a “hiding spot” under the ottoman, which she’s sure to be stuck under within a week or so. She’s about to learn a hard and fast girl fact: we’re seldom as petite as we think. Pfft.