“In the Spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Alfred Lord Tennyson.
The English poet might have been thinking about young men and women. A different perspective might involve puppies.
Our daughter, Erin, lives in Helena, after many years in California’s Bay Area. A constant companion in recent years is her chocolate Labrador retriever, Kjersti.
They’ve been through a lot together, and now, at age 10, Kjersti is a survivor, but unlike cats, she doesn’t get nine lives. Several years ago, she survived a catastrophic auto-immune disorder that left her totally blind. She does amazingly well with her impairment. She knows her environment and navigates through scent and hearing. She now has other health conditions that could be life threatening, with no reasonable treatment options.
Erin has been thinking that she needs to get an apprentice into training to take over after the inevitable day when she will have to say goodbye to Kjersti. She had been thinking of another Lab, and had been in contact with the North Dakota breeder where she got Kjersti, though it was sounding iffy as to when a new litter of pups would arrive.
On Easter Sunday, Erin broke out of coronavirus isolation and came to Butte for dinner. We were chatting about her puppy search and my wife showed her a Weimaraner puppy ad in the local daily that included a photo. Intrigued, she initiated a text message conversation with a breeder in Cut Bank establishing that a female pup was available.
From that point things moved quickly. Erin did due diligence, checking on things such as joints and hips, which checked out okay. Then the breeder said, “I have to come down to Helena on Wednesday. I could bring the pup with me.”
In an email I sent to the rest of the family, I said, “So, Erin is going to look at a Weimaraner puppy this afternoon. Anybody taking bets on what’s going to happen?”
Our daughter-in-law replied, “Is Erin such a pushover that she’d fall for a puppy at first sight?” I responded, “Well, yeah.”
The breeder came with not one but four puppies; a female already spoken for, two males, and the female she had been considering.
To help with decision-making, Erin invited a good friend, who came with her three kids. Naturally, puppies and kids are an irresistible combination and they all had a great time together. As for whether Erin bought the pup, there was no way she wouldn’t. As she explained, “If you’d smelled her puppy breath you’d understand.”
Naturally, we had to take a drive to Helena a couple days later to meet the pup.
It didn’t take long to fall in love with her. There are few things more lovable than puppies of course, and though Labrador retrievers have been in the family for the last 50 years, it’d be difficult to resist her charms.
The pup has a bluish-gray coat, and blue eyes (for now), and she loves to snuggle and cuddle, and my wife and I happily took turns holding her. Our Lab, Kiri, thought she was okay, and we were happy to see that the pup likes to snuggle with Kjersti, the matriarch of the household.
Erin was trying to come up with a name for the pup. Her friend who was there for the puppy visit facetiously suggested Dagmar, though it might have been closer to Dogmar. Erin thought that was actually a pretty good suggestion. As it happened, when we arrived, Erin was having a Skype conversation with several friends, former work colleagues in Poland (yes, it boggles our minds, too). She asked what a Polish nickname for Dagmar would be and it’s Daża, pronounced Da-zha. The Polish word for Weimaraner is Wyżelka, and she agreed with her friends that Daża Wyżelka is poetry, so Daża stuck.
When things happen, they happen quickly, from a casual Easter dinner conversation to a brand new grand-puppy in just a few days. But I think little Daża is going to fit in just fine.