Good Stress

May 6, 2008

puppy parade
Ember, Fergus, Reba, Chief, Flicker, and Sparky.

[Happy laundry day! I’ve developed a habit of posting lists of some sort or other on Tuesdays. Today it’s a list of names, those of the puppies in the latest Yasashiikuma litter, seen above outdoors on a recent sunny afternoon. Beats me who all those hominids are, but the human puppy sure has a sweet face.

Below is the post I wrote yesterday. My cold rendered it a bit blasé in tone, and I’m not so sure I can improve it by much today — isn’t it naptime anyway? Also, I’m much less nervous and anxious than the first time around. That reminds me of a humorous, comforting book I read a quarter-century ago, while I was pregnant. It was written by a pediatrician and father of grown children, and had a title like How to Treat Your First Child as Though it Were Your Second. Anyway, here’s yesterday’s news today.]

My blogfriend Goodbear had a crappy start to her weekend, a whole pile of things beyond her control, most of them handleable if dealt with one by one, but not when they all come flying at her together like Shreddies out of a cereal box. She also said something about being crazy. I worried about that last remark, coming as it did out of left field (Goodbear is an eminently sane creature). I suggested that maybe she was just stressed, not crazy: stressed by good things (plans for a new puppy) as well as bad (large creepy spiders, creepy large spyers…).

Goodbear, by the way, is the first blogfriend (well okay, besides Shelley) to know E.g. and my good-stress secret. I’ve made her wait for further news because until yesterday we didn’t know which furball we’d be getting. Have I let the secret out yet?

Shelley is very careful to match her puppies with the most suitable families. She asks prospective owners lots of questions about their lifestyle and their reasons for getting a dog, observes her puppies carefully, and has temperament testing done when they’re seven weeks old. Last night, Shelley called us with her decision: It’s a boy! We’re getting Fergus.

E.g. and I, who have been tuning in since before they were born, have always thought Fergus the handsomest of this litter. If you go here, you can see his head with its perfect centre line through the brown, looking to me like a great-Gatsby-era gent with oiled hair. The markings look a little different now that he’s bigger, but he still has a neat-and-tidy look about him.

Shelley chose Fergus for us because he seems pretty laid back, and won’t dominate Cai, who is already somewhat submissive. Apparently it was a tough decision, however. Shelley had a hard time deciding whether or not Fergus would be a show dog! She even told E.g. that if we’d like, she could show Fergus to get his puppy points before we have him neutered. I’m undecided about that, since I know nothing about dog shows… but since I’ve always flown the flag of dilletantism, it might be interesting to learn something about it. We’ll see.

Anyway, getting back to the current time, we’ll be going up on Saturday to pick up Fergus. We’ll get to know him for two weeks or so, and then return him to Shelley to be boarded while we’re on vacation in Paris. We know he’ll be in good hands!

E.g. hasn’t yet decided whether we’ll change his puppy name (Cai’s puppy name was Jasper). She had thought of “Robin” if we got a boy, but she likes the name Fergus, so we may keep it. I’m sure the decision will be made by the end of the week.