Way back in 2003, we met Kelso and welcomed him into our family. He was a much loved and very loving family member for 11.5 years and we were heartbroken when the time came to say farewell to him.
We knew we'd have another dog, but when was very much in the air. The logical timing would be spring, to make the training process easier on the humans at least. Who was in the air too. My head said he should be a shelter rescue, he should have a short coat, he should be brown or brindle. ('she' was never really considered)
As Kelso aged, I'd entertained the idea of introducing a second dog into the family. That idea met some resistance, and we never did. But I hadn't really stopped watching the local rescue websites. Once Kelso was gone and the initial gut wrenching grief started to subside, there was such a huge hole in my day it was unbearable. Since I've worked from home for nearly 6 years, Kelso was very much a part of my daily routine, a constant presence and often the only one I spoke aloud to during the day.
And so my habit of checking rescue sites continued, at least once and often twice a day. Daryl knew I was missing Kelso, but he did a pretty good job at running interference and questioning whether we were ready. He pointed out that we should involve Katie in the process, so we shouldn't look until she got home for break. But still I looked for puppies, expanding the search to kijiji ads too. And it was on kijiji that I found an ad that spoke to my heart: St. Bernard Great Pyrenees pups, ready for their new homes by Christmas. Kelso was a St. Bernard/Pyrenees/Akita mix, and we've known a few other similar mixes and purebred Pyrs too. Lovely, loving beautiful dogs. Plus, Daryl had let it slip that he could be swayed if I happened to find a Pyrenees mix. Things were lining up perfectly.
So I replied to the ad, and got a few more details, and gave it some more thought. When I checked back on the litter several days later, there were only 3 left. 3!!!!! So I got in touch with Christine, the human mom of the litter. And by then, there were only 2. We arranged to go over and meet them that evening. We spent a very, very long time with those puppies. But still didn't decide. A beer, supper, and the big question needed to be answered: were we going to continue living here, on this property, for another 10-ish years? Because, this dog isn't meant for downtown condo living.
Once we answered that question, the only decision left was which one of the pups? They were both male. The one in Daryl's right hand was about a pound heavier than the other, and had a few more spots on his body. He was called cupid for a heart shaped spot on his shoulder. The other was called mascara boy for the eye liner. They were both sleepy and not showing a lot of personality. Mascara boy had a wider head than Cupid - more Bernard like? Perhaps. The fact that he kissed my cheek when I first picked him up pretty much sealed the deal.
We emailed Christine our deposit and decision that night, and I set about planning the big reveal.