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Pandemic Puppy Parables II

So in my last pandemic puppy post, I left you hanging without an actual photo of the puppy.

This time, we shall have puppy pictures! To refresh, our puppy is an Aussalier. His dad is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and his mom is a mini Aussie. Here they are — Carson and Brooklyn:

Brooklyn was kind enough to have her puppies on my birthday (May 6), so, although there was another litter of puppies also born that same week, we narrowed down our puppy picking to Brooklyn’s litter. Obviously *our* puppy was born on May 6. When it was our turn to pick a puppy, boy puppies were still available, and we checked them all out by their photos online. They were all super cute in their rodent-like newborn phase, but we looked for a sweet face and picked this one:

The very night we picked our puppy and knew “it’s a boy!” we had a lengthy chat discussion with my extended family, who had been pretty invested in the puppy process from the beginning. My sister already had a list of names going. As it happened, she was extremely instrumental in helping me get my way with my kids by sprinkling in comments like “children shouldn’t be allowed to name puppies” and “dictatorships are kinda efficient.” My niece Annabelle wanted to name the puppy either Spike or Angel, but she also said nice things like “Aunt Mimi, you should get to name him.” Steven shot down all my British names, especially Remington. Somehow, everyone agreed in the end.

Our puppy officially had a name: MARLEY RYDER

It wasn’t a name on our list for a boy puppy, but it was on my sister’s list, and it seemed to fit our puppy better than any of the other names we considered, like “Patches” and “Copper.” 

My favorite Christmas movie is The Muppet Christmas Carol, and our family has an important Thanksgiving evening tradition of watching it. So, the name Marley reminded us all of this scene, when Marley & Marley, Scrooge’s partners, return from the dead to warn him to mend his ways.  (They are double-cast as the hecklers at Mr. Fozziworth’s Christmas Party, where they criticize Fozziwig’s Christmas speech, concluding, “It was short! I loved it!” This has been quoted by me at the conclusion of many a movie or school play. #shortattentionspan)

This wasn’t necessarily the association I wanted for our baby puppy, so the next morning I Googled Marley’s name to see what it meant.

Turns out that Marley is “from a surname that was taken from a place name meaning either ‘pleasant wood,’ ‘boundary wood’ or ‘marten wood’ in Old English.”

“Pleasant” and “boundary” made me think right away of one of my favorite verses, Psalm 16:5-6: Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

In the middle of the pandemic shut-down, with both of my tourism-centric businesses essentially closed for two solid months, boundaries have been real. But they have also been pleasant in so many ways. That verse was like a “Godwink” – another little nudge to help my dog-reluctant heart open a little bit more to the coming potty training ordeal. 

Since then, we have watched many Zak George YouTube videos and waited with great anticipation for pupdates! Today we got the latest photos, and I am happy to report that Marley is starting to look more like a dog than a rodent! He’s a CUTIE, and it’s uncanny how much he looks like the dog picture Steven drew before we even knew which puppy was ours.

Read the next installment here.

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