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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

I wasn't expecting this so soon but ...

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

I wasn't expecting this so soon but ...

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alex awww
I am briefly coming off of hiatus to share some big news.

About a year and a half ago, Bobby and I went with friends to a local ciderworks. On the way back, we passed a house in Hampstead (next town south) that had a pen of Golden Retriever puppies playing in the front yard. Well, by the time we'd driven past three times, the owners noticed us and waved to us, like, "Stop being creepy and just stop and ask to see our puppies!"

We were not looking for a third dog--three big dogs adds all kinds of logistical challenges--but we liked the breeders and took a card and promised to give them a call if ever we were looking to add another Golden.

Three dogs was too many, but we do like to keep two. We like that they are able to be companions to each other when we aren't home, which is an unfortunate but necessary effect of being married professionals. We had talked about when we'd like to get a new dog and decided on the spring. And we'd call the breeders in Hampstead first when we did. Their website made clear that they breed one litter each spring, so the timing should be perfect.

This was solid enough in our minds that Bobby called them the other day to see if we could make a deposit to reserve a puppy from their next spring litter. A, lo and behold, due to work schedules, they weren't able to have a litter last spring, so they had one in the fall instead.

They had one puppy left, a little girl, light golden (like Alex, not Phil, who is red). We went to see her yesterday. I don't think it's possible for us to see a Golden Retriever puppy and resist it. We knew the outcome. I even joked to the owners when they asked if we had any ideas for names that I'd suggested "Maybe" and had then taken it right back because we knew the answer wasn't going to be maybe.

So Guinevere Estel will be coming home with us next Monday. This weekend, we are in Ocean City for a teaching convention (really! I swear! even though all the classes are in the morning so yes we will have to figure out something to do with the afternoons and evenings ...). She was born on August 1, so she is a little over ten weeks old. We didn't know her birthday at first, and the day Bobby found out she was ready was the eight-week mark of losing Alex, so that meant she could have been born on the day we lost him. I'm ... kind of glad she wasn't. As poetic as it sounds in theory, it actually hurts quite a bit in reality. As you will see from the pictures (of course there will be pictures!), she is a pudgy puppy like Phil, not tiny and emaciated like poor Alexander was. She is playful and friendly (also not like Alex! the carpet alligator!! I often say he was the cutest puppy I've ever seen but also the most awful in terms of behavior. He had no socialization prior to coming to us, it seems.)

It's funny: We've had three Goldens now, all obtained under unplanned circumstances. All were from litters of nine and were the last to be adopted.

We debated at length over the name. Bobby initially suggested Guinevere (Gwen for everyday use), but I shot it down right away, since she is a character in literature that I've never felt much connection to. We went through literature and mythology. It's a lot harder to name a girl using that method than a boy. We were between Cassiopea (Cassie for everyday--my preference) and Estel (Bobby's preference), which oddly were suggested by the opposite person who preferred them. Finally, driving home today, we revisited Guinevere and decided that there was a lot to like about the name, mostly that we liked the name Gwen and could imagine calling a dog in from the backyard using that name. (One of the main reasons that Lancelot became Phil over time! And one of the main reasons that I didn't prefer Estel.) So Gwen it is.

Phil went with us and met Gwen and ... wasn't thrilled. Phil likes exactly one other dog: Alex. But he has learned to adjust to about a dozen dogs of friends, family, and neighbors who end up sharing his house and yard periodically. He even learned to live with a cat for a while. (He really wasn't happy about that.) So he'll adjust and maybe, I hope, even learn to like her over time? At least a little?

This is much sooner than expected but we've gone with the circumstances with both Alex and Phil and ended up with beloved pets both time, so we think we're doing right now too. And we really can't resist a Golden puppy ... :)

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This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Awwwww welcome Gwen, you will have a boatload of devoted internet aunties :D I hope she brings back the spark for Phil too. And you know, you two cannot resist pups, I should stay far far away from kittens.
    • We had a wake for Alex two weeks ago--a house full of people, tons of food, tons of booze--and one of the things I mentioned in his memory is how beloved he was around the world! :D The icing on the cake was when I had to email someone at Mythgard about having a discount applied retroactively to my tuition, and I mentioned that I would have been more on top of getting the paperwork together but had had to put one of my dogs down and was having trouble trudging through all that followed. The person who replied: "Oh no, not one of the Goldens!" This person and I had never spoken, but she'd read my journal and knew the Goldens through it. It was very cool to realize how much he was loved.

      Phil has gotten a lot better. He's figured out how to do things like bark at people walking by and chase squirrels without Alex to take the lead. Now it's his turn to teach Gwen like Alex taught him! :)
  • Beautiful!
  • *melt* Too cute! (And really pretty!) And glad to hear Phil will have some company during working hours. :)
    • Thank you! We've been trying our best to keep Phil busy (he goes pretty much everywhere we can take him; we even take him out to eat and try to get a table where we can see him in the car and he can sit and stare at us!) but still feel badly that he is home by himself all day.
  • Gwen's a blond (a true Felagund). I'll have to look up a couple of sources I stumbled across a few years ago which explored an earlier less passive Guinevere (or Gwenhwyfar as she is presented in Welsh legends) before the Geoffrey of Monmouth or Le Morte D'Arthur inventions. I guess I gave the books away or sold them in my movings and packings since them. I can't remember the authors now (women, of course!), but I think I might have referenced one or another them in one of early character bios--I know I did consult them--but a quick look turned nothing up. Anyway, Gwen does NOT have to be a wimpy, faithless wife, she can be a brave, smart, empowered dog!

    I love those photos. She's a beauty. I bet it will be different having a female dog (not that I know anything about it!).

    Edited at 2015-10-15 12:29 am (UTC)
    • I think one of those books was on Questia; I probably still have it bookmarked from when I first went back to school, in 2008-9, when I was taking undergrad lit classes for my certification! I remember referencing it as well, although I don't remember much of the thesis of it except that it presented a more feminist look at the legend.

      She is a blonde! Lol. Just like me.

      It'll be interesting having a girl. I haven't had a female dog since I was a teenager. (Sunnie! Still my favorite childhood dog. :)
  • WHAT A SWEETHEART!! oh, and the name feels so very right to me (my best friend from childhood's dog was also named Guinevere, so I'm partial to the name...but it really is a perfect puppy name. And Estel feels so right, too). Welcome, puppy baby!
    • Yes, we have fallen quite naturally into calling her Gwen (even though I've been calling her Cassie in my mind for two days now! :D)

      I can't wait to hold her again. I love when they're babies. I love when they're old and stinky too, but then they tend to prefer Bobby, who plays more readily than I do. I wouldn't mind juggling a sleeping puppy while doing thesis research! :)

      We both liked Estel for what it signified of new life coming out of the last few dark months since Alex got sick and died so suddenly. This is so unexpected, but we're willing to go where she leads us!
  • OH. MY. GOD. What a beautiful, beautiful puppy! Her coloring and expression are wonderful. And look at that photo of her with her new mom and dad. Awwwwwwwww! Gwen is a lovely name for her. Congratulations!
    • Thank you! Her coloring is very similar to Alex's at the same age; he was just a smidgen darker. I think she's going to grow up to be gorgeous. Not that I'll be biased or anything. ;)

      In our first family photo, even Phil is visible slightly as the tuft of red hair in the lower left corner. Being grouchy and antisocial as usual! :D
  • She's lovely! :)
  • That's wonderful news. Wishing you many happy years together.
  • She's adorable! Health and long life to Guinevere Estel! Hope that Phil eventually comes to appreciate the puppy.

  • What a cutie! She looks so cuddly! You'll have so much fun watching her grow up!

  • Aww! She has a great family to look forward to. Congrats!
  • Are you kiddin' me?! OMG! :D :D :D

    She's a beautiful girl! I hope Phil accepts her. What a wonderful addition to your family.

    Welcome Gwen :D
  • Who can resist those puppy eyes and those large flabby ears and the oversize paws? Nobody! Congratulations on having found such a sweet new addition to your household. I was wondering whether you'd call her Ginny in "normal life", but Gwen is even better! Such a cutie.
  • Aw, such a sweet, cuddly girl! And naming her 'Fair One Hope' seems very appropriate.
  • D'awwwww. She's precious! :)
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