We are happy to introduce the newest member of the family, Chornaya Morningstar. Her name is a female form of "black" in Russian, sort of like naming her "Blackie". We'll call her Chorney for short (pronounced "Chore-nee"), which is the word for "black" that I used all of the time in Kazakhstan when ordering tea without milk!
Chorney is a labradoodle, which is a mix between a standard poodle (those are the big poodles bred for hunting and obedience training) and a labrador. The idea is that you get the good nature of the lab, the trainability of both breeds, and the non-shedding (or low-shedding) of the poodle. Of course, only time will tell if these things are true of our labradoodle, but we like to think positive.
We selected Chorney a few weeks ago and she finally hit the 8-week mark this week. Steve and the boys drove out this afternoon to pick her up and we had a really fun afternoon playing together and getting to know each other. I'll admit that the task of raising a puppy still feels pretty daunting, despite reading a couple of dog training books, so we're spending the evening watching Marley and Me for pointers.
The kids are super-excited about having a puppy. Ben and Sasha are, un- surprisingly, all over her and Sam is trying to give her a little space so she doesn't feel overwhelmed. At first I thought this was simply a ploy to get out of taking care of the puppy, but I've come to believe that he's actually worried about wigging her out! What a thoughtful kid, and he's probably on to something given the rather "hands on" nature of his brother and sister's play styles.
Sasha has found her soulmate in Chorney and has already smothered the poor puppy with enough kisses to last a lifetime. Steve and I wrestled with whether to get a puppy or a dog to replace poor Nesbitt and finally decided on a puppy because, although a puppy will be more work up-front, we thought that raising a puppy up in our pack would probably be the best thing for our family. After seeing the way Sasha loves on Chorney already, it was definitely the right decision!
In fact, Sasha has already found a way to keep Chorney still so she can shower her new puppy with kisses - just let Chorney lick out her milk cup! Sigh. Looks like we have to train two toddlers - one with two legs and one with four!