Tickled Pink and Blue

April 4, 2011 by Katy Brown
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CORRECTION: Meet our bouncing baby BOY.

Last month, I blogged about our new arrival — a beagle pup to be named Betty.  As you may recall, I went all out for this pup… special food and water bowls, a pretty collar and leash, and a tartan plaid bed with her name prominently monogrammed on the side.

Well, Betty turned out to be…a boy.

A very long story short, we simply came up short.  There were several girls to choose from, but our deposit held a selection spot, not necessarily a particular puppy.  The night before we were scheduled to pick up Betty, we were informed a few pups in the litter developed pneumonia and died, and only three girls survived.  Based on our place on the list, we’d have to take a boy if we still wanted one.

When I told my husband that the pup, which I had branded as Betty the Beagle since Christmas Eve, wasn’t coming to live with us, his eyes lit up like blue C9 bulbs.  “Ha!” he exclaimed. “Outnumbered no more!”

I wasn’t upset, because I had said up front that I didn’t care about gender as long as the pup was healthy.  My reaction was also due to experiencing something like this before.  As Yogi Berra once said, it was déjà vu all over again.

During my second pregnancy, I went through quite a few ultrasounds to make sure everything was progressing normally.  During one of the first scans, the technician turned to us and said, “I know what that is, and that means you’re carrying a little boy.”

Off the table I jumped and down the road I drove… to Lowe’s… for blue paint.  I had it all planned: blue walls, chambray and red linens, and a giant stuffed moose head for the wall above his dark cherry crib.  I had planned a wild animal theme… lions, tigers and bears, oh my… and a pair of denim overalls from Gap.  Twenty-four hours later, I was trying on baby names from my favorite mini-series, The Thorn Birds.

My husband was not impressed with my source of creativity.

“You’re not going to name our son Stuart. He got killed by a wild boar.  And you are not naming him Dane, either, because he drowned in the ocean. And you can forget about the other brother who died when a burning tree fell on him,” Mike spat.

What about Ralph? He was sitting in the rose garden when he slumped over.  Does that make you feel better?

Three appointments later, a different technician scanned again to check the baby’s development.  “How’s he doing?” I asked nervously. “He?” the technician replied. “You mean SHE? She looks good so far.”

But… but… we were told we were having a boy! What happened to that certain something the other technician was so convinced of?  “I have no idea, but this is a little girl for sure.”

A few months later our second daughter, Maryn, was carried into a bedroom painted a pale, spring green (to be on the safe side).  And, I’m pleased to report that she’s 100% all girl.

BUT, getting back to my story about our beagle blooper:  Since Betty would not be joining us, I had to find a name within 24 hours for our baby boy.  And, if you hadn’t already guessed, I pulled The Thorn Birds novel off the shelf and began flipping through pages.

Paddy? Hal? Luddie? Bob? Jack? Hughie? Rainer?

Mike, proving to be the alpha in the family, took the book and gave it a toss.  “His name is Copper,” he stated.  From The Fox and the Hound?  A Disney movie?

After an hour of debate, I realized that I didn’t have a dog in this fight.  The story of a deep friendship between an unlikely pair (also true of a Roman Catholic priest and his mistress) would serve as the inspiration for our little “surprise”. Copper the Beagle has become man’s best friend.  Sometimes, that’s simply ‘howl’ the ball bounces.

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11 Responses to “Tickled Pink and Blue”

  1. bradmcNo Gravatar says:

    My kid wants a beagle. Would you set her straight?

  2. leigh anneNo Gravatar says:

    Beagles are my favorite! But man are they STUBBORN lol! Enjoy your puppy!

  3. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you! Yes, Brad, beagles are great dogs, but they are nose-to-the-ground and fully of energy for the hunt! I suggest a tall fence and a lots of land. And earplugs.

  4. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    By the way, our bouncing baby boy has gone “away” this week for obedience training because of his bad habits! Apparently, I don’t have ‘control’ of my pup. He’s behaving so badly that we thought he had a medical condition. As it turns out, I was spoiling him and he began acting out.

    Thank goodness I’m not this “good” of a parent! : D

  5. Dog LoverNo Gravatar says:

    Too bad you did not rescue a doomed dog or puppy from the shelter or from one of many rescue organizations in this State. Not too mention, unless you vetted your breeder, you may have a dog with health problems that come from over, and in breeding. The fact that two of the pups died already does not bode well for the quality of the breeder.

    Look out for hip displaysia too. And it’s expensive.

    To dog lovers, breeders are the enemy.

  6. Dog LoverNo Gravatar says:

    P.S. Sadly, your dog is acting out because he probably has no structure or discipline.

    Puppies are not stuffed animals. I hope the poor thing doesn’t end up in a shelter itself.

    • bradmcNo Gravatar says:

      Wow, you got “no structure or discipline” out of one blog post?

      If you were a regular reader of this blog, you’d probably catch that it’s full of self-deprecation. Stuff is often stated for humorous effect, rather than being literal truth.

      Or maybe you know something about the Brown household that I don’t know.

  7. bradmcNo Gravatar says:

    By the way, Dog Lover, you might wanna check out the entry just to the right — “If you can’t say something nice…”

  8. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    The story is about change. It’s about being grateful for the suprises in life, and not taking things quite so seriously. The dog anecdote was a creative insert — my dogs mean the world to me, and because we do care so much, we asked the breeder for obedience help because crate training wasn’t working. After three days of their help, we’re picking him up tomorrow afternoon. AND, he will have a good life — in the shelter of our home.

    The story, however, was about pregnancy.

  9. MichelleNo Gravatar says:

    Katy, your stories always make me laugh! I got two chicks for Easter one year – Dale & Bob. Guess which one WASN’T a rooster?

  10. Mrs. MilnerNo Gravatar says:

    Dog Lover —

    1) There’s no reason to try to make someone feel guilty or fearful. That was uncalled for. Questionable breeder? Hip issues? Health problems? Probably end up in a shelter?

    Is this really necessary? Do you know Katy Brown? I’m going to assume you don’t.

    2) Obedience training for dogs is normal…it shows that a pet owner is responsible, not undisciplined or unstructured. It means they’re trying to work things out rather than throwing in the towel.

    3) Of course pets aren’t stuffed animals — just as babies aren’t dolls. Anyone who spends this much time planning for a family pet knows what she’s getting into. I doubt Katy would do anything to hurt her family, especially bringing in a dog that her children would become attached to.

    4) Your issue seems to be with breeders. Why insult the owners who give dogs a home? Isn’t every dog in this world worthy of a home — no matter where it comes from? Any pet owner who refuses to spay or neuter his or her pet becomes a “breeder” if they wait long enough. The people who adopt or purchase them aren’t to blame.

    Don’t be so quick to judge.

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