I Had No Idea How Much I’d Need Her.

For years now, I’ve said that I want a dog named Athena.

It has nothing to do Greek Mythology and her being the daughter of Zeus. It has little do with the name just being very pretty, although that helps! I seriously just want a dog named Athena so that when I call her, I can break into the song “Athena” by The Who. I can open my front door, let the cold air in, and belt out at the top of my lungs, “Athena! I had no idea how much I’d need her!” And then she’ll come bounding in, because in my fantasy, I have a dog who listens to me and doesn’t run into the woods.

On Friday morning, I was in a bad way. Des’ wicked virus was just starting to pick up, after coming in slowly but steadily on Wednesday. Scarlet was tugging at her ears and still sick then, and I feared a double ear infection. Or worse. I was drowsy. Scarlet wanted me to give a message to Cassidy for her and I couldn’t find my phone, as often, so I ran to my computer to gchat with him on Google. Oddly, he wasn’t there. I did get the strangest feeling about it, just the way I did earlier on the night he proposed. Sometimes I can read the little things well. He had left that morning at the crack of dawn, saying he wanted to get an early start on the workday so that he could leave work early and come home to celebrate getting through the tough week.

Des wouldn’t stop crying, and Scarlet wouldn’t stop whining, so I turned on “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” so I could brush my teeth!

Then I heard the front door open, and Cassidy poked his head in. He sounded cheerful but he asked if I could grab my camera because there was something wrong with his bumper and he wanted clear photos of it. I ran for my camera without hesitation, but I felt a little weird and breathless inside. I thought to myself, “This man is crazy. I know that. What if he really did it? What if he brought home a kitten for Scarlet??” I ran outside. He walked to the front door with a bundled blanket. I aimed my camera.

It wasn’t a kitten.

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My settings were off and my hands were shaking. I was photographing in the middle of my own surprise. I’m astounded that any photos at all came out, much less the above three. I was running in and out of the house for new angles. I was searching my head and heart for new emotional angles. The man. Brought home. A puppy. So Scarlet named her “Athena.” They liked my name!

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We welcomed her into our home. Her home.

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She was actually pretty mellow, considering she had been on a long journey in a truck from Alabama.

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So Cassidy’s story is that he randomly happened upon her online photo a few weeks ago. His heart started pounding because he was already in love. The rescue organization is Peace and Paws Dog Rescue, and they’re based in New Hampshire. Our Athena has a husky mother and a basenji father. She was found wandering AL in unsafe places, and was rescued into a foster home. She is four-months-old and we can tell that she was very loved and even trained in the foster home. She came to us with all of her shots, she was spayed, she was microchipped, and she was driven up all the way from Alabama with several other rescued dogs.

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She looks like a husky, a basenji, a red fox, a dingo and Dobby from Harry Potter. All at once!

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Sometimes I worry that we surprise Scarlet with too much – the new bed, the Disney trip, a king-sized bed in our room that she can cuddle in every morning, and now, a puppy. However, this is who we are. This is Cassidy. We signed up for this parenting, and this life, with the intention to be full of delicious surprises. There will be ordinary, or even difficult, days all too often.

There will be extraordinary days too.

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This was my surprise too.

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Surprised, I was.

What will he do next, this crazy man of mine?

“Athena, I had no idea how much I’d need her
In peaceful times I hold her close and I feed her
My heart starts palpitating when I think my guess was wrong
But I think I’ll get along
She’s just a girl – she’s a bomb
She’s just a girl – she’s a bomb”

(Those above lyrics? Yeah. That’s the story right there. The head and heart story of falling in love with a dog again.)

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  1. She is perfect!
    We got our dog 8 months ago, he was 4 months at the time and a rescue dog as well. A poodle – blue heeler mix πŸ™‚
    He’s been such a great addition to the family and I am sure Athena will be for you! xox

    1. Aw, thank you! It’s so nice to hear about success stories. I admit I was wary because I have heard a lot of rescue stories that weren’t great fits. And I wanted a little ball of puppy. So this is even better – she’s never been mistreated and she is a little ball of puppy, but also more mature than the puppies I’ve ever had! We usually got them at two-months-old.

  2. Awww she looks so friendly and sweet! And what a great cause too, I’m glad she was saved and found such a good home to go to. I also hope you guys are on the mend! And delicious surprises are what life is all about, you can never have too much!

    1. Thank you! I admit I used to be more of a “buyer” than an “adopter” but she is just too sweet for words. I hope it lasts! Puppies are nuts.

  3. She is so beautiful! Puppies are so much fun, and there is nothing like a surprise like that!! That is so awesome that Cassidy thought to tell you to bring your camera…I love that you were able to capture those first moments! She seems calm…is she?

    1. So far, she is! She’s definitely a puppy and likes to chew socks if you don’t watch her closely. She’s great outside off-leash. A ton of energy, but very gentle indoors.

  4. That dog is damn cute and your husband is damn hot. Yep, I said it. It ain’t my fault for havin’ eyes.

      1. Hahaha! So, do you use Bloglovin’ on the regular? I’ve kind of half-assed an account on Bloglovin and on Feedly, but I always forget to check them. I rely on my email notifications instead (lazy)

        1. I depend on Bloglovin, which kinda sucks because sometimes they get buggy and I might be forever missing posts. However my previous method was to have a bookmarked folder called, “Blogs to comment on” and I’d just visit each one in the list, one by one, day in and day out.
          So this is more stream-lined! (lazy)

          1. Nosing in on this…lovin’ Bloglovin’ so far…helps me keep track-and how Tamara and I became connected. I would have missed out on Athena, she is beautiful, what an awesome surprise. Scarlet seems to be smitten!

  5. Love this dog and I am not a dog person. Every time I see a picture I think “what did the fox say?” Your husband has the kindest face. Always. And I love that he is wearing a huskies shirt. Hope the kids are feeling better. The Newmans are FINALLY back to normal and off to school today.

    1. Yes, total red fox! My husband is a very kind man. And he’s a huge UConn fan. I guess I married into it because my father-in-law was a professor there in Storrs for decades and they still live there. In fact, if you remember my croquet photo from my Ask Away Friday post? That background behind Scarlet is UConn property!
      Scarlet is back to normal, but for a lingering cough that could last up to three weeks, we’ve heard.
      Des FINALLY turned the corner today. He was SO sick over the weekend but he’s sunny and fever-free today, and his appetite is back.

  6. I love so much the expression on Cassidy’s face in those first few pictures. He is clearly so very excited to unveil his surprise. But even better are the picture of him, Scarlet, and Athena cuddling on the couch – pure joy.

    It doesn’t hurt that Athena is pretty much the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.


    1. Maybe it’s because I have anxiety, but I’d have trouble pulling this off the way he did! I’d have been FREAKING OUT. He did well, though. I was truly surprised.
      And I’m so glad you said that about her! I thought I wanted a floppy, fluffy Samoyed puppy but I’ve grown to be madly in love with this little girl.

    1. Thank you! I believe Cassidy may be telling his own version of the story – from knowing about this for weeks before us! He said he may post in the comments.

  7. Cutest dog ever! (And I see your husband’s wolf (?) hat made guest appearance!) I think that it’s adorable that you and Cassidy love to surprise your kids with such wonderful things! You’re going to make it very hard for some guy to impress Scarlet in the future! (Which is probably Cassidy’s plan!!!)

    1. Yes!! He wore the wolf hat that day and it’s around his neck in the photos. You are astute!
      I think that’s a great plan of Cassidy’s, if it his plan. I am ALL for it. She deserves someone like him, and they’re out there!

  8. Such a cute dog! That was so incredibly sweet of your husband to surprise you all. We’ve been thinking of getting a dog when my daughter is a little older. She is obsessed with them! I don’t think it’s so bad to surprise kids so much. I feel like that’s what this age is all about. It’s the best to see them so excited and happy. So happy you got your Athena!

    1. Thank you! I always pictured it differently, but life is full of surprises for us all.
      And Scarlet really wants a CAT. I’ve never had one and never wanted one. My husband is ok about them. He had them as a kid.

  9. Seriously, best surprise ever and love the name you picked (huge Who fan here, too). And even shaking and caught off guard you take amazing photos (constantly you keep amazing me). Athena is absolutely adorable and such a cutie. Huge congrats to you and your family πŸ™‚

    1. Another great thing in common! I love, love, love The Who.
      Thank you for your compliments on the photography! It was hard. And she is hard to photograph. I thought kids were hard, but dogs are faster!

  10. What a love story! I adore how your husband surprised you with Athena. Such a beautiful dog with such wisdom in her face. I’m in love! I wouldn’t worry about Scarlet and surprises. I think it actually makes it easier for kids to cope with change as they grow older. They recognize it, and surprises, as a normal part of life, and can come to embrace it. I know it helped our daughters a lot!

  11. She is adorable! And Athena seems to fitting. Love the photos of Cassidy & Scarlet cuddling her on the couch, squee!! Of course, I hope the kids are all feeling better. Boo, illness, but yay, puppy!

    1. That’s the story of my life right now! Boo, illness. Yay, puppy! Scarlet is better and Des is getting there. Today was his first day being somewhat back to himself. I really am hoping for the up and up. Luckily he’s not missing much of this 21 degree day.

  12. For the trip she’s been through she seemed so ‘at home’ already with your family. I think dogs are infinitely better than cats so I’m glad it’s a dog. They really, really REALLY love you.

    1. Totally at home. And every day, more so. She wasn’t even comfortably eating until today – knowing for sure that we are going to refill her bowl because that’s what we’ll do.
      And cats. Eh. When they’re bad, they’re just so bad. I don’t want one.

  13. Ever since your wonderful text on Friday morning with a picture of a precious pup who is now part of your home, I have had all these visual images of the wonderful homecoming. This post nailed it!

  14. Wowie wow! She is perfect! You can tell from the photos that she is a gentle and content dog! Best of luck with her. Scarlet looks like she is in love! What does Des think of her?

    1. Des seems to like her! He’s been so sick all weekend but he very gentle offered her toys and bones. And he pets her gently. He seems to get it, and he also seems to get that she’s here to stay! For the first few days, he’d look at her all bewildered after waking up from his naps. He’d be like, “Wait? You’re still here?”

  15. Oh! Happy new dog!! How exciting, for everyone. We are in the process of trying to adopt a Corgi and so seeing this story makes my heart melt and grow eager for our own ball of fur! Best of luck–I am sure there are going to be countless happy memories made with Athena in your lives.

    1. I love Corgis! A few of my friends have them. We were joking about getting a Husky/Corgi. A “Chusky.”
      Or is it “Horgi?”
      Good luck with the adoption process!

  16. Cassidy is so terrific! I remember well the day I brought our puppy home as a surprise. My daughter thought it was her friend’s dog (same breed), but then I said “No, this is YOUR puppy”… great moment. Welcome, Athena!!

    1. That’s what happened to me as a kid! We were told we could never have a dog. When I was nine, I was just watching TV and my parents had “friends” (read: dog breeders) over that they told us to be there for. I was nine and watching “Full House” so I wasn’t going anywhere. Anyway their friends came over with a Samoyed puppy. My mom had tears in her eyes and she asked, “Do you know whose dog this is?” I said, “Of course! It’s theirs.” And pointed to her friends. She said, “No. She’s ours.”
      And that day went down in history.

    1. ha! Well it was certainly a surprise, but more on the good side.
      Especially after spending four days with her. She’s a good cuddlebug, and a friend.

  17. That is soooooooooooooooooooo freakin’ awesome!!! I LOOOOOVE your new puppy Athena!! She’s GLORIOUS! πŸ™‚ I want to play with her!! πŸ™ We are dying for a puppy but we live in an apartment so until we don’t have a house no way jose. πŸ™‚ Enjoy Athena!!! Hope the kids feel better love!! Have a great one Tamara! -Iva

    1. Aw! She’s so playful. She is very calm indoors but outside, she tears around like a madwoman. And she was born in Alabama so I’m not sure what she thought of our giant snowdrifts! Although they did get an inch of snow down there, which sounds like a lot for the south.
      Thank you for a sunshiney comment, as usual!

    1. haha!! Cassidy’s dog ate one of my favorite shoes one night when we were out for July 4th. She HATED fireworks. And she was…12 at the time. No puppy there.
      Today I found one of Scarlet’s shoes in the puppy’s mouth. It was a shoe I don’t like, so I nearly walked away without taking it back. Nearly.

  18. OMG so amazing!!!!! I LOVE that he just brought Athena home. I love BIG surprises!!! Sorry about all the caps but clearly this post deserves them. Such great news!!!

    1. Thank you! And yes, I was so surprised. I did think he was up to something, I admit, but I thought kitten. And I’m happy it’s not. I can’t really wrap my head around the cat idea. I guess it will probably happen, though, because of Scarlet’s begging.

  19. Welcome home, Athena. I am so excited for you and your family, Tamara. That precious little girl is going to bring so much joy into your life. Messes and heartache, too. But totally worth it. And nothing in comparison to the joy and love.

    1. Yes, to the messes and heartaches. I have three kids now! Today was a real test because Cassidy went back to work, Des is still sick and Scarlet went back to school.
      So much juggling!
      So worth it, though.

  20. Athena is so beautiful and clearly so loved already. πŸ™‚ I love all of the pictures and especially the one with your daughter’s feet. Thank you for rescuing her. We are huge rescue/shelter advocates, and our lives are so much better with our best friends.

    1. Oh, thank you! That was actually my son and one of the few photos he’s in! He was just too sick this weekend to really be photogenic..or awake.
      That’s changing this week!
      I never knew how much of a rescue/shelter advocate I was until we did it.

  21. Aww…you know we (doglovers) get so emotional over these kind of stories! Athena is so cute…I especially love her closeup picture! Those eyes and button nose say it all! Enjoy her, as I’m sure she’ll bring you all lots of love!

    1. Yes! Eyes and button nose! I love her nose! I have always been a doglover, but it faded when I had kids. Or it just hid for awhile. Now it’s back!

  22. She is so pretty! You can tell by her expressions she is loved and happy. What a wonderful surprise, and she will totally be the 3rd child, but also the one who cheers you up on a bad day, sad say. I love pets, if I lived on a farm I would have a gazillion. Btw, your pics are as awesome as always

    1. She’s such a little fox! And she’s definitely my third child. This morning was a big rush of who gets what antibiotic, who needs lunch packed and to get out of their pajamas, and who needs to be in a crate for preschool dropoff! Luckily, I didn’t switch that up.

  23. Seeing those pictures almost makes me wish we had a dog!
    I love that y’all surprise Scarlet and Cassidy surprises all of y’all – those are the things that make life fun!!!
    I’m glad that you have a new family member and love her name!!!

    1. Have your boys ever wanted a dog? I always had them as a kid and young adult. We just had a 3.5 year break since our last dog (Cassidy’s husky who passed away at 16) and it was hard to get back here.

    1. ha! Well basenjis can’t back and huskies very much can. And she can bark but there have definitely been moments in which she just emitted some sort of strange meow or Ewok sound.
      I like it.

  24. She is adorable and even your “bad” photos are wonderful! I love that you guys surprise your kids. I am a very planned person – I don’t like surprises and, therefore, it never crossed my mmd to surprise others. Oh yeah – maybe I should change that question I sent you about the puppy’s name! πŸ™‚

    1. Up to you! I’m happy to answer it. There are many #AAF bloggers who only visit me on Fridays so they may miss this post. I love your questions. I have to work on yours too!
      I hate surprises IF I know about them or if they’re mine to give. When someone just blows me away, I do rather enjoy it.

  25. I have been feeling so depressed the past couple of days and your story just made me smile. What an amazing husband you have! That is such a beautiful surprise especially when your week has been so bad. I hope the kids are feeling better but I’m in love with your puppy Athena.

    1. Oh no – I hope you feel better. I was in a huge rut in the past few weeks. I’m getting out of it, just because spring is here and it’s hard for me to be miserable in the spring. Well, it’s not here yet, but I do know it’s coming.

  26. So,,,I once had a cat named Athena. Are you the least bit surprised? I love that Cassidy went through a rescue. And no, I think it’s fine that you keep surprising Scarlet with great things. There will be plenty of challenging things for her – as there are for all of us, down the road. Congrats my friend. xo

    1. No way! We are twins, right?
      I love that he did it too. If it were up to me, I don’t know what I would have done. Probably not this. And this is pretty fantastic.

    1. 50%! Maybe you’ll meet her this summer!
      Welcome home! I swear it will be warm again soon. Maybe you needed some cool air after being hot and sweaty?

  27. I love the name Athena. She’s very cute and I love your photos! We might eventually be getting a kitten and will surprise the kids. Well, try to at least.

    I hope the kids are feeling better. Sickness is no fun. Blah.

    1. Oh, that sounds fun! We may do the same. And probably soon. I don’t want that poor kitten to be up against a dog. A baby puppy is probably a better idea.
      The sickness is ending..not soon enough.

  28. What an incredible surprise! I am soooo bad with surprises. I cant keep anything to myself- once I am privy to something fantastic I immediately begin sending hints. Yet- I LOVE BEING SURPRISED! Scarlet must love them too- since surprises equal Disney world, extra space to cuddle and a puppy! So glad your name stuck and was kid approved. Yay Cassidy! LOL @ the β€œbumper” coverup. Clever.

    1. haha, I’m TERRIBLE at surprises. Just terrible. It’s hard for me to contain them. Impossible. And when they’re on me, they have to be done well or I’ll go crazy. This was done well for sure
      Although the bumper comment totally made me realize something was up. I was like, “Why don’t you just use your iPhone? Or.. I don’t know..call the police?”

      1. Oh I am so there with you. When there is a surprise for ME, I become a hyper-detective and suddenly everything is a clue. I try to “go along” with it but there are so many things poking out saying “this isn’t right.” And yet I love being surprised so why cant I just roll with it and close my eyes?

  29. I think it’s wonderful that Scarlet is getting so many wonderful surprises. You can never make too many happy memories. You guys have such a cute puppy. My son wants a pet too, but I’m not ready for one. I think we will start off with fish when we get him something.

    1. I wasn’t really ready either, but I may never have been! It never seems like a good idea, until it is.
      Fish is a good starter, though!

  30. You captured some great moments – dad is beaming from ear to ear as he presented Athena, all the family is cuddled together on the couch, and even Des (?) foot on top of Athena and she doesn’t care! Great shots, Tamara! She is a real beauty. Truly! I’m sure you’ll have lots of adventures to share with us about Athena now!

    1. Thank you so much! I figure it’s good practice because I do advertise myself as a pet photographer, among other things, and she is testing me well. That’s how I felt when Des was born too. “Ooh, a newborn!”

  31. She is gorgeous and you will so love her, and more love watching your children love her but I would totally make your husband pay for a very, very, VERY long time over surprising you with a puppy! πŸ™‚

    1. haha! But I love her. The cover has been blown. This morning she wanted to stay in bed with me, while the kids were harassing him in the kitchen. He knows I can’t resist this pup.

  32. Athena is gorgeous and she fits perfectly with your family! The look on Scarlet’s face (and he hair which is all lit with excitement) is so awesome πŸ™‚

    1. ha, yeah. Her hair is out of control. She wakes up with such horrible knots sometimes that they frizz out. Des too! And he has straight hair. What gives?
      Anyway, clearly no one had had their baths or hair combed that morning! Luckily there are no photos of me. Yikes.

  33. Your fur baby looks like a lighter version of the fur baby I adopted from a kill shelter the end of December. She is older but still so full of love. Glad you got a love puppy too πŸ™‚

  34. I love this story! I follow and support Peace and Paws, and I love to see adopter updates. This could be my favorite one yet. Enjoy Athena. She is one lucky girl!!!

    1. I’ve become a huge fan of Peace and Paws after this week. Thank you for coming to visit! Right now, our lucky girl is laying on the couch (where she’s made herself quite at home) and looking up at me, knowing that I’m writing about her!

  35. Our Frankie Blue eyes is a Basenji Husky mix. Clever girl, our Frankie. An escape artist extraordinaire. She can clear our 8 ft fence. Wouldn’t trade her for the world… Congrats on the new baby!

    1. I’m guessing by the name that she got the husky blue eyes? Our girl didn’t! She seems to have some very cool eyes – I’ll have to research if Basenji eyes look that way.
      I’d love to see a photo if possible! She sounds wonderful.

    1. Right?? Sometimes I think we’re almost too predictable, except of course that I had no idea I’d have a dog right now. And now I have a dog!

  36. Congrats on your new baby! Athena is precious πŸ™‚ And I like how Cassidy made sure you were camera-ready when he brought home the surprise so you could capture those amazing photos. I worry, too, that we surprise our kids too much.

  37. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I just witnessed a little slice of heaven πŸ™‚ My baby came from Peace and Paws via Tennessee and they obviously have the most incredible foster homes for their pups because mine is also perfect as he has been since he got here in October <3

    1. I would love to use them again! They are incredible. We love our girl and she has such a great temperament. And she’s cute too!
      Thanks for visiting! Give your baby a hug from ours!

  38. Your photos tell an awesome story. So does Scarlet’s face! Love the dog. I think we are jumping on the new dog owner wagon soon. My 17 year old son suffers from a broken heart, thanks to that girlfriend of three years who heartlessly dumped him (couldn’t say that in my post) and he insists he needs a dog. We’ll see…

    1. I was wondering about that story – I realized you probably couldn’t blog about it. So sad. I’ve been that girl. I’ve been him too. It’s so hard.

      1. I know, I’ve been the girl and the boy too. Good news is…you have a new dog! AND a few more years until your kids become the heart broken or the heart breakers. Enjoy!

  39. She is so adorable! What a wonderful surprise! And it’s so perfect that she’s a rescue. There are way to many animals in the world that need to be loved and this sounds like a great organization. I only saw a little whisper of Des. How does he like the new addition to the family?

    1. Des was too sick to be in photos! And he didn’t look very good in the ones with his face. Poor kid! He loves her. He’s very gentle with her.

  40. Congrats! Our dog Daisy came into our lives in a similar way. I had no idea how much I needed her in my life. She’s my little girl and my morning smile. I go through withdrawals if I don’t see her for a few hours. Love how much these furry gals add to our lives.

  41. Oh, Tamara. She’s beautiful. Those black-rimmed eyes! Juliet and I desperately want a Golden Retriever and she’s convinced we should name it Ginger Fox. She’s been stuck on that name for two years now so I don’t think it’s going away. My best friend says it sounds like a porn star’s name πŸ™‚

    1. Ginger Fox! I love it.
      The black-rimmed eyes are incredible. I wonder if that is the basenji in her. There’s no blue, like many huskies have. And the shape is unique. I love them!
      (the porn star name comment cracked me up)

  42. What a sweet surprise! My husband would never do anything like that…at least not in our current house. We have a strict ‘one non-potty trained person/animal at a time’ rule in our house. Though seeing the excitement in Scarlet’s eyes *almost* makes me want to give in to getting a pet for our kids. That, and the last photo with the little feet. So ridiculously adorable!

    1. Yes! Des was sick and the dog was guarding him. I love his little feet wrapped around her head.
      I get it about the potty training, although the dog came to us pretty much trained. So it’s still just Des! Maybe we’ll work on that when he turns two.

  43. You have an amazing heart! I love Athena- she is beautiful (in name and visually). congrats on her arrival and kudos on rescuing!

    PS surprises, big or little are amazing! Keep it up- life is beautiful!

    1. Thank you! It’s more my husband’s heart, although I suppose I have been very accommodating about it! Especially considering that she’s my responsibility from Monday – Friday!

  44. Awwwwwwwwww!!!! I only stopped because my sticky keys notification came on! LOL
    she’s so cute. so adorable. what a man to come home with such a good surprise. I’d love our family to have a pet. I grew up around all kinds of animals on the farm, and I feel like my kids are missing out. Maybe I should just go for the whole surprise thing too πŸ™‚

  45. Oh sure…she’s all cute and fun until she eats a drawer full of socks and one gets lodged so far into her intestine that the intestine turns black and you have to spend over 2 thousand dollars to get it removed.
    Stupid things.
    But you love them anyways.
    Hide your socks though.

    1. We were at the vet this morning and they had a poster on the wall about the top ten things dogs swallow. Guess what was #1? I thought of you!

  46. What a fantastic story and I love that you do big surprises. It’s great that you can, and you should! At least that’s what I think. I read this yesterday and I’ve had this song and “sure plays a mean pin-ball” going through my head all night! I woke up singing Athena.

  47. She is sooooooo cute! We are knee deep in puppy training ourselves… so much energy! But so much love. And we recently upgraded to a king size bed to accommodate Jelly Bean too! πŸ™‚

    1. ha! This morning found four of us in the big bed. And Des was crying so Cassidy had to hold him in the middle of the night, and the dog was nestled between Scarlet and me. I welcome the extra body heat during this frigid winter.

  48. Athena is so adorable! As a funny side story, I used to be really into Greek mythology when I was in high school. (Yes, I was a strange teenager.) Athena was my favorite goddess and I’ve always loved the name ever since.

    1. Thank you! She’s been especially nice this week, when it’s still so cold out and the kids have been sick and I just want to snuggle with someone who won’t blow their nose into my sleeve or yell at me!

  49. Aww! What a sweet and adorable puppy! You’re husband is awesome to surprise you all with her. Scarlet is the perfect age for a puppy. I know you all will have so much fun with her for years to come!

    1. Yes, she is a good age! She really understands a lot about being gentle and giving treats, and walking the dog. Des will get there! He’s been very gentle with her, which is nice.

    1. Thank you! I keep taking more and more. I didn’t know I’d love her this fast – sometimes it’s harder for pets to enter my hearts they way they could before kids. This one has a way about her!

  50. I needed to see these photos and read these words today. Our dog bit two of my children and we are not sure we can keep him, but we are going to try if at all possible. It’s good to be reminded of what’s possible when having a dog.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. When Scarlet was only one, she was bitten in the face by our very old dog. It wasn’t a very malicious thing – quick and deep, so she had to get stitches. We did keep the dog but she was nearly 16 by then so the end was near.
      They can be really amazing too. It’s hard. This time we got something smaller. Hope you find something that works for you!

    2. Don’t be so quick to get rid of your dog. When we first got our dog 11yrs ago he bit my sons and I. With the encouragement of our vet we went to a dog behavior trainer. Worked wonders! Our old boy has been the best friend and natural guard dog (we didn’t train him for this job, he just took it upon himself).

  51. MY EYES JUST FELL OUT OF MY HEAD FROM THE CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!!! Hold on a minute while I pop them back in…. Ah, that’s better. Wow, I love this! And the name Athena really hits home for me too! I went to Turkey a few years ago and went to the Temple of Athena, one of my favorites and… Don’t tell anyone, but I took a piece of the monument – LMFAO! Just a little stone…. But I carry it with me. It’s like I always have wisdom with me! πŸ™‚

    1. haha! I won’t tell anyone, but you might have just told anyone who reads this blog!! (which is you and my mom). That’s a great story.
      And I’m so glad you think she’s cute! When people tell me that she’s pretty in public, I say, “Thank you!”
      ‘Cause you know..I made her and all.

  52. I am in love with Athena. And so so happy for you and your family, and for her. Your photos, as always are extraordinary and OMG. My dog Chief went to the big farm in the sky in April. I’m still not ready. BUT you make me almost maybe possibly WANT to be ready. That Cassidy. He’s a keeper. xo

    1. Aw! I wish I could bring her to the conference. Wouldn’t that be something. I could tell everyone she’s a service dog because she’s my “Situational Anxiety Modifier”. Do you think anyone would buy that?
      Anyway, we lost our dog 3.5 years ago. It’s a particular kind of pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And yet, it was time to open our hearts again, I suppose.

  53. oh my, she’s adorable! congrats! i don’t know how i’d react to a puppy surprise.. i’d probably freak out.. but then again, i’ve been having puppy fever lately!

    1. ha! I really did think about it. She has a brother that my husband almost rescued as well. I told him that I might have been pretty freaked out about two!

      1. two puppies at once! i’d love to see a blog post abut dealing with the surprise of adopting two puppies haha. i’m sure it’d be a lot less amusing dealing with it in real life. the kids sure look like theyre taking on to her really well.

  54. I Love this! I LOVE surprises and kudos to Cassidy for pulling it off! I think giving kids surprises encourages spontaneity —of which I am a huge fan! When you said “she came from Alabama” by first thought was “with a banjo on her knee?” I would love to read Cassidy’s version of things too!

    1. haha! Ok, instead of endlessly singing her “Athena”, I may need to do the Alabama song next. When my husband got in his car at dawn on Friday, he told me later that “Sweet Home Alabama” came on the radio. Cosmic!
      I really hope he chimes in soon. If not here, I’ll copy and paste his words in a new blog post.

  55. What a cute dog! I am cat lover, but that dog is just darling. She definitely looks like a little fox. I am sure things are lively around your place. Pets just add so much to our lives. They are wonderful teachers for little kids.

  56. Tamara, your dog is GORGEOUS. Seriously, you can already capture her spirit in those photos, especially that one where you took a front shot of her face.

    I’m so impressed with your husband that he can surprise you and your kids like this! The most surprises I would do is a birthday party surprise (which I actually am planning lol). Did he read your mind? Your clues? Very attuned, you two.

    And I noticed your hubby was wearing a husky shirt that sorta looks like your dog πŸ™‚ Coincidence?

    Congrats again Tamara! I’m so happy for you guys, and that your little pup got rescued and found a wonderful, new home.

    1. I think he knew enough that I wouldn’t kill him for this one. A lot of people who knew I had two sick kids at home, and I was attending a funeral the day after we got her..asked me why I hadn’t killed him yet! ha! We had talked about dogs before. I thought it would be more in the future, but he fell in love with her online and went for it!
      She’s adorable. Doesn’t use her mouth at all, which is rare for me because I thought all puppies did. And she’s from AL and she is not impressed with our weather! I don’t blame her there!

  57. There is just so much love and cuteness oozing out of these pictures, it is wonderful! You can tell that puppy is home and knows it! You can never surprise your kids too much, Life is a surprise, and a beautiful thing when you know that your dreams and wishes are waiting for you in unexpected places… you are teaching them that, and they will never forget it.

    1. Thank you. I do love the surprises. And this was mine too so my kids are seeing that Cassidy is a bit of an all-around romantic for all of us.
      I totally love the little fox. She couldn’t be more precious.

    1. I’ve never had a cat, except for two foster kittens I once had, but one was very sick and one was very, very evil. I suppose I’d need another chance at it to see if I’d be able to own one!

    1. I hear you! My friends have a puppy in NYC which I was wary about but that dog lives by Central Park so she does well.
      Noah would be so great with a puppy. He seems so great with cats, right?

  58. What a beautiful dog! The story of how Athena came to you made me tear up a little. I may not have had enough coffee yet. Or it may be just a really, really sweet story. Congrats on your new little one! πŸ™‚

  59. AH! The perfect way to start the day. First, a little The Who, because who couldn’t us a little Who. And the sweet Athena from your surprising hubby! She’s darling, and he’s darling for finding her. Thanks for linking with the Spin Cycle!

  60. Awwww, That is an adorable story and a very cute puppy! I always wanted a dog named Touchdown so that I could shout out his name every time Notre Dame scored a Touchdown. I now have him -a big black Labrador that runs in circles and goes crazy during football games.

  61. I’m so glad you finally got your “Athena”! She’s beautiful, and the fact that she was a gift from your hubby probably makes her even more special to you! You have a beautiful blog and family! Happy SITS Day!

  62. I just found your blog through SITS and your post almost made me cry! We just adopted a puppy from a rescue in May and, like you, I often wonder if my daughter is a bit spoiled by all the surprises she gets to enjoy. But I like your reminder that there will be plenty of normal and even sad days, so we might as well get the surprises in when we can! Happy SITS Day!

    1. My daughter got Disney, and the puppy AND two kittens for her birthday. How will I top this?? I guess I’ll find a way. Better this way because we all get to enjoy the pup.
      Thanks for visiting!

  63. Wow, what an incredibly heartwarming and delightful story! It’s truly amazing that you decided to rescue Athena. I absolutely adore her story, especially her adorable ears.

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