It’s Not All Mary Poppins


Wait. Before I introduce you, we have to say goodbye first.

In December, as many of you know, we bought a lovely little black Shih-tzu/poodle cross whom we named Romeo. Sweetest little guy, outrageously outgoing, feisty, friendly, and cute, cute, cute, cute.

And then I stopped writing about him. Some of you wondered why, and some of you I told, privately. You see, after we’d had him a scant five weeks, our poor, precious Romeo was killed by a large dog in our local dog park. One of those crazy, random, unforeseeable things. Tragic, and so tragically unnecessary. I think that’s what I raged against the most: it simply didn’t need to happen. There was no build-up, there was no precursor, there was no warning. Just some momentary, random mis-firing in another dog’s brain, and pfft. Gone. One small comfort: His death was almost immediate; I doubt he suffered much.

Emma and I? We reeled, for weeks. It’s astonishing how big a piece of your heart they get, and so quickly.

The other dog’s owners were as good as humanly possible. They were devastated, of course. They came to the door after I’d returned from the vet without our little puff of fluff. They apologized, copiously and tearfully, they made such financial reparations as can be made. Later, when they discovered we were considering getting a new puppy, they sent a lovely card and a small toy.

But the weeks passed, and the healing happens. Resilience is born of living through tragedy, overcoming grief, learning that you’ll smile again. After a couple of months, Emma and I could look at the puppies at the pet store and on the Humane Society website. But she wasn’t ready yet. It has now been three months since Romeo died, and this weekend Emma and I went out to check out the puppies again.

Yesterday? Yesterday Emma was ready and the perfect puppy was there.

And now, now I would like to introduce you to this beautiful girl:

Her name is Daisy, she’s a spaniel mix: King Charles Cavalier and Cocker. She’s a little bit timid but very affectionate, and quite friendly when she’s had a little while to size things up.

And look! She’s already been helping her mummy study!

Happy Monday. We’re smiling. πŸ™‚


May 2, 2011 - Posted by | my kids


  1. So sorry about Romeo!

    Thank you. We miss him.

    Comment by Hedy | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Oh my gosh, I want her!!

    Isn’t she the cutest?

    Comment by CarolinaBelle | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  3. I’m very sorry to hear about Romeo. Very horrible and sad. I assume the other dog’s owners are also taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

    At first, they were thinking of having him put down. I don’t know what they eventually decided — haven’t wanted to ask. The bylaw office was informed by one of the many bystanders, which I think means that a muzzle any time he’s out of the house is required. I have not seen the dog since; even if they’ve opted for a muzzle, I doubt they’ll be frequenting my usual dog park any more. This both causes me relief and saddens me.

    I love spaniels. I’ve had cockers, and have always wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, they are absolutely adorable. Daisy is not as cute as a button, she’s cuter!

    We think so! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Matt C | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  4. What a lovely new puppy! Seems like a good addition to the family.

    I am so sorry for your loss of Romeo – and the other family’s loss of their dog’s innocence. I hope that they have been able to train and continue to love their dog as well.

    As I said to Matt, at first I know they were considering having him put down. That’s certainly a loss of innocence. I don’t know what’s happened since. I don’t know how effective training would be against that kind of behaviour, but since the bylaw officers have been involved, I’m sure that at the very least he’s now muzzled routinely. Which is not so awful. When I see a dog with a muzzle, I don’t think, “Eek! Potential killer!” I think “There goes another poo-eating dog.” πŸ™‚

    Comment by Becka | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  5. Oh my gosh . . . so sorry to hear about Romeo. I can’t even imagine.

    Daisy looks like a total sweetheart. And you know I’m partial to spaniels. πŸ™‚

    There is something so particularly pleading about the face of a spaniel. “You’ll love me forever and ever, right?” And how could you say ‘no’ to that face?

    And you know what? “Maggie” was the other name we seriously considered — did that one come to mind for a spaniel because of your Maggie? My subconscious working overtime? It’s possible!

    Comment by Sharkey | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  6. I can’t even imagine. We just got our first family puppy in February so this story hits home for me. Daisy looks a total sweetie!

    Friday, February 4. One of the three worst days in my life. But Daisy is a sweetie, and I’m happy to have her in the family!

    Comment by Dana | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  7. I am so sorry to hear about Romeo. Hope he is having fun in doggie heaven.

    Daisy looks so cute!

    I’m sure he is. Lots of other dogs to leap on and he can pee wherever he wants! Daisy is cuter than cute, gentle in spirit and (keeping my fingers crossed) appears to be about 80% housebroken already. Whee!

    Comment by suzi | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  8. So sorry to hear about the loss of Romeo. Such a heartbreak.

    Thanks for introducing us to Daisy – she sure looks like a cutie pie!

    She is. She’s sleeping beside me on the chair as I type. She’s a real cuddler.

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  9. I’m so very sorry for your loss. This was heart breaking to read this morning.

    Daisy is definitely a cutie.

    Yes, we’ve had a few months to adjust. You get it fresh. Sorry about that. And yes, we’re loving Daisy.

    Comment by Sarah | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  10. That is heartbreaking to read about Romeo, so sorry for you. I just wanted to say a thank-you for this beautiful line:
    “Resilience is born of living through tragedy, overcoming grief, learning that you’ll smile again.”
    So true, and worth remembering, and a sentiment that a dear friend of mine needs to hear right now so thank-you for your wisdom.

    The loss of a puppy, though real, is relatively minor on the continuum of tragedies available to us. Still, it is a genuine loss, the pain is real, and recovery proceeds in stages. Whatever tragedy your friend is grieving, I’m sure your friend will discover the same. But it’s okay to grieve for a season. Though you don’t want to wallow endlessly in grief, I think you do have to allow yourself to experience it, so as to move through it. Avoiding it is no healthier in the long run than wallowing. In the end, though, it will abate, and while you might not ‘get over’ it, you do ‘move through’, and come to a place where you take joy in life again. Joy made all the more poignant by the experience of grief.

    Comment by Kate R | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  11. I am so sorry, I can’t even imagine. Hopefully Daisy will help you heal.

    Thank you. I’d say we are healed. In fact, I decided not to look for another puppy until we’d managed that. It’s not that we don’t miss Romeo, of course, and regret his death, but I wanted to be in a position where we could love the new dog on their own merits, not as a salve to a wound. I think we’re there. And Daisy is adorable!

    Comment by chantelle | May 3, 2011 | Reply

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about Romeo – poor little guy. I’m glad the other dog’s owners were so quick with apologies and reparations, at least they didn’t take the coward’s way out and avoid responsibility.

    Daisy is adorable though – I hope you’ll post more photos of her! πŸ˜€

    You’re right. Some people would do that.

    More pictures of Daisy? Can I manage that? Hmmm… How many of the 75 pics I took today should I post? πŸ˜€

    Comment by Rambleicious | May 3, 2011 | Reply

    • All of them! πŸ˜€ Who doesn’t want to see photos of a cute puppy?

      Comment by Rambleicious | May 4, 2011 | Reply

  13. So sorry to hear about Romeo. He had a good home, though, and was loved. And sorry about the other dog, too.

    And Daisy is SO CUTE!! Glad you opened your hearts/homes to another puppy!!

    Comment by MJ | May 4, 2011 | Reply

  14. I am so, so sorry to hear about Romeo. I wondered about him but I didn’t ask; I should have.

    Anyway, Daisy is so tiny! And cute! That sweet little face is just irresistible!

    Comment by Candace | May 4, 2011 | Reply

  15. I have to tell you how jealous I am. King Charles Spaniels are the nicest dogs in the entire world. It’s a shame they all die of heart failure by age 10.

    I am jealous of your lovely little spaniel mutt. Must find a similar one.

    Comment by IfByYes | May 4, 2011 | Reply

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