And Then There Were…..6 ?!

With Grace, Nora, Millie and Huck, there was already plenty of cuteness around the Dee household, even if I did lower the curve. However, the measurements just went off the scale yesterday at 3:42, when this little guy arrived to join the family. His name is Bleau and he is a double doodle. Double doodles are hybrid of three breeds;  the Labrador Retriever, Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle. I suppose you are all wondering, just how in the world did the Dee’s decide to get another dog? Well, that is a bit of a story!

First let me say that both Huck and Millie are doing great and not in any kind of failing health. So Bleau was not added to the clan to help with the pending loss of either of them. They both turn 10 in January, so hopefully they have several more years with us. The process that led to the addition of Bleau began last spring. The Calumet, Laurium, Keweenaw (CLK) school district received a grant for a service dog. The purpose of the dog will be to be at the school during regular school hours and help kids who are having some problems. It could be as simple as just a bad day or perhaps something more serious on the emotional side. He will not be trained to recognize any health issues, such as seizures or low blood sugar. He will simply be there for emotional support and will be trained for the task.

In the late spring and early summer, when it became clear the district was going to be getting the dog and even had the breeder picked out from which the dog would come from, the process of planning who would be the host family for it began. An automatic reaction was made by Nora and Grace that we should toss our hat into the ring and while I did not shoot down the idea, I did not agree to it right away. We spent quite a bit of time as a family discussing all the ways that the pup would be changing our lives, including Huck and Millie. After a few weeks of great discussion, I finally gave my vote to go ahead and apply to be the host family when the time came.

As summer break was finishing up, the announcement of the dog and then applications went out to all the staff in the district. We spent a nervous 2 weeks while the application process took place and the committee made their decision. Last Thursday the committee met and the decision was made. Nora found out on Friday that we were the family chosen to be the host for the dog and then on Saturday, yesterday, Nora and the school’s social worker (who did almost all of the work involved to get the dog) drove down to Crystal Falls MI to pick him up. Grace and I stayed home and did one last round of checking the house for anything the puppy cold get into and also went to Houghton to get some food, toys and treats for him. To further kill time, Grace and I took down the swimming pool and got it packed away for the season.

At 3:42, Nora pulled into the drive way, parked the car and had this little guy sitting on her lap. We had decided ahead of time that to keep things from getting too out of hand for the little guy’s first moments at his new home, Huck and Millie would stay inside and then be introduced one at a time after the puppy had grown comfortable with his new digs. All went very well, Huck and Millie actually surprised us a bit with how cautious and gentile they were. I was not at all afraid they would be aggressive, but they tend to be very excited when people and especially dogs come to visit. It was a beautiful day to just sit outside and let everyone sniff butts and get to know each other better, although I did get smacked when I went in for a second sniff of Nora’s derriere!  I guess once was enough!

We spent about an hour outside and then went in, had dinner and decided it was a great evening for a walk in the woods, so we all headed out for a short hike in our woods. I got to lead the way, so I chose the path to Old Granddad. I figured if this pup is going to be a part of our family and spend the rest of his life playing in our woods, he had best meet the matriarch of our woods- Old Granddad. It was fun to watch him navigate is way through the woods. At first he was a little timid about going through any brush and walked around any blow-downs, rather than hop over them, but he watched Huck and Millie trounce through the woods and soon he was keeping up with us all and even jumping over the downed trees.

After the walk we all got a drink of water and then Grace took him over to see Grandpa Tree. For those of you who missed the story about how one of our apple trees got the name “Grandpa Tree”, go back to the entry titled “Dreams”. After hanging out at the Grandpa Tree for a while, we all came back inside and it was time for Bleau’s first bath at our house. The breeders did an awesome job of taking care of all of the puppies in the litter. Bleau actually was clean when Nora and Shelly picked him, as were his remaining siblings and in all the pictures and videos of him before he was picked up, they all looked to be well taken care of.

After the bath, it was time to cuddle in the living room, which caused the little guy to fall fast asleep after such a busy day. The only problem with that was that when it came time to go to sleep for real, he had just finished a nice 2 hour power nap and was ready to rock and roll, not sleep!

Today was a pretty busy day too. Up before dawn, some morning exercise, a nap and then off to a birthday party with Grace and Nora. Came back home, played with Huck and Millie some, had dinner and then took another walk in the woods. This time, running through the woods like Huck, Millie and Grace do and jumping over the logs. It has only been a little over 24 hours since he joined our family, but it is already very clear that this little guy is special. He is very smart. He learned his name almost instantly and will come when called. He is also very laid back for a puppy. Not lazy, but just very content to lay with you and be still, which is great, because that will be a big part of his job. Tomorrow he will make his first visit to the school, only for a short while and to get his picture taken as it is school picture day.

It goes without saying that life has changed for all at the Dee house, but its a good and welcomed change. It will take a while longer for us to all settle into the new situation, but things really could not have gone much better so far.

In other news this week, not much happened! I came down with a cold last Sunday and it really had me knocked down for much of the week. At one point before I rolled out of bed on Wednesday, I was a little worried that I might have to see the Dr, as I was really not feeling well at all and they always want me to come in if I come down with something and it seems to be getting worse than it should. Thankfully, there was a bit of a turn around later Wednesday and I am feeling better. Still not 100%, but neither is Nora and she came down with the same bug about a week before me. So looks like it is one of those that hangs around for a while.

The weather has been beautiful the past 3 days, but most of last week was pretty nasty. I will not go on about all the rains, except to say that by the time it finally ended on Thursday, we had picked up around a foot of new rain in 10 days! I know that other areas of the Midwest have seen as much rain and in some cases more. Looks like everyone will be dry for this week, which will be a good thing. In other weather news, the once quiet hurricane season has suddenly become quite active. There are three named storms in the Atlantic right now, here is a beautiful picture of all three taken this afternoon from space. On the left is Florence, which was a hurricane, weakened to a tropical storm and is back to being a hurricane. It looks to become a very strong and dangerous storm in the next few days and could really cause some big problems in the mid-Atlantic states late this week. First with its landfall and destruction from winds and storm surge and then from what could be catastrophic flooding as it moves inland. The storm in the middle is Isaac and is a tropical storm at the moment, but looks to strengthen to a hurricane soon. On the right is Helene, which at the time of that picture was still being classified as a tropical storm, but has since been upgraded to a hurricane.

No hurricanes for us. Just sunny skies and late summer temps this week. Some cooling and rains by later next weekend and early next week. Time to start thinking about pushing the summer clothing to the back and bringing the cold season garb to the front!

Have a wonderful week and…
Good night from the Keweenaw..