Puppy Love

by Rachel on February 16, 2011

Q. Why do I feel like Angelina Jolie right now?

A. I just got collagen injections.

B. I just broke up a marriage.

C. I just put on a necklace filled with Eric’s blood.

D. I’m dying to bring home a little multicolored love object to raise as my own.

Eric and I have been hypothetically talking about what kind of dog we’d want for a while, but we hadn’t settled on a breed. Although I get weepy every time we walk by cute dog collars, it wasn’t exactly a pressing issue. But we do like to talk about it and he likes to fall asleep watching Animal Planet and then, on Thursday morning, he woke up to a show highlighting the Toy Fox Terrier. Given that I wanted a miniature pinscher and he wanted a terrier, he thought it might be a good compromise. So we did some research and I agreed that I thought it could be the dog. And I was sort of thinking, “OK, so now we figured that out — now what do we have to debate on long car rides?” I didn’t think more about it, as it seemed like one of those, “OK, great, glad we settled something that isn’t going to happen for a while” things.

But then Friday morning he told me he had already started looking for breeders in the area. I was so surprised that he’d taken it upon himself to start looking (!!) and started checking out the sites he sent me, as well as looking up some on my own.

After dealing with the fact that in the dog world, it’s apparently a badge of honor to have a hideous website with bedazzled graphics and terrible music, I came across this website. Not only did I actually like the site, but they seemed to have a lot of experience with the breed. I e-mailed for more info and within two e-mails, I knew I had not only found our breeder, but I had made a new friend.

The breeder, Michelle, is amazing — she gave us so much info on the breed, the bloodlines, and the process — and her passion, knowledge, and experience was so clear. And the more I learned, the happier I was that Eric had started this sooner rather than later. Apparently, getting a dog can come with a little bit of a waiting period, which is why I now feel like Angelina, despite my not-so-Lara-Croft biceps — it’s going to be a little while before we can go get our puppy.

So, turns out, she has two bitches (a highly technical term) expecting puppies at the end of March. They have to stay with her for 8 weeks, so they’ll be ready to go home at the end of May…which just happens to be exactly when Eric and I are going to be moving in together!

(Did I mention that we’re moving in together in May? I think I forgot. Probably because it didn’t seem like a huge deal to me; I mean, I moved across the country for him — getting an apartment together isn’t one of those, “Oh, so now I know we’re serious!” things. But when I casually mentioned this to Julia in December, she said, “How could you not tell me this sooner? It’s kind of a big deal!” So…Surprise!!!! The countdown to living in sin is ON!)

We made it official yesterday with her — we’re on the waiting list for a male puppy from one of those litters (although on the off chance there are no males in March, we’ll get our puppy later in the year). My mom suggested we get siblings, and, as someone who seriously hopes to give birth to twins some day — two for the price of one assault on your body! — I kind of liked this idea. Michelle said that people often come back to her for a second dog and say that they should have just gotten two at the same time, but she said it’s really up to us. As of right now, we’re just planning for one, but who knows? Come May, we might cave and decide to do all our puppy-rearing at once.

In the meantime, I’m just getting excited about being a dog mom again. I loved raising Tag and Lola, even though Tag has a serious ‘tude and Lola failed puppy class (she’s…special). They were with me when I moved to Chicago and it was so cold — my apartment’s heat was um, not good — and they had to wear sweaters and sleep under the covers to stay warm. But when I went to MSU, they got used to living with my mom and grandma and it wouldn’t have been right for me to take them away from their home after that. (I don’t think my grandma could have handled it, honestly!)

The good news for you? Eric and I have agreed to never be Those People, so, unless it is relevant to the story — and photographing a dog at 30 different angles is generally not relevant to my stories, although I make no promises when Halloween rolls around  — you can rest assured that this blog will not turn into a puppy photo portfolio.

Except for this teeny tiny video from Michelle with some of her puppies…

I’m guessing Angelina didn’t get to watch videos of her kids in the orphanage until she got to go pick them up. Actually she probably didn’t want to. So when you think of it that way, I’m actually way better off than she was.

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Runeatrepeat February 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

Yeah for puppies! Congrats :)


2 betsy February 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

Congrats! Very exciting news. And living in sin is awesome.

I do have to admit that I am jealous about your pet, I really want a dog.


3 erin m. {{well in l.a.}} February 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

Laughing at “living in sin is awesome”! So true… hopping over to your site for the dark chocolate hot cocoa. Yum!


4 Allison @ Happy Tales February 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Yesssssss! I am living in sin as well… and I love it!


5 Dori February 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

YES YES YES YES YES!!!! Um, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about you moving in together either by the way — that is HUGE news! So excited for your puppy!!!!!


6 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I always share my good news here!


7 erin m. {{well in l.a.}} February 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

Congrats on the soon to be puppy-parenthood (very catchy Tweet caught my eye – you have a knack!)! Terriers are a lot of fun, but ours (a Yorkie) is of the most stubborn dogs I’ve ever had! The pup finds ways to sneak himself into my blog every now and again… just a hunch the new love of your life will be well-featured and represented online :)!


8 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers February 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

woo! so excited for you guys. and please don’t hold back on the puppy photos for our sake. seriously. have you guys started brainstorming puppy names?


9 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Yes! We actually had the name chosen before the breed…but it seems like bad luck or something to say what it is this soon!


10 Kristen February 16, 2011 at 11:01 am

Yea for puppies! I’d totally advise getting two at once (if you’re up for it.) We got a BOGO deal on our dogs and as much as it means more work (and double the vet bills,) they really enjoy having each other around. Not to mention they totally entertain one another without us having to like throw some chew toy every five seconds.


11 Laura Georgina February 16, 2011 at 11:01 am

EEEEE!!! They are so cute. And terriers are hands-down the best dogs–little to no shedding, very trainable, but still bratty enough to make for good stories. They’re also KUH-RAZY, like puppy demonto crazy, for years…. so start practicing your telling-off voice.

I think you can tell I have a fox terrier. Wire, not toy, 0% lap dog, 100% weird. He’d run away if I ever put a dog sweater near him… and that’s OK by me.

And congrats on the move!! So happy for you two.


12 Lara February 16, 2011 at 11:01 am

As the mama of five hound dogs, I congratulate you! Ain’t nothin’ like the unconditional love of a pup! Enjoy!


13 Js Everyday Fashion February 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

Congrats!! Getting Tucker was the best decision we ever made. I seriously don’t know how we ever lived without him. And the puppies are so cuteee! So exciting, enjoy it!


14 Eunice February 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

Ugghhhh.. those are some freaking cute puppies. I’m not a dog person, but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for terriers. Those toy ones are irresistible!

Congrats on taking the big living-in-sin step! It’s a good thing. :)


15 Caitlin February 16, 2011 at 11:08 am

I just died. Right here in Starbucks. Laid down. And died.

I am making lots of trips to Houston this summer. And am willing and ready to puppysit.

And you’re moving in together???!?! How much can a girl handle in ONE POST.


16 Beth February 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

I would definitely recommend getting two. It helps you feel less guilty when they are alone and if they grow up together they have such a good bond! I got a second one weeks after getting my first one!


17 Jennifer February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am

Congrats on the puppy, Rachel! That’s so exciting. Not to mention a huge step for you and Eric. And, by the way, I will also be moving in with my BF in May!! We’ll both be living in sin and loving it, I’m sure!


18 Meredith @ An Epic Change February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am

My ovaries are on fire right now. Stop with the cute baby animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Can I come down and play with him?)


19 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm



20 Mel February 16, 2011 at 11:39 am

Woo hoooo!! I want a baby pet of some sort badlyy. So I actually can’t wait to hear puppy shenanigans (comparisons of puppies to frat boys, how to please 2 boys at once, etc) ;)


21 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm

haha love it!


22 Bonnie Bucqueroux February 16, 2011 at 11:48 am

Oooh ooh ooh – love the little guy.


23 Mary February 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

awww those puppies are absolutely adorbs, but are you sure don’t want to adopt? there are so many unwanted doggies in the world!


24 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Yup, I’m sure!


25 Michelle February 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I’m delurking for the very first time. Hooray! Puppies are the BEST. Living in sin is also fun!
And I hate to be a downer, and it sounds like you’ve responsibly checked out your breeder and all…but have you looked into adopting? There are so many pups that need good homes (terriers, included)!


26 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Yes we did — and this is the decision we’ve made!


27 Bobby @boymeetscake February 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

So funny that you posted about looking for a dog. I too have been in search of the perfect companion (since a dog will never judge me for weight gain or a bad hair day like a boyfriend would). I settled on either a Norwich Terrier or a French Bulldog (leaning more towards the terrier as there is a breeder in my area).

But, it seems that not only can the gays not adopt children, but apparently we can’t adopt dogs either as she turned out to be a…well, bitch.

I hope you can get one though, they look fantastic!


28 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Wow, that is such a bummer! I hope you find someone who is more open-minded soon. And AMEN to the non-judgments.


29 Stephanie February 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Haha! Congrats on your impending bundle of joy. A dog and a move-in. I think you might be downplaying the move up in relationship intensity here a bit. :) :)


30 Joey February 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Yay!!! Go for two… they will entertain each other & be less work for you in the long run. I had to convince my husband to let us get a second but once we did, we both agreed that we should’ve just done it all at once. It doesn’t seem like it, but I promise, 2 = less work than 1!


31 Kaytee February 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Oh man, SO EXCITED for you. Not sure if it’s more because you’re moving in together or because you’re getting a dog. Looks like sinful cohabitation is in the cards for us both around the same time. After our conversations around this time last year, who would have ever imagined? HA!


32 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

SO TRUE. We’re growing up, Ferg…


33 Kristen February 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I am quite surprised (and saddened) that you’re working with a breeder when they are so many dogs sitting family-less in shelters. :( But regardless, puppies are adorb’s, so happy puppy day!


34 Bess February 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Yeah I am with Kristen in that I wish everybody’s default would be to rescue an animal not turn to a breeder unless absolutely necessary but regardless, you will be a great puppy mama!


35 MelissaNibbles February 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’m in this camp, but no judgements girl. You do you and enjoy your new fur baby!


36 Amanda February 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Seriously… I am also surprised (and saddened) that you’re going to a breeder. Also.. I know you were trying to be funny and this may be petty… but your comparison of BUYING an intentionally bred well cared for “toy” dog to ADOPTING family-less children from 3rd world countries is really… pathetic.


37 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Amanda — I see what you’re saying, and I do understand the difference between buying a dog and adopting a child. The main reason I went ahead with that metaphor is because from everything I’ve read, celebrities like Angelina Jolie are able to adopt children because of their wealth (and many children at that). Is it the same as buying? No, not exactly — and to be sure, a child in need is getting a home, so it’s a noble cause. But let’s be real — it’s also not an option for childless couples who can’t afford the legal fees or who can’t jump to the top of a waiting list. Maybe a better comparison would have been a childless couple paying thousands of dollars to go through IVF (which you may or may not agree with), because perhaps it’s more like that than adoption. But at the end of the day, Angelina Jolie’s children cost her a lot of money; like I said, the cause is great, and I don’t mean to discredit that, but it’s still, in many ways, buying. The same? No. But, to me, it was close enough for the sake of the lead.


38 Ashley February 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Eh, my puggle (omg a designer dog!) is from the county pound, but if I had an extra coupla hundred bucks when we were dog shopping I’d have gone out and purchased an Airedale terrier. I love them, and I’d look so cool walking it.


39 Debbie @ Live from La Quinta February 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Darling puppies. I have a toy fox terrier and she is wonderful. Talk about ‘tude! She may only weigh 8 pounds, but she keeps our other dogs in line!


40 Manon February 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Awww….on the moving in AND the puppy(ies)!!! As everyone on the whole planet knows, I’m one of those freaks who is a whore for the homeless pups in the animal shelter, but I’m also a whore for people doing their research and doing what is best for them….shelter dogs aren’t for everyone so kudos to you guys for doing your research!


41 Aj February 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm


And uh oh but “Eric and I have agreed to never be Those People, so, unless it is relevant to the story — and photographing a dog at 30 different angles is generally not relevant to my stories, although I make no promises when Halloween rolls around — you can rest assured that this blog will not turn into a puppy photo portfolio.” Just made me feel like a crazy cat lady… all of our conversations revolve around the cats, we just bought a cat stroller, and my DSLR is only used for food or cats. Sigh. I guess it’s useless to fight the stereotypes.


42 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

oh my goodness — a cat stroller? What, praytell, is it for? I’m not judging, I just really would like to know.


43 Ashley February 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm

A cat stroller? AJ I am shipping my fiance’s two cats off to LA ASAP. They’re yours!

(I’m keeping my tortoiseshell, though. She’s awesome.)


44 Aj February 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Here’s the thing…my partner is convinced our cats are bored by staying in our apartment all day and night. I mean we’ve bought them an expensive cat condo, we play fetch with our youngest, we chase our middle one, and rub the eldest’s tummy. They eat, sleep, and poop (a lot) what more do cats need? I would be perfectly happy! But R is convinced they are bored and this boredom will lead to depression. But we don’t want to make them outdoor cats because it’s dangerous for them and have you seen the kinds of cats in our neighborhood? Totally the wrong crowd.

“With a cat stroller we can take them on walks and they can look out and see the world and smell the smells.”

And I love her and I want to make her happy and for $40 it’s worth it. Oh and in West Hollywood we do not look like “that lesbian couple” because everyone has their dog in a bag, or their cat in a stroller, or their parrot in a baby bjorn.

Pictures will be posted, I promise. Because if we’re going to be ridiculous at least I know it and can laugh about it.


45 Liz February 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

omg puppyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. God, I love dogs. I’m another one of those crazy adopt/rescue people, and you know, there are some fox terrier rescues in Texas. I found one here: http://texasfoxterrierrescue.com/Home.html

Regardless, the breeder you have chosen appears to be pretty reputable and responsible, so kudos to you for doing your research trying to find a responsible breeder who gets the health testing done and doesn’t overbreed their dogs. I hope you find the perfect companion!


46 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Thank you so much for that second paragraph and for sharing that link — that was so nice of you to go the extra mile like that! Unfortunately, that rescue site doesn’t have Toy Fox Terriers — only Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers, which are pretty different.


47 Liz February 17, 2011 at 8:45 am

I’ve been doing shelter volunteering and animal rescue a long time. It doesn’t help to berate people for choosing to go the breeder route, especially if the breeder they choose is a responsible breeder. All you can do is encourage them to do tons of research, have their pet spayed/neutered, get proper training, and ensure that the dog they buy does NOT end up in a shelter. I hope your pup has a long, happy, wonderful life that brings you much joy.


48 Kristin March 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I guess what makes me sad about this is that your blog is so widely read, and you had an opportunity to set a great example for people who are interested in getting dogs and aren’t sure which way they want to go. I hate to think that your readers will now be encouraged to go to breeders when so many perfectly adorable pups are sitting in cold shelter cages waiting to be adopted or worse, to be put down.

I’m sure you’ll say Sorry I’m Not Sorry, but you’re really saying it to all the shelter dogs who may have been adopted if you’d used this platform to encourage people to save an animal’s life.


49 Lisa @ I'm an Okie February 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Congrats on your new addition! Can’t wait to see plenty of puppy pics in the very near future!


50 SJRG February 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Hi Rachel,

CONGRATS on all of the exciting news. I have a topic request. I completely understand if you don’t want to explain your personal life and thought process, but I was just curious how you decided to move in with Eric now or your thoughts on living together before marriage. My bf of almost a year recently asked me what I thought about living together. I wasn’t opposed, but my family feels very strongly that I should not live with him until I’m engaged (oh, and I should mention that this isn’t a religious thing, more like my mother thinks we won’t get engaged if we live together first). I haven’t decided what to do yet.


51 Rachel February 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Hi! I don’t mind personal questions and I’d be happy to share my thoughts on this — I honestly hadn’t thought about writing a post on that topic because I didn’t have to put a ton of thought into it. I guess my answer to “Why?” is “Why not?”

I think I could explain my thought process better if you gave me more info on the “cons” you’re dealing with, so then I can tell you how I dealt with them or share the questions/conversations I had with myself/Eric. And I’d love more background on the actual guy/how long you’ve been dating/etc. — I think that makes a huge difference in the answer to your mom’s argument. Feel free to do it here, or e-mail me: rachel [at] rachelwilkerson [dot] com and we can go from there!


52 Allison @ Happy Tales February 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Congrats on the news of y’all moving in together! Oh oh man you’d absolutely hate my blog… i created it just for showcasing my dog, Happy, because I am obsessed with her! Actually that’s a lie… only one day is dedicated to posts about her (Sunday = Oh, Happy Day!) but I do talk about her quite a bit. I can’t wait to see pics in the future!


53 Rachael February 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Yeah we adopted a 70lb golden retriever a few months ago (totally the same thing right?)
I don’t blog about her, but sometimes she makes for the best tweets, seeing as how I should of renamed her ass Trouble.


54 Lauren at KeepItSweet February 17, 2011 at 7:26 am

For some reason I’d assumed you already lived together! SO jealous that you are getting a dog!!


55 Allie February 17, 2011 at 11:50 am

Congrats on your puppy choice! I went through the whole “find a good breeder” process and it was miserable. Did anyone talk to you about freeze-dried sperm? They threw that out there like it was no big thing! Is this breeder listed on the AKC website for the breed? That’s a good sign for them to be certified there. Also, feel free to post lots of puppy pics. I’m one of those people so I won’t complain.


56 Angela February 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Yay!! Congrats on moving in together!


57 Jen @ keepitsimplefoods February 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

Gah! I love the mulitple choice options! I was secretly hoping the answer was C.


58 Lisa February 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Oh my GOD. I want one.

The bf and I have been talking puppies for a few years now. We’ve finally narrowed the list down to about 4 breeds and hopefully this time next year we’ll be proud puppy parents!


59 Alice May 9, 2011 at 7:33 am

I’ve been loving your blog. I found it last week and have been reading some old entries here or there. But I hate to say that I’m kind of disappointed. I don’t want to go off, but puppies just as cute as the specific breeds people want are killed every day because of neglect by humans (either actually dying, or because they’ve been taken to a kill shelter), and passing up those puppies in favor of one born by force (and because someone wanted to profit from it) is cruel.

Also, aside from things like size and fur type, which you need to worry about when you’re keeping the size of your house and allergies and things in mind, a dog’s personality is more important than it’s breed. I understand you made your choice, but I think not adopting when you want a pet is heartless.


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