If this long winter has had a bright spot, it has been inside the house for us, not outside. Everyone, I'd like to introduce you to Bella, the new daily companion of Mrs. ProfessorRoush. She's 8 weeks old in these pictures, but we've had her 4 weeks today. Our recent empty nest syndrome was hitting Mrs. ProfessorRoush hard, but I think we've got it licked now. Or at least we're being licked to death by our "cure" for the empty nest syndrome.
Bella is the offspring of a beagle mom who was a little loose with the neighborhood boys. We're not exactly sure who the father is, but he is believed to be a Fox Terrier. At least that was the theory of the breeders, who thought it was the Fox Terrier because he "was the only male dog in the area of the right size at the time." As a veterinarian, I'm not so sure that an asymmetric mating is so impossible, and it would be about my luck that the father was a coyote. Bella's beagle genes seem to be pretty strong here, however so we'll just call her a beagle, leave the paternal component unspoken, and just tell her that Daddy was an interstate trucker.
On the behavior side, we've gotten pretty lucky. The first night we brought her home we put her to a crate bed around 9:00 p.m. and she left us alone until 6:00 a.m. Even better, she's done it about every night since, so she's a lot easier on our sleep patterns than either of our human offspring were. Potty-training has really gone pretty well with the exception that the cats, Millie and Moose, won't leave us alone and distract Bella every time we take her out. In the meantime, Mrs. ProfessorRoush is completely besotted, as every new mother should be. I'm just hoping Bella's daddy really was a Fox Terrier and that I get a decent garden rabbit-chaser in the bargain. It's the least Bella could do for the money I'm trading for puppy food, toys, and shots. In the meantime, I'll try to resist looking at her and thinking about how many new roses I could have bought instead.