Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Cooper the Christmas Pup

Christmas 2018 = the Christmas we gave the kids a puppy.

This wasn't a milestone that was really on my radar, but Kevin found a brown Boston Terrier puppy earlier in December that he thought would be perfect for our family.  We talked about it, prayed about it and I said yes to the puppy.  We got a babysitter for the kids, headed to Petsmart to buy all the necessary puppy supplies (A LOT) and went to pick him up about 30 minutes away from our house on December 22.  I was nervous and kind of anxious about the whole thing.  Kevin was really excited.

A little background on us...
Dogs love Fletcher (maybe because he is always covered in crumbs?? :)
Olive has been asking for a dog for months.  Fluffy white dog with a pink bow in it's hair.  Not exactly what Kevin picked out, but I hoped it would be fine.
Kevin always dreamed of getting a bull dog or something like that.  He grew up with dogs.
Whitney is a cat person.  Has always loved cats despite being allergic.  

Back to puppy pick up day...
We picked him up from the breeders.  Found out his birthday and let his mom give him a lick goodbye.  I brought a cozy quilt to snuggle him in on the ride him and we stopped to get some ice cream and chat about puppy things before introducing him to the kids.  We talked over names.  Originally, we'd planned to name him Rocky, but that didn't seem to fit him.

We told the kids we had a Christmas surprise when we got home.  They closed their eyes and Kevin snuck Cooper inside.  They heard his jingle bell collar jingling and had no idea what to expect.  I'll never forget their surprise and sweet reactions.  They giggled and laughed as he licked them hello.  We came up with a list of boy name options and all agreed Cooper seemed right.

Olive was the cutest little puppy mom.  She snuggled Cooper any chance she got.

Kevin took the lead on all things puppy - potty breaks, potty clean up and puppy watch 24/7.

 Cooper loved all of his Christmas toys.  This squeaky piece of pizza was his favorite.

We took him on our Christmas road trip to visit family.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Our entire families loved on Cooper all Christmas long.  Look at that sweet face!!

I wasn't kidding about Olive loving to snuggle a sleepy Cooper.  She asked to hold him all day long.

The kids played and played with Cooper.  I lost count of the tiny toys I fished out of his mouth.  We made an emergency call to the vet over a marble.  Not sure if he ate it or not.  Probably not.  And he liked to carry cars around in his mouth.

He went for walks and met the neighbors.

Cooper went to work to visit Uncle Tyler.  

We all took turns taking him out for countless potty breaks.  He was slowly, but surely, winning my heart over a little more every day.

He was like a baby.  We had to make sure he stayed up a fair amount in the evening so he would sleep at night.  Kevin ended up sleeping next to his crate a couple different nights.

Lots of Christmasy fun with Cooper!

And now the puppy story takes a sad turn.  I wish that I could give you a happy puppy update, but this story didn't work out as we had planned.

Cooper no longer lives at our house :(.  We ended up having to return him to his puppy parents on December 30.  We went back and forth about it, weighed the pros and the cons and ultimately did what was best for everyone.

SO many tears were shed over this little pup.

I probably cried more than anyone else over this sweet dog that I said I wasn't so sure about.  We were all super sad things didn't work out, but he just wasn't a good fit for our family.  He was so busy and into everything all the time.  We felt like we wouldn't be able to keep him safe and give him all the attention he'd require as he got bigger.  We had many scares of him choking on things, so many messes and accidents, the cats were not thrilled with him along with some other personal reasons.

We knew we had to make the best decision for him long term and return him.  This was probably one our hardest parenting decisions yet.  And now I'm crying again.  I am glad we were able to give Cooper LOTS OF LOVE while he was ours.  We had a great Christmas with him!  We learned a lot throughout this whole process so maybe I'll talk Kevin into doing a post with me on how we helped the kids say goodbye to Cooper.  It wasn't easy, but I know we aren't the only ones this has ever happened to or the only people who've lost a pet that they loved.


  1. Aww, big hugs to you! I am sure making the decision to send Cooper back was a difficult one and especially hard for the kiddos.
    We lost our 13 year old Chihuahua, Lucy, on Christmas evening. Her passing was so hard as she was a part of our family for so long.

  2. Oh man that is so hard. Giving you a big hug. We had to give away our dog when I was a young girl and I know it was really hard on my parents. They each gifted us a little plush dog that looked like her as a way to remember her. :)

  3. Aww, I am NOT a dog person but this makes me sad too! <3 I really respect you for doing what you thought was best for him, though. So many dog owners just let their dogs run wild and never care for them, and it makes me sad. You did the most loving thing you could. <3 We took in two cats when we were first married - a friend was moving away and had to get rid of them. They were brothers and loved each other so much. We enjoyed them so much, but our apartment was too small...and they loved going outside in the woods - and bringing in allll the squirrel and rodent fleas. We had to call an exterminator because our apartment was literally crawling with fleas almost overnight. Finally we had to get rid of the cats and I still feel so bad about the whole thing. You're right, it happens to most people at some point. Hugs to you!

  4. Such a hard decision!! I’m so sorry that y’all had to go through the hard part :( It seems like you definitely made the right choice for your family, though. Sending you a big HUG 🤗

  5. So sorry to hear about your loss...that is heartbreaking but I am sure you made the right decision in the long run. I love dogs too but my cats would never approve of my getting one either. Hugs to you all!

  6. Oh friend! We have been there and know exactly how you are feeling about this situation. We had a yellow lab before our Lexi girl. He came from a very high bloodline of 'working' dogs. So this pup wanted to be working and doing something non stop. He never slept and had more energy than I can even begin to describe. Everytime I would let him out to potty he would take off and I'd have to get in my car and go chase him down. And then the final straw was that he was bullying Mason. He would not let Mason walk from one side of the room to the other. He would herd him into a wall and then keep him there. It was insane. We tried for a year and then eventually took him back to the breeder. The breeder told us in the beginning that if he wasn't a good fit for our family that he wanted him back, no matter how much time had passed. These dogs sell for $3500+. We were fortunate enough that the pup was gifted to us because the guy worked for Nate's dad and really valued him! But yeah, that was the hardest lesson learned. Thinking about you all! The right puppy will come along at the right time for your sweet family!

  7. I'm so sorry! But, I applaud you guys for making the best decision for your family and for the puppy. You guys loved him well AND gave him the chance to be placed with a family that he might be better suited for. We have an 8 month old puppy and can completely understand about being on high alert anytime they are out of their crate! Sending hugs your way!

  8. Whitney!!! I know this experience was not easy at all for you, Kevin or the kiddos. How amazing of you guys for doing the right thing for precious little Cooper AND your family! There is so much to consider when adding a furry member to the family. It is a HUGE undertaking and life changing. I hope the fun, sweet memories of Cooper over Christmas will stay with your family forever and you will be able to look back at this experience down the road as a precious little moment in your family's history. Sending love friend!

  9. Hugs Whitney! That is so hard, but you totally did the right thing for Cooper and for the family. My husband had to give up his cat before I moved in with mine (long story), and it was absolutely heartbreaking so I know what you are going through. Way to be strong and tough and teach your kids how to make hard decisions!!!!! I'm sure Cooper is super happy and loved wherever he is :)

  10. Oh man, what a tough decision to make, but it is for the best. I know for sure our family could not handle a dog with all the care they require. What a fun little holiday memory you had!

  11. Awww I'm so so sorry :( But it's best that Cooper can be with a family that he is the best fit for. I know it was hard, but your heart was in the right place for your family and for Cooper.


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