Saturday, March 27, 2010

Meet Mollie. No Daisy. No Mindy?

As I mentioned in my last post, we went to the dog breeder's farm in Peever, South Dakota to make our pick of a mini goldendoodle litter. Miss Candy, a golden retriever, and Mr. Opie, a miniature poodle, had nine puppies together.

After our encounter at the gas station, we turned onto an unmarked road.

Paul: I don't think this is the right road. I think it is the next one.

I hesitated questioning his remark. I know from experience that questioning Paul while driving in unknown territory is received as criticism.

I asked anyways.

Me: Uhm... so if this isn't right, why did you turn here?

He didn't answer. What a surprise.

He couldn't answer, because besides driving in Minneapolis, the only place Paul doesn't like driving is on mud laden country roads that are like small slivers of land patches in the middle of water-filled farm fields.

Evan: Are we going to get stuck?

I whip my head around and give Evan the look of evil - like speak one more time and I cannot save you from what your father may do to you...

Evan: Oh. Sorry.

Me: Here's a farm on the left.

Paul: She said it was on the right.

Me: Oh... well there's a farm way up there on the right.

Paul: She said it was only a mile. We are not on the right road.

And yet...

He keeps driving as if we are.

Curious why he does that... I wish I understood the mystery of men and directions. I don't. What I do know is that if I say anything that even remotely sounds critical, or directive, I should do so at my own risk. I can tell him that his pants make him look fat, but by God... I'd better not tell him he doesn't know what he is doing when he is behind the wheel.

I clench my teeth, breathe deeply, and tell myself to stay silent.

After three seconds I say...

Me: Maybe we should turn around.


I try an alternative approach:

Me: Clearly you were right, Paul. You knew this wasn't the right road.

Paul: Yeah. I knew this wasn't right.


He pulls onto another mucky road to turn around.

I cautiously suggest...

Me: Do you have her phone number? Maybe we should just give her a quick call. I mean, since the roads are so muddy. We don't want to risk the car being stuck...

or taking another wrong road...

Paul: Yeah - I'll give her a call.

After a quick call, and a treacherous journey back over the muddy, foot-deep ruts in the road... we make it back on pavement and find the right road. This one, fortunately, is much safer.

We come up to a farm that has seen better days.

Evan: Is THIS where the puppies are?

Me: Yeah. I think so...

And we are greeted by about a dozen guinea hens blocking the driveway. Paul stops and then slowly inches the car forward.

They don't move.

Me: Don't kill one.

Crap. I questioned his ability to maneuver a car without killing wildlife. 

Paul: Najla... I am trying...

We are interrupted by a grizzly looking man with a shaggy graying beard and a big warm smile... He is waving his arms at us to move ahead...

Paul: I don't want to kill one of these things...

The man approaches Paul's side of the car and Paul rolls down the window.

Paul: Hi there!

Grizzly man: Welcome! Just drive right over 'em! We got plenty! (he starts laughing)

The boys were fascinated.... by the birds, the dogs, the farm, and the grizzly man.

Grizzly man: Just pull on over by that barn. Lorna will be out in a minute.

Paul drives over to the left and I see a few pens with dogs barking wildly. A person emerges from the barn.

Okay. I'll admit. I thought it was a man. We all thought it was a man. The person had on a big plaid flannel navy blue shirt, a baseball cap that covered half their face, jeans, and construction boots. I didn't see any hair... But it was Lorna. The dog breeder.

We hopped out of the car and onto the squishy ground.

Lorna: Sorry about how the place looks. It's been so wet. You are seeing it at its worst.

Me: Oh that's okay. We appreciate you letting us come to visit.

Lorna had made it clear we could stop by any time. We didn't have to call or make an appointment. She said her farm was always open.

Zach grabs my shoulder and whispers in my ear.

Zach: What is that smell?

Me: It's farm smell. Manure, dogs, mud, horses... farm. Farm smell.

Zach: Oh.

We walk into the barn and grizzly man follows us in. He has still got a big smile on his face. He's one of those guys you just immediately like.

Lorna: So, you want to see the girls, right?

I look at Paul for affirmation.

Me: Yeah. I think that's what we want.

Lorna: Okay, just wait. I'll go get them and the kids can go into the pen and play with 'em. But they have to sit down. The puppies are all over the place and we don't want them stepped on...

Me: Of course. Boys? Did you hear what she said? You have to sit down, okay?

The boys are all wide-eyed. Especially Ethan. He looks a little frightened.

Next thing you know, there are puppies everywhere.


Apparently, the goldendoodle pups were were interested in were being socialized with some other puppies she had... and they all got out at once.

Yelping, jumping, wagging little puppies everywhere.

Lorna: Okay boys, you gotta help get 'em back in the pen... just pick 'em up and bring 'em to me! (she talks loudly over the barking).

The boys hesitate at first and look at me like... "What do we do?"  Our old dogs, Ted and Ginger, were 15 and 16 years old when they died. They never liked being picked up by anyone other than me. And they oftentimes growled at the boys...

I looked at them with an encouragingly.

Me: Go ahead... they're just little guys, they aren't going to hurt you!

They hopped into action, scooping up puppies and handing them back to Lorna. Except for Ethan who was still standing right next to me and holding onto my jacket.

Finally, we rounded up the three girls into the pen and Evan, Zayd and Ethan went in and sat down.

And the puppies struck the weakest link. They all went after Ethan... jumping and licking and pawing at him...

He started giggling so hard I thought he would puke.

After holding and watching them for a while... we picked the medium colored one that Lorna had named Mindy.

Me: We'll take Mollie.

Lorna: Mollie?

Paul: Mindy.

Me: Oops. I mean Mindy.

Where did I get Mollie? I know the puppy's name is Mindy. We've looked at her on the website and had thought she'd be the one we wanted.

Ethan: I thought we were going to call her Daisy?

Me: Right. We are going to name her Daisy.

Lorna: Do you want to look at the boys to be sure?

I look at Paul again and he shrugs his shoulders.

Paul: Sure. Why not.

Lorna: Follow me.

We follow Lorna into a kennel with dogs in pens on both sides. She has a lot of dogs. I was starting to feel worried. She probably had more dogs than she should. But the pens were huge and clean... and the dogs weren't crowded on top of each other. And she and her husband clearly enjoyed them. She would pick them up and cuddle them. Grizzly man would pick one up and cradle a puppy, kissing their head.

We played with the male goldendoodles for a bit and I picked one. Dooby.

Nice name. Zach wanted that one because of the name. When we told him no, he wanted to name whichever one we got Dooby. I said under no circumstance would we be naming our dog Dooby. The last thing I need is Ethan calling out "Doooobbbyyyy!" in the neighborhood.

Me: I don't know Paul. This one might be it.

Paul: Okay. Whatever you want.

Me: Well... maybe we should look at Mollie and Dooby together before we decide.

Paul: Mollie?

Lorna: Mindy.

Me: Oh yeah. I mean Mindy.

Evan: Gosh mom! It's Daisy.

Me: I know. I'm so confused.

We walked back out of the kennel and put Mollie - I mean Mindy - Daisy. on the ground with Dooby. Dooby immediately began humping Mollie (I mean Mindy-Daisy).

Me: Uh oh...

Lorna: Ohhhh! We got ourselves a humper!

Lorna picks up a sheet of paper with pictures of all the dogs. She finds the one of Dooby and writes next to his picture, "Humper."

Paul: Nope. We don't want Dooby. Too dominate.

Mollie handled Dooby's humping very well. She stood there like: "Are you kidding me? You are so immature. Are you done yet?" and then she just walked away from him.

Perfect. Not aggressive...

Me: We'll take Mollie.

Everyone else: MINDY!

Ethan: But we are calling her Daisy.

Me: I mean Mindy. Daisy. Mindy-Daisy.

We walked back outside to the car and Lorna introduced us to Mollie's dad Opie, the miniature poodle, and Candy, the golden retriever.

Again... I had to ask.

Me: Uhm... not that I am questioning Opie's manliness or anything... but I'm wondering... how exactly does that work with Opie being so... uhm... so short. And Candy being so tall?

Lorna: Oh we artificially inseminate them.

Me: Oh (I sigh with a sense of relief - although I couldn't tell you why I was relieved.) So the vet does it?

Lorna: No, my vet wouldn't do it. I do it myself.


Lorna: Other breeder came over and showed me how to do it.


Okay. So lots of thoughts ran through my head within a period of five seconds: She artificially inseminates the dog. She does it. How? How...

Grizzly man: (starts laughing) Oh yea... Opie likes her... He doesn't like me.

Holy cow.

I decide to join in the laughter rather than ask anymore questions.

We schedule to pick up Mollie in a couple weeks, when she is 8 weeks old... we say our goodbyes and hop in the car.

After a few minutes Zayd says...

Zayd: Oh my gosh! We stink!

Zach: Yeah. We stink like farm. Holy.

Zayd: I can't breathe.

Me: You'll be fine. We'll air out soon enough.

Everyone gets quiet. I wondered what they thought of their experience? The farm, Grizzly man, the noise, the dogs, the hens, and Lorna.

Zach breaks the silence.

Zach: I really like them. They seem like really nice people.

Zayd: Yeah. Me too!

Evan: Yeah.

Ethan: I did too! I liked them too!

Me: They are nice people.


Zayd: But I could have done without the smell.

1 comment:

  1. Najla, Najla, your inquiring mind can get you into such trouble...