Meet Dinah, the new little puppy who really puts the grrrrr in grrrrrl! If the UK's Kennel Club approves, her registered name will hopefully) be Breaksea November Gael.
I'll have to tell bits of our adventure story in reverse in order to get everything in. Anyway, Dinah is a fearless, inquisitive, energetic little soul -- not to mention cuter than the dickens. She and Seamus are already an item. The two of them play together every morning (not to mention most of the day), and their games of chase look and sound like the Scooby-Doo and the Keystone Kops recreating the chariot race from Ben-Hur.
Charlie is polite, though he prefers to leave the paws-on interactions to Seamus. He rarely has to assert his alpha-doghood, and Dinah doesn't pose much of a threat to his supremacy at 10 weeks of age. (Give her a year. She'll be running the household, and Charlie won't know what hit him.)
I think Dinah wore both boys out...
If you think I go goofy over little puppies, you should see Greg. He is absolutely smitten with Dinah. Except for the time when he played Santa for the Minuteman Beardie Club and got to hold Qi (Seamus's half-sister, who was probably 5 months old at that time), he had never met a little Beardie puppy before. He just can't get enough of this one!
Dinah is a better traveler than I am, and she stole hearts on two continents on the day we flew home (Tuesday the 17th). I have to say that the staff of British Airways not only did a fantastic job of taking care of her, but they took pretty good care of me, too. There's probably nothing worse (in the decibel sense) than an anxious puppy-mommy worrying at the top of her lungs about her puppy getting on the plane. When I brought Charlie home from Nebraska by way of Chicago back in 1997, I nearly received an Oscar for Best Dramatic Actress.
Nothing fazes this puppy. She took her very first ride in the car the day before we flew home. She rode on my lap, looking out the window, and Gill drove. She never showed any sign of fear or carsickness -- she just looked out the window and calmly took everything in. She was also well-behaved at the vet's and endured all the probings and pokings with grace. She did surprise a Border Collie mix who was just minding his business by barking at him and telling him to get out of HER waiting room.
She is already coping well with celebrity life. Alan brought us to Manchester Airport to see us off and to help us get all Dinah's flight details settled. He held her while I got the crate weighed, paid her fare, and so on. When I turned around to look for them, they were surrounded by BA staffers and a few travelers from Belgium who were obviously smitten by her. She greeted everybody with smiles and wags, and with the kind of old-time-movie-star aplomb you'd associate with someone like Greta Garbo. She didn't even squirm, but allowed herself to be admired and cooed over.
(If she can keep that up in the show ring, she'll be amazing!)