Operation Secret Puppy

It’s not often that I manage to hoodwink my husband.

I do not have a poker face.  I have a “boy oh boy do I have a secret I betcha can’t guess what it is!” kind of face.  Somehow, though, last week I managed to pull it off.

My husband with his “surprise” puppy

For a while now, we’ve been discussing the possibility of getting another dog — a sibling for Bonnie, our Shetland Sheepdog.  My husband loves tri-color Shelties, and said that if we were ever to get another dog, that’s the one that would win his vote.  He liked the idea of having two little bookends — one with a sable coat, one with a tri-color coat.  But in the end we pretty much tabled the whole idea, and decided to revisit it after our own “puppies” graduated from college.  Besides, we thought, how could we possibly ever find a dog as wonderful as our beloved Bonnie?

My Bonnie Valentine

Bonnie was a surprise present from my husband five years ago.  Sheltie purists might not appove of her one-ear-up-one-ear-down look (show dogs of this breed sport folded ears), but we think it gives her personality and sass and wouldn’t change it for the world.  In fact, we’re convinced Bonnie is an angel in a fur suit.  She keeps me company while I write, takes me on walks when I need a break, and lights up our home life in ways none of us could ever have imagined.  We adore her.

So here we were, content with our “only” dog, when lo and behold what should appear on Facebook a few weeks ago but baby pictures — and not just any baby pictures, but charming shots of two tri-color pups from Kensil’s Shelties. Sylvia and David Calderwood raised Bonnie, and all their dogs are amazingly beautiful and smart, with sweet temperaments. These pups were EXACTLY the kind we WOULD have been looking for, IF we were looking for another puppy.  Which we WEREN’T, remember?

Well.

Last week, egged on by my 19-year-old son, I decided to surprise my husband (turnabout being fair play and all that), and Billie came to join our family.  The look on Steve’s face was worth every second I’d spent agonizing over whether I had made the right decision.  Wouldn’t you have melted, too?

Billie Holliday Frederick

As for Bonnie, she took one look at her new “little sister” and tore around the yard for several minutes doing happy laps. She’s since taken Billie under her wing, showing her the ropes…

Bonnie & Billie exploring the backyard

and sharing her toys…

“May I please play with this now?”
“Thank you!”

and even sharing her favorite bed (along with another toy).

Billie catching some zzz’s

Of course, being a big sister does have some perks.   Twice as many dogs means twice as many new toys, after all!

Bonnie with one of Billie’s toys

And the winner is…

Billie, our new puppy, sinks her teeth into the winning name

SOPHIA! Who says she’s most like Emma.  And KALYN wins a copy, too, for dreaming up this fun character quiz!

You’ll each be receiving an email from me shortly with instructions on how to collect your prize.

Many thanks to all the rest of you who entered the giveaway contest here and on Facebook — only 19 more days until Pies & Prejudice hits the bookstores!  (If you just can’t wait and need a sneak preview, click here to read the first chapter…)