What a difference a dog makes

Posted By on March 24, 2008

Carlo & New Puppy

Karen and I and Lylah drove to West Union, Ohio on St. Patrick’s Day and bought an eight-week-old Newfoundland puppy from Herb Erwin, a fast-talking farmer/realtor/auctioneer who rules a huge roost , not to mention a whole gang of roosters. A surreal scene, indeed, when our yuppie Odyssey pulled up, zippered “crate” from Target in tow to transport the pup back 250 miles north.

Karen and I came across Herb’s farm following a barn sale sign in mid-January, when we spent a weekend at Murphin Ridge Inn, a fabulous b&b a few miles from Herb’s. We met the Newfoundland elders, the great landseer Madison (a landseer is a genetic rarity, a Newfoundland with a black head and black-and-white body) and Madison’s “wife,” all-black Katy.
Madison was our first view when we pulled into the driveway that sunny January day, and I liked him: funky, big, matted, very calm, very kind – and beautiful. So when we saw Katy, gigantic with imminent litter, we told Herb we’d like a puppy when she dropped. The one we got was the last, a girl, black with a white tuft on her chest and chin and a dash of white on a paw (or is it two)? We brought her back north with minimum fuss – yes, there was whining, but it was moderate – and when Lylah’s sister Katy saw her, she went nuts. So has everybody else who’s seen her, and we had a gang of visitors over this Easter weekend.

The Newfie girl’s name is Pearl Marie; settling on the moniker wasn’t easy, but it works and everybody agreed on it. Pearl, or Pearly, is very calm and friendly. She barks occasionally; she seems already kind of housetrained, as she goes outside to pee and poop and really, really likes to play in the snow. At eight weeks, she weighs 18 pounds. I suspect she’ll easily top 100, and she’s going to be hairy and drooly. But I already love her, and look forward to hanging out with her a lot.

The crate Karen bought in advance of the puppy is one to grow in for sure. It occupies a goodly portion of our family room, and Pearl already seems comfortable with it. I plan to take her for a walk today and see how she fares with that (Karen tells me it’s tricky). I also hope the cats settle down about Pearl; they seem not only scared but downright hostile, particularly Elliott, who’s done his best to avoid the dog. Her curiosity keeps the engagement going, however. Pearl Marie feels like a peaceable kingdom unto herself.


Leave a Reply

About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CarloWolff