I know that I am very tardy in blogging. Life has been moving at the speed of, well, Matchette so you know what that means -- I’ve been busy!
Here’s a brief recap: The Little Mermaid, Jr. was a HUGE success! Jamie nailed his performance as Flotsom, one of Ursula’s evil pet eels. We (the family) spent most of the first weekend in May at the theater helping out backstage or, in Jamie’s case, on-stage. Each night I took home at least an hour’s worth of mending. Kids being kids, they were hard on their costumes, but boy, oh boy did they look great! :0) I figured out that I personally made over thirty costumes and helped with about thirty more.
|Jetsom, Ursula and Flotsom -|
The boys costumes were the hardest to design!
|Everyone said they could see Joe's shiny head on stage so we had to help him out a bit.|
|The main cast - I loved making Scuttle, Sebastian and Flounder's!|
|Ready for the kids. It was organized chaos backstage!|
Here's a link for one of my favorite scenes from the show. Jamie and his buddy Spencer really hammed it up!
The second weekend in May, one of my BFFs and our sweet, funny, and lovely Goddaughter came out from Las Vegas for Josie’s First Communion. Alyson and Josie picked up right where they left off in Hawaii, as did Carolyn and I. I needed some serious stress relief and spending the weekend with an old, dear friend is the perfect remedy! It was a laugh until your sides and head hurt kind of weekend with some pretty dresses and a lovely church service thrown in for good measure. BTW, my Josie girl did an awesome job doing a reading during the service!
|Our beautiful daughter and our beautiful Goddaughter|
|Jamie and Mic were impromptu altar-servers for Josie's First Communion Mass.|
|She was so nervous about "doing it right".|
|Josie and her beloved Godmother being posers.|
And then, there were the end of the school year activities. HOLY COW! I felt like a pinball, bouncing from one school/ceremony/party to the next! All the kids finished out the year well, but Jamie took the prize for most end of the school year awards. Even his principal jokingly referred to his 5th grade graduation ceremony as “the James Matchette Show”.
Josie just had another birthday and, as usual, the first thing on her list of desired gifts was “a Golden Retriever puppy”. When I relayed this information yet again to Joe, he casually said, “Okay.” WHAT?! I felt his forehead for a fever. This is the man who has been giving us the Heisman for the past two and a half years whenever the subject of a dog came up. I was at a race on my birthday and met a sweet doggy that needed a home and Joe said no – on my birthday! When he said, “Okay” I figured he was just delirious from the heat and let it go. We had agreed, no dog until we moved to Colorado and had the space for a big dog to run.
|In addition to a dog, Josie wanted a "purple mermaid tail cake". |
It's not up to Lynn's caliber, but the girls didn't mind.
And then the kids went to tennis camp for a week…
The kids did a one-hour each day tennis camp for the first week of summer break. On the very last day, a woman showed up with what looked like an adolescent Golden Retriever mix on a harness. The dog seemed well behaved so when the kids asked if they could go pet him, I said yes. When they all clamored back into the car, Josie announced that the dog was really sweet (all dogs are sweet to her) and that he neeeeeeeded a home, Mom. Since I have always been on the “Let’s get a dog bandwagon”, I asked the kids if they would like me to go talk to the owner. ALL three (even Michelle who has been decidedly on Joe’s side) said, “YES!”
By this point, kids from the tennis camp were swarming all over the dog. He was so obviously over-stimulated and was not minding the owner whatsoever. Despite the overstimulation, I could tell that he was very good-natured. Big shocker there considering he looked to be part Golden, right? The woman admitted that neither she nor her husband had ever had a dog and they had come to realize that the dog was a lot more than they could handle. The dog, named “Chief”, was actually about two and a half years old, was a Golden Retriever and Australian Shepherd mix, and they were his third family. He’d been bounced from his original family to animal control to another family and then to his current family. Somewhere along the way, there were legal proceedings surrounding this poor pup, but they didn’t know what specifically.
|Our first look|
My number one question was if “Chief” had any experience with cats. The woman, Kelli, said that they actually had a kitten and that the dog was really good with her. So, I snapped a couple of pix and texted Joe. He gave his consent for a doggy trial, Kelli and I exchanged numbers and we agreed to meet for the doggy handoff on Sunday. When I got in the car, all three kids were excited, but Jamie was the most. He has that quiet way about him and I could tell that something about this dog caught his attention, just like it had mine.
The rest of the weekend, I pondered his name and Jamie asked how many hours it was until we could go and get Chief. I was not at all crazy about the name “Chief”; it just didn’t sit well with me. Like human babies, I think a pet’s name has to suit him. I never changed Louie’s name because, well, it just suited him. My other pets’ names have all just “popped into my head” and they were the right ones for those pets. Suddenly on Saturday night, Chief’s new name popped into my head – “Beauregard” and we would call him “Beau”. That is, if Louie got along with him. We figured Murphy wouldn’t take kindly to any dog, cat, turtle, fish, baby or even an alien that we brought into the house so we weren’t too fussed about her, but our Louie was the one to impress.
Chief/Beau happily got into our car and went home with us on Sunday, much to the dismay of one of his young masters. I felt horrible driving away watching that little boy turn into his dad for a comforting hug, but Kelli told me later that it was the right thing for them and for us. She had been trying to find a new home for Chief/Beau on Craigslist for weeks with no bites, so to speak. Then, the night before we met, she prayed that she would find him a forever family. Lo and behold, there we were on Friday at tennis camp. I, in turn, thanked her for all the hard work that she and her family had put into Chief/Beau in the six months that they had had him!
So, Chief/Beau came to our house, tugging and biting on his leash and stealing any and every shoe left within a five-mile radius, but gung ho for this new adventure. Louie took one look at him, puffed himself up as big as he could, hissed, smacked Chief/Beau HARD upside the head several times and then retreated under our bed until THAT interloper was sent AWAY, or at least crated for the night. By the next day, Louie was coming out, curious to see what this large misbehaving creature was, so I knew we’d be okay. Louie knew that HE was higher on the food chain tha some unruly upstart of a dog!
Here's a link that shows you just who really IS in charge -
Chief did not respond consistently to his name or to any command for that matter on the first day. Jamie and I took him for a walk/drag-fest that afternoon. We, of course, were the ones getting dragged. Oh boy, did we have a lot of work to do! On a chance, I called Chief “Beau” and, amazingly, he responded like it was his name all along. Well, that was easy. “Beau” he was immediately rechristened. The kids weren’t too keen on the name “Beauregard”, but I explained to them that it meant “handsome/good look” and that since he was such a handsome dog (He is.) and that he was getting a “new and good look” at life, his name was rather fitting. Kids being kids, they didn’t agree, but couldn’t come up with a better name. Besides, Beau knew that “Beau” was supposed to be his name even if they didn’t. :0) As a consolation, I told the kids they could give Beau his middle name. After several days of nothing, Josie threw out the name “Scout” as Joe and Jamie were heading out to a Boy Scout meeting. It stuck, and we all agreed “Scout” was a very fitting name since scouting is such a big part of our lives at this point.
So there you have it.
We would like to formally introduce:
Beauregard Scout Matchette, aka, “Beau”.
Beau has been with us a week now and he’s settled in quite nicely. After the first drag-fest, I got down to business with training. Beau and I have training time everyday. Beau is a wonderfully sweet pup, but he has some bad habits/manners.
We work on different skills each day, but a lot of it is still leash training and trying to get him to “come” and “sit” consistently. He is easily distracted and has a bit of a stubborn streak. Also, you can tell that he has herding dog genes since he tries to nip at heels.
I think he’s come a long way in just a week, but he still has a long way to go. I feel badly for Beau, not knowing what his life was like before. I told the kids that he’s like a toddler that’s never had any guidance; he doesn’t understand boundaries or rules. Beau knows that I’m alpha/mom, but he still has a hard time understanding that he has to listen to the kids as well. I think he doesn’t quite know what to make of Joe. While he thinks it’s fun to chase Louie, he knows that Louie will wallop him (and does!) if Louie gets too annoyed. We’ve hardly seen Murphy, which is just fine with Joe and me. Michelle says that she’s been hand-feeding Murphy in her room each day. I doubt that will continue when she goes away to college, so Murphy will just have to come to terms with Beau’s presence.
|A boy and his dog - what could be better?!|
|He's not a purebred, but we don't mind!|
|Dog is my co-pilot.|
|We even got him his own pool.|
It’s a bit strange having a dog again after almost seventeen years without one. Cats are so easy; dogs, not so much. The logistics that go along with caring for a dog have tripped me up a couple of times, but overall, I’m enjoying having a dog again. It’s comforting to have a dog put his head in your lap at the end of the day or gently nose your hand for some attention (when he’s not stealing shoes to get one’s attention). He’s absolutely beautiful to watch bounding and leaping (seriously) across the yard as he rushes to chase his toys or greet the dogs on either side of the house. Overall, I think, like Louie, Beau was just meant for our family.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me. It’s time to feed the dog.
|Time to walk the dog...|