On Saturday, I traveled to Nacogdoches to pick up my niece, Alexandra. She is spending the summer with me and I've been excited about that since we came up with the plans earlier this year. On my drive there, I saw something, something I could not shake out of my head during our stay Saturday night. On the drive home, I saw it again and this time I had to investigate.
What did I see? A sign that said, Coonhound Puppies. Oh dear. I've gone back and forth for a couple years on whether or not I wanted or should get another dog. I did want one, and I wanted one partially to keep Cheyenne company, but I also didn't want to upset Cheyenne or make her uncomfortable in any way. She is and always will be my number one girl, best dog friend. I knew that if I got another dog, it would not be another Chocolate Labrador. There's only one Cheyenne and that's just how I see it. I did look into other breeds though, and was considering a Coonhound. Coonhounds have similar temperment and loyalty as the Labrador, and they are in the same adult weight range, though the Coonhound is a taller dog.
Can you see why that sign caught my attention? On Saturday night in Nacogdoches, while we watched movies in the hotel room, I was mentally going over how I could fit another dog into my life, if, I told myself, I were going to get a new dog. I kept thinking about that sign. With respect for Cheyenne, I
When I asked about the puppies, I was told there was one left. I asked, male or female? If the answer was male, that would be a deal-breaker for me. Cheyenne thrives in her alpha dog role and whereas she could easily establish that with a female puppy, I wasn't so sure she'd be able to keep it with a growing male. Cheyenne will be 11 in October and I did not want to put a challenger to her role in this house. The lone puppy? Female.
And then I saw her, and then I held her, and then I bought her. Just. Like. That.
She is a Redbone Coonhound, eight weeks old.
She rode the entire way from Lufkin, Texas, back to Houston in my niece's lap. During the drive, we tried out several names for her but we couldn't land on one that we liked or that seemed to fit.
When we picked up Cheyenne from my friend's house, I went in the house first and my niece followed with the puppy. Cheyenne didn't really pay any mind to the puppy as she was too excited to see me. At my friend's house, we talked over potential names and all agreed that a southern name would be fitting for a Coonhound. So, I googled southern names. After saying several out loud, Dixie was the one that we all liked and thought fitting, especially given my penchant for nicknames. Already, she's my Dixie Cup and my Dixie Lou Who.
Dixie has large feet, very long legs and very long ears.
When we all got home, Dixie got a little to close to Cheyenne for my girl's liking. Cheyenne roared a deep bark at her and, in response, Dixie high-tailed it across the room and under a chair. That's the same thing that Cheyenne did when we introduced her to my friend's mature female lab, Maggy. Maggy let out a growling bark and Cheyenne scooted her butt under the coffee table so fast that all we saw was a brown blur of movement. Maggy is the one dog in Cheyenne's life who was alpha dog over her. So, I was happy with that little exchange and I've been letting them work it out.
Outside of that, and one low growling reminder this morning, Cheyenne is adjusting better than I had imagined she would do. Dixie seems to have gotten the message and is staying wide and clear of Cheyenne, as it should be for now.
If Cheyenne was at all threatened or concerned about Dixie, she didn't show it, although she did act especially pleased last night when I put Dixie into her crate downstairs, and she and I went upstairs together, as we do every night, and went to bed.
So, yeah, there's a new member of the family. And only four times have I wondered what in the world I was thinking: 12:30 a.m., 2:21 a.m., 4:50 a.m., and 6:30 a.m.