The kids have been asking for a dog for a few months, but I didn’t know if I could handle having another dog. Rigby’s death devastated me, and I didn’t ever want to go through mourning a dog again. But several weeks ago, Mike started gently asking me if I thought I’d be ready for another dog. He’d suspected something I couldn’t (wouldn’t) admit —that another dog might be the only thing that could snap me out of my post-Rigby melancholy.

I went online to look at adoption and rescue organizations…not really to even find a dog, but to see if anything inside of me stirred. And it did. Seeing so many dogs looking for homes made me want to bring home all of them. I started filling out applications to adopt. I knew it would be a long process, not only to get approved to adopt, but also to find a dog that wouldn’t aggravate my allergies.

And then Mike came home from work one day with some news. A friend of a friend’s dog had had puppies, and she was looking for homes for them. He thought one would be perfect for us. The mom was a Yorkshire Terrier, and the dad was a Maltese mix – two breeds I’m not allergic to. I told him he should go look at the puppies and let me know his thoughts before I would agree to anything.

The next day I got a FaceTime call from Mike, and when I answered it a tiny puppy face was staring back at me. “Heather, this dog is so cute and sweet. She won’t stop giving me kisses. You would love her.” I looked into the eyes of this puppy and knew she was our new dog. “Can she be ours?”

“Yes! And the owners are leaving town in a few days for the holidays so I can bring her home right now.”


I put a movie on for the kids and frantically started preparing for a dog. I quickly dog-proofed our living room, and pulled out Rigby’s bed (I hadn’t been able to part with it). I called Mike back, “You know, Annabel asked Santa for a puppy…” We quickly worked out a plan.

When Mike arrived home, I met him outside. He handed me the puppy and she immediately started licking my face and wagging her tail. She wasn’t afraid or shaking. She was also impossibly tiny and soft, just like Rigby had been when we’d brought her home all those years ago. I felt my heart expand and break at the same time. But we had to work quickly. I tied a bow around her neck and brought her over to our Christmas tree while Mike ran into the playroom, yelling for the kids to come see what he’d found under the tree. Predictably, the kids lost their minds.


Annie and Schuyler

Happy kids

I was pretty wild about her, too.

With Schuyler

We immediately started discussing names. We are big fans of the Hamilton musical (you haven’t lived until you’ve heard James rap “My Shot”), so the names of the Schuyler (pronounced Sky-ler) sisters came up immediately. But Annie and James couldn’t decide on Angelica, Eliza, or Peggy, so I said, “Why don’t we just name her Schuyler?”

So this is Schuyler:



She is a sweet, snuggly, energetic little pup. She loves to play hard and sleep hard. She’s happiest when she is chewing on something, preferably fingers, but we’re working on that. We’re also working on housebreaking and OMG I forgot how exhausting a puppy is. Thank goodness we got her right before Winter Break started or I might have lost my mind from lack of sleep.

The kids love her to pieces:

Annie and Schuyler

James and Schuyler

Annie and Schuyler

The other night I ran a quick errand, and when I came home, I was greeted by Schuyler’s full-sprint to me. One of the things I’ve missed the most is Rigby greeting me at the door when I come home, so of course I cried. I’m always going to miss my Rigby, but Mike was right: this puppy has helped heal me. Welcome to our family, little Schuyler.