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.
I was pretty wild about her, too.
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:
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.
What a cutie! Congrats on the new addition to the family.
Aww, such a cutie! Congratulations! And I totally get the feeling of I’ll never get another dog, the pain of losing them is too much to bear. But… time heals and a cutie like yours does ease the pain. Enjoy your new puppy!!
Marjorie Steele says:
Awe she is so sweet! Welcome little pup. Congrats guys!
My eyes are welling up with tears, and I am NOT a crier. She’s precious. Enjoy her!
Congratulations! I have a very old dog who will probably pass in 2017 (he will be 16)and I have wondered if I could open my heart to another dog. I loved reading this post. How big will Schuyler become when fully grown? How old is she?
She’s 10 weeks old. We’re not sure how big she’ll get! Maltese and Yorkie dogs are usually between 4-10 pounds, but since there’s some other dog types mixed in, we’re uncertain. The vet estimates 8ish pounds, so we’ll see. Right now she’s only two!!!
This post made me so happy! Have so much fun with your new puppy! When we got our first puppy over 12 years ago I bought one of those stuffed dogs with the heartbeat you could turn on and it had something I could heat up in the microwave and put inside that I put next to our puppy at night in its crate. I don’t know if it made Toby feel better, but it made me feel better
Oh, I love that idea! I will look into that!
Awwww. Schuyler Spohr. I love it.
What an adorable puppy.
Donna P says:
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! Welcome, Schuyler Spohr! Looking forward to reading many tales about this mischievous newcomer.
Congratulations on the cute new addition to your family! She is just precious!
Lisa F. says:
She’s precious! So happy you welcomed another furbaby into your home. I am sure Rigby approves, and Schuyler will have a wonderful guardian angel watching over her and the rest of your family.
What a sweetie! She looks as if she is right at home already.
She is lovely. I am not really a dog person but even I think she is so cute May you all have many adventures and years of happiness together
Jana Frerichs says:
I seriously have tears in my eyes! I’m so happy for you. Schuyler will never replace Rigby, but will have her own special place in your heart right next to Rigby’s. Congratulations, Spohr’s! It’s amazing how a puppy can help heal a broken heart.
I immediately started singing The Schuyler Sisters when I read the title. Two of my kids got Hamilton shirts for Christmas.
I’m so glad she found you! You have an adorable pup there. Enjoy!
We sing “The Schuyler Puppy” at her all day!!
I like how you say you sing it “at” her.
Love! Growing up, I had a Maltese/poodle mix and he was the sweetest dog ever. And as a Hamilton fan (I’ve seen it twice so far), I love the name!
She’s adorable and what a fantastic name! She’s looking for a mind at work (work)!
Awwie!! Congratulations on the new addition!!!
When I lost both my kitties last year it quickly became apparent that the house was too empty and quiet so I am very happy I found my boy, Oliver.
Schuyler is adorable! I love the name! I recently became obsessed with Hamilton (I can’t wait to see it) so I would love to see James rap “My Shot”!!
She is precious! I bet your kids did go crazy seeing a puppy under the tree. Congrats on your new little furbaby.
Stephanie B. says:
So cute. We have also become obsessed with Hamilton. My 4 year old loves singing “My Shot” and the 7 year old loves “Helpless.” I can’t wait until May when we see it in San Francisco!
But back to your puppy. Adorable. Really so cute.
I am such a sap, I am crying while reading this, all the memories of my pets and of your sorrow over Rigby. Schuyler will be a blessing to the family.
She is adorable. And, as devastating as it is to lose a furbaby the one thing I can say is: puppies help heal. They don’t replace but they definitely have healed my heart in the past. Have fun with that little bundle of cuteness.
OMG, cuuuuute! Yes, they are exhausting and she is going to be sad when the kids go back to school! We got ours over spring break a few years ago and he was like “where’s everybody going” the first Monday they went back to school LOL. Enjoy her!
This post made me so happy to read. I lost my little terrier, Gabbi, of heart failure when she was only six years old. I ended up getting a new puppy a few months later and I totally understand what you mean. It has been four years and I still miss her but my golden doodle boy (Murphy) helped me heal. Enjoy sweet Schuyler.
Eunice Johnson says:
We lost our dog who was 16 years old and we also got another dog and it does help heal your broken heart. Your puppy is really cute and I am sure that she will bring you lots of enjoyment
Congrats on the new addition to your family. She sure is a cutie. I can’t wait to hear about all the new adventures with her.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
I LOVE HER. Her name, her cuddly face, and how she’s brought a little healing to your home and your heart.
When our first pug Sebastian died 3 years ago, my mom swore she’d never get another pug. But she soon realized the only way she was going to feel better was to welcome a new little pug into our home. She ended up having an opportunity to adopt another pug, our Lola, from a customer of hers. It didn’t fix her broken heart, but it helped heal a little bit.
Then last summer we got another pug– our boy Russ. He’s from the same breeder we got Sebastian from, and it’s hilarious how alike they are. It makes me smile and breaks my heart all at once.
Congratulations on your new addition! I know she is perfect for your family.
I’m so happy for you! It’s amazing when they come back into our lives… You may not be ready or feel like you aren’t… But I think the dogs know.
Yay! Love the pup and the name. Pets can be heartbreakers, but I try to remember that we are privileged to give them the best life we can for their whole life, recognizing that saying good bye is almost always part of the deal. I’m glad little Schuyler is helping heal your heart. What a lucky pup to get to be part of your family!
This made me cry. I am so happy for you all! She is a cutie!
What a cutie! It’s always so hard to get another pet after you lose one but Rigby would want you to share the love you gave her! We got a puppy about a year after our family dog passed away and he acts just like our old dog. We like to think he showed him all the ropes in heaven before he was born!
She is so sweet! I know first hand how hard it is to even think about getting another dog, but they do help the healing! Have fun with her!
julie V says:
we’ve been married for 33 years and have had 5 dogs and 2 cats. We have found that they only thing that eases the pain of losing a pet is to find another to love. They all have a special place in our hearts.
I’m so happy to see this. The little dog is precious and she seems like a ham, too!! She loves the camera-and you all obviously love her. Everyone looks so happy. Delighted to read this!!! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with more good things to come in 2017!
Congratulations!! We have no pets (our living space is too small) but this is pretty heart-melty.
She is adorable and I just love the name so much!
I’m so happy that your family has a new little furry one! Schuyler isn’t meant to replace your special Rigby, not at all. We have always found that we have all that leftover love and even bowls and leashes and beds, that we need to find another furry one to give it to. In our home there is no replacing a pet, but honour for the love we gave to the lost pet in having another. Enjoy your new baby! She’s wonderful!
Mary Ann says:
Congratulations! Schuyler is adorable, and I know the kids will love growing up with her. Your post brought tears to my eyes, nothing like a puppy for Christmas!
So happy for you all! What a sweetie!!
After losing my border collie over a year ago, I came across this quote:
It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog that comes into my life gives me a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous as they are.
We got a collie puppy six months later and he’s the joy of my life, even if he’s nearly killed me. Haha!
Congratulations on your heart becoming a little more doggy.
Oops. Messed up the quote. It’s supposed to read, “And I will become as generous AND LOVING as they are”.
Oh Heather, I am in the spot boat!! I had to say goodbye to my best fur friend this past Easter. She was 90lb sweetheart that made it just shy of 15 years….she helped me raise my boys =) I miss her. I have one son still living at home and gave him our blessing for a puppy (I think I’m ready). He wants a Rott….yours is super cute.
Ok but I would like a video of James singing “My Shot” please.
(I’m in Chicago and I just saw it for the 2nd time last week.)
Congratulations! She is beautiful and so fluffy I could die! I hope she brings you all great joy.
I LOVE the name Schuyler! It’s my daughter’s name! Spelling too! I heartily approve, LOL. (I hope the friend of a friend fixes her doggies though.)
Congrats on the new member to your family!! What a cutie she is. Enjoy your little bundle!!