by jkatejohnston

18 August 2014

Dear Max,

We’re in Tahoe, and the place has emptied out a lot, since most kids are back in school. It’s quiet and warm and beautiful. Teresa is fifty today, which she would not want me to make a big deal of, but it is a fact, and this is a Diary of Record. Happy Birthday, dear.

We told Enzo today that we’re getting a dog. After visiting my grandma and Annie and Todd, he couldn’t stop talking about Zeva and Lucy and Connor and Cooper and those golden silks of hairs. And then Teresa read him the kids’ version of Marley and Me, and now he listens to the audio book non-stop. He didn’t beg for a dog. He understood that when Duncan is no longer with us, we’ll get one. But Duncan, with his team of cardiologists, may last a while, and Enzo loves dogs now. We’re doing it. Poor Duncan.

When we first told him, he took it very quietly. One of the first things he said was, “We must never feed him scraps from the table. That’s a sure fire recipe for chubby canines.” (This tip straight from Marley and Me.) Teresa explained about the Golden Retriever Rescue that we’ve been approved by, and she told him about our appointment on Thursday to go visit the dogs and about the one she has her eye on who gets along with cats and kids and might be a good match for us. He took it all in seriously, maybe even skeptically.

Then we went out on beautiful clear Lake Tahoe in the quiet morning, him on his kayak, me on a boogie board. And about twenty yards out he shouted out to the blue sky, “WE’RE GETTING A DOG!” And he’s asked us about a hundred times since then, “Are we really getting a dog?”

We’ve been debating names all day. They told Teresa at the rescue place that the dog will already have a name, but it’s okay to change it. Enzo suggested Jeremy Wade. I like Marshall, Primo and Coho. Teresa favors Jetpack, and Teresa and Enzo both like Encyclopedia. We may just stick with the name the dog already has: Colin.