I have not yet mentioned our dog, Kermit, who passed away in September of 2011. I think I've avoided it for several reasons, but the bottom line is, it's just hard. Kermit was a spirited sweet pea of a dog. He looked funky and acted like a fool sometimes, but he was loved so very much.
Kermit came to us in December of 2002 at about six months of age. My friend, Maureen, called: "Kristen, I know you guys are looking to adopt a dog, and I found one! He was wandering the neighborhood, and I've put up signs and gone door-to-door. I've asked all the vets. The kids want to keep him really bad. They already named him 'Piggy,' but we can't have another dog. Todd will kill me. I want to keep him, too, but Todd really will kill me. I swear. But if you take him, then you can bring him over for visits and we can still see him..."
"Oh, wow," I stalled. "Okay, we'll come check him out."
"Come today," she urged.
"Uh, okay. I'm pretty sure we can be there in a few hours. Will that work?"
"EEEEeeeeek! I can't wait for you to see him! I already took him to the vet, and he's healthy and fixed and everything. Just a little skinny. But he's all good." Then there was a pause. "I have to warn you, though. He's kind of...odd looking."
That was all I needed to hear. As far as looks go in a dog, the funkier the better!
Brenenn drove us over to Maureen's house, and I was already committed in my mind to bringing home our first "baby" since we'd been married. My head was spinning and my mouth followed suit. I speculated about what he looked like and what he would be like, how B would love having a dog, and where to go to purchase the definitive collar. Brennen rolled his eyes.
We were both a little nervous when we arrived at Maureen's. I figured we could hardly say no, even if we wanted to.
We walked in, and Maureen grabbed my arm. "C'mon! He's in the back yard with Lizzie." Maureen had a gorgeous home on the cliffs of Southern California, so her view from the back yard was nothing but ocean. Gorgeous. This became the backdrop for our first encounter with Kermit. There he was, a brownish long-bodied ratish-looking bow-legged giant-eared possible canine. He didn't run to greet us because he was busy getting busy with Lizzie, a giant black pit bull. "He likes big black women," Maureen said, pointing out the obvious in her usual uncensored way.
Brennen cracked up. "Oh my God," was all I could utter.
"Piiiiiiiiigyyyyyyyy!" Maureen squealed affectionately. Thankfully, he was easily called-off of Lizzie, who was ever-tolerant. Kermit came bounding over, his long body bobbing like a see-saw. He panted with a curly tongue and his giant ears flopped around. Their permanent state was one up, one down. "Isn't he funny?" Maureen asked.
"Yes, he is," I agreed, giggling. "He's hilarious!" Kermit (Piggy) kissed us and wiggled around, and then went back to Lizzie.
"Poor Lizzie," Maureen sympathized with her dog. I did, too. Kermit was relentless.
"We'll take him, right, honey?" I turned to Brennen.
"Do we have a choice?" A rhetorical question, really.
"You can change his name," Maureen said. "The kids just called him Piggy. Whatever!"
We rode home with our new dog on my lap. We decided "Kermit" would be the perfect offbeat name for the guy, but kept "Piggy" as his middle name. Kermit Piggy entered our family.
...and immediately lifted his leg on the couch...
So for the first few months of his life, he thought his name was "OUTSIDE!"