Our new four-legged family member

It was time….I love dogs – always have.  And I had not had a dog in my life for a very long time.  My kids were more than ready for one; a desire fueled by a neighbor who had a new golden retriever puppy.  And Colorado is a such pet-friendly state – nearly every day of the week you can see countless people hiking, jogging, going to soccer and tee-ball games, walking kids to school – all with their dogs.

I wanted a Labrador Retriever, the dog of my youth – yellow, black, chocolate  – didn’t matter.  A little time online and we found a wonderful organization called Mile High Labrador Retriever Mission that helps Labs find new homes – run entirely by volunteers.   We went through an exhaustive adoption process – questions about the size of our house, number of kids and adults living in the home, who would be at home and when, and then I had a 30-minute phone interview.  (BTW, nobody asked me any questions when I decided to have a child!)  And this is where I think we got really lucky – yet another reason that we are glad we live in a multigenerational home.

Turns out, we were approved for a puppy (8 weeks old – is there anything cuter?) so quickly because we have older adults who live with us who do not work – and lots of human contact is very good for a puppy!

But it also turns out that this puppy is probably very good my parents, too.

Pets for the Elderly cites 19 different studies that say a pet in a home is a very good thing for older people; they can help in a variety of ways, including lowering blood pressure, staving off heart disease, providing a reason to exercise, help in making new friends, maintaining a schedule, keeping loneliness at bay, and relieving anxiety.  Not to mention the sheer joy at having a pet who unconditionally loves you and is always happy to see you.  No wonder so many hospitals use dogs as therapy for elders recovering from surgery.

Since we got a male puppy (my son’s choice) my daughter got to name him.  She wanted Coco – as in Coco Chanel. (?????)  She was hell-bent on that name.  So my mom reminded me that Kokopelli, a fertility deity in the Native American culture could also be shortened to Koko.  Kokopelli is also a notorious prankster – seemed to fit well for a lab puppy.

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Koko is 10 weeks old everyone in the family loves him – whether he is curled up in our lap, sitting by our feet or gnawing on the leg of a chair.  Now if I could just get my husband to pick up the poop….


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Teresa on May 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Koko is a great name for a chocolate lab! Our chocolate lab is nine years old. My husband and son conspired against me to aquire him 13 years ago. I did not want a dog. More work, lots of mess: hair, slobber, muddy paws. That was then. Now, I can’t imagine not having him. The unconditional love part is no exaggeration.


  2. Posted by Laura on May 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Maybe with the extra family members, everyone can keep Koko from chewing up the furniture! A new puppy is how we finally got rid of the futon, when she chewed the arms off of it. . . .

    Congrats on the newest full nester! Very cute.


  3. Posted by Laura on May 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    P.S. Whenever my kids say a “potty” word, we quiety put their name in a can, and when it’s time for poop pickup, we draw a name. 😉 Works like a charm, and it’s not just mom picking up poop, then.


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