A long, long time ago, I fell in love with furry things. Especially puppies and/or dogs. When I met my husband (which is a great story I’ll tell later), I had a chihuahua named Lola. She was a great dog, despite her breed. Ok, yeah, she had stinky breath, and she was occasionally barky/yippy… But she was well trained and extremely smart. I only used a leash on her when I was legally obligated to do so – she was that obedient.
When my husband asked me to marry him, I knew I didn’t want to be a “land wife.” I wanted to join in on the boating adventures that he had told me so many great stories about (more blog posts later, yay!). No way was I going to miss out, or miss him. But that meant leaving Lola behind. It was the hardest thing we had ever done, saying goodbye to our furry love child. My mom and dad took her in and gave her an incredible home, and I became a charter yacht chef.
(Side note: sadly, Lola passed away just 6 months before we got off the water… Another testament to the things we missed out on.)
8 years later – we’ve had it. Yachting as work ends up being all work and no love/play. And what is a dog other than love and play??? Naturally, in planning our exit strategy from working on the water, my husband and I dreamed of 4-legged furbaby of our own again. We told ourselves – we even agreed!! – we needed to get settled on land, in a home, with real jobs before we committed to another dog.
We told ourselves that, alright. But did we listen? No. Most definitely not. I went to www.findapet.com and put in a long term search to find the perfect puppy for adoption. 13 days later, I got an email from the Cherokee County Human Society in Georgia that there was a puppy that matched my search. I was hooked. I tried to stay calm and level-headed, but once I saw her and held her and felt the warmth of her – AND THE PUPPY SMELL OH MY GOODNESS – I was a goner.
Knowing we would leave the islands was definitely a sad part of selling our charter yacht, so we planned to incorporate things in our life that would remind us of the good times. I decided I wanted to name our first puppy together “Josie,” in honor of the great times we had at Jost Van Dyke, one of our favorite islands in the Virgins. Sandy Cay with the hermit crabs; The Bubbly Baths, especially when there was a North wind; Painkillers and the Ring Game at Soggy Dollar Bar; and of course the world famous Foxy’s. How many nights did we dance till our feet ached, then jumped in the ocean for a night swim to cool off? Too many to count (ok, so that was a little bit of playtime, I’ll admit).
Problem is, my dad’s name is Joe. Now, I don’t call my dad Joe. I call him dad or daddy. Somehow it never occurred to me that naming my dog Josie would evoke a “Yeah?” or a “What?” from my dad. Josie couldn’t stick, we had to call her something else.
As we got to know our puppy, we realized there was someone she reminded us of – a girl who had worked with us on our charter yacht. This girl was sweet, kind, funny, and extremely intelligent. She was also clumsy and got the hiccups all the time. I’ve never experienced someone getting hiccups so often, or tripping over absolutely nothing, standing up, and saying, “I’m alright, guys!” Wild, adventurous, brave, hilarious, covered in bruises and cuts, but never ever a word of complaint.
I called her dad and asked him how he felt about us naming our dog after his daughter. I even explained why, and assured him it was a compliment. He said he felt it to be an honor, but that we would need to name either a donkey or a pig after him later. You got it, buddy. That day is coming fast.
Bloggy World, meet Sydney.