I've been hinting for so long it's almost hard to finally come out with it. Some of you were very keen and picked up some teeny hints as long as two months ago. Others have ventured some more interesting guesses as I got more blatant about the suggestions. Many of you were right. So here is goes....
BRUTUS HAS A LITTLE SISTER!!!!!!!!!!
(warning, cuteness overload and a photo-heavy post to follow)
I proudly introduce Carmen, a 15 week-old brindle Frenchie! Officially known as Drama Queen d'Assisi (her registered name with the AKC), she was bred & lovingly raised by our vet/friend Dr. Lori!
I've had the honor of knowing her literally since the moment she was born on March 8th. This photo was taken within her first hour of life.
Happy Birthday, Carmen (on the right)! Pictured here with her sister, Vera.
Carmen is from a litter of six - impressive for a Frenchie - two girls and four boys, all brindles (she's second from the right in this lineup, the yawning pup).
Her parents are the handsome Doug (the fawn I showed you a few weeks ago) and lovely Gena, both owned by Lori. Both are Champions, have their CGCs, and are all-around great dogs that I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the past few years. So when Lori told me they were expecting, I was so excited to be offered the chance to have one of their pups!
The proud new mom, Gena, with 2-day old pups. She did a great job with her first litter!
I could go WAY overboard with the photos, since Lori was nice enough to send frequent "pupdates" from the very beginning. Here are some snapshots of Carmen during her first few weeks of life, trying to keep the cuteness moderately in check.
2 weeks old, fat and happy!
Eyes newly opened, not quite 3 weeks old.
Up and getting around at 3.5 weeks.
I actually met Carmen and her brothers & sister in person when they were 4 weeks old, just starting to explore the little world inside their whelping box. Since then I was able to spend a some time with her almost every week. It was so special to have the opportunity to watch her grow & change, and I just can't help but share it with you!
A little more sure of herself, just over 4 weeks.
Ears at half mast, 5 weeks.
Looking more like a Frenchie at 6 weeks.
Already a show-off by 8 weeks!
My first photo with Carmen, 10 weeks old!
11 weeks old, with sister Vera, Carmen (sitting) came to visit and meet her future big brother.
Carmen came home a little late due to our Earlventure, as we didn't think taking a new (un-housebroken) pup on the road was the right thing to do for many reasons. My biggest worry was how Brutus would accept her, but thankfully now that Carmen is finally here he has risen to the occasion. Turns out that Brutus is a good big brother after all! He and Carmen have spent the last few days playing for hours on end.
Someone new to play bitey-face with!!
Yikes, I think I've met my match here!
Then curling up together to recharge their batteries.
Mason, our tribal elder, is a little more reserved with his opinion on the bouncing bridle girl. He pretty much ignores Carmen, unless she happens to be chasing/hanging off of his tail - in which case she gets a stern (but fair) warning. They have interacted a little, but for the most part Mason is just glad that Brutus finally has someone else to mess with!
Young whippersnappers, wasting all that energy. I tell ya....
Unlike her brother, Carmen is a real lover & cuddler. She is a lot more independent than Brutus, and can play happily in her pen by herself. She also sleeps contentedly (and cleanly to boot!) in her crate all night. Carmen is far from housebroken, but shows signs of understanding the whole "potty outside" idea much more readily than her brother (who I still don't trust 100%). I spend the most time with her, but Carmen also is fond of Paul (unlike Brutus, who won't give him the time of day). To sum it up, I couldn't have asked for a classier, more beautiful, more fun little girl. So Lori, if you are reading this - thanks again for allowing Carmen to come into our lives - she is all we hoped for and so much more!
As you can imagine, you'll be seeing LOTS more of Carmen in the coming months. We're still getting into a good routine, and need to figure out how I'm going to "handle" Carmen on the blog. Brutus and I need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart about that, in all fairness to him. He'll still have his spotlight - both here and in the agility ring - and he'll always be my "mama's boy!".
Thanks for all your patience and putting up with my taunting and teasing about the news. Just wanted to get Carmen home and make sure everything went smoothly before spilling the beans. Have a great weekend, and tune in next week to see lots more Brutus, a little of Mason, and plenty of guest appearances from new sidekick Carmen!