A Folly Jolly Christmas

In Praise of Folly, Erasmus wrote, “No society, no union in life could be either pleasant or lasting without me.” Me of course refers to Folly herself.

We took him at his word.

Oh yeah.  We got our kids a puppy for Christmas.

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She’s completely adorable, and almost everyone loves her.

Especially Sienna, who takes her for walks every fifteen minutes.

And Liam, whose room she sleeps in

Lincoln is on the fence about her, mostly because she keeps stealing his beloved broom

And Charlotte felt that a picture in her Santa hat was way more important than the puppy

Me, I’ve spent the last few days cleaning up dog poop and pee while furiously googling “how to house-train a puppy” Weirdly, I’m not even a little bit upset about this*, because

Seriously, look at that face!

We named her Folly after many days of deliberation. I’m not sure that it particularly suits her, but we weren’t happy with the only name we came up with that did suit her – Penny. It’s cute and all, and she looks like a Penny alright, but somehow it didn’t seem like a real name that would carry her through into adulthood. It was too cutesy.

Although she is the cutesiest puppy in the whole wide world

The Ogre and I both love the noun-as-dog-name thing, though. His best friend once had a dog named Envy, his brother had a dog named Fluke, and their family dog growing up was called Boon. So we really wanted that kind of name, instead of a people name. But we just couldn’t come up with anything besides Folly. It wasn’t perfect because neither of us felt that adopting her was folly, and I really didn’t want it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. But then the wise, wonderful Sally Thomas put this on my facebook wall, and it sealed puppy name fate forever:

Shakespearean comedy, as a professor of mine in college used to say, exhorts us to embrace our folly and be humbled, in order to receive whatever grace a given play’s universe has coming. Would that everyone’s folly were so embraceable as she is.

The most embraceable folly ever

I’ve been surprised at the anti-dog enthusiasm over the whole thing, though. To me, a dog was less an option for our family than a necessity. A dog brings something subhuman to family, something totally lacking in reason, something that must be cared for, cleaned up after, trained, and loved, all with that particular patience that animals can bring out in human beings. I think it can be through learning to love something sub-human that we become fully human.

That’s definitely something I want my kids to grow up with. It’s a lesson I haven’t even learned yet. The mess, the smell, the training, the chewing, the barking…all that pales in comparison to what a dog can bring to family, if she’s loved and trained properly.

And anyway, hasn’t everyone seen Old Yeller?  *SOB*
*Okay fine, maybe I got a little annoyed today when I had to mop the laundry room floor 3 4 times. But the upside is that the laundry room floor is super, super clean.

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