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Babies make three

Su Lum

Last Wednesday one of my co-workers asked the question I get at least once a week, “Aren’t you ever going to get another dog?” And I trotted out my usual response that I didn’t want the responsibility and the hassle, leaving out the real reasons: that I didn’t want to love anything that much again or to face the heartbreak of another death.On Thursday morning, Jenna Weatherred said, “I probably shouldn’t even tell you this, but I saw a poster in Carbondale for black dachshund puppies.” At 3 p.m. Hilary Burgess and I were on our way to the Goodnight Mattress Co., where a year ago I bought a $900 mattress and where, that Thursday afternoon, I bought two dachshund puppies for the same amount – how serendipitous can it get?But I digress, an understandable lapse since I have clearly lost my last shred of sanity. I had never seen or even heard of black dachshunds, so I was curious, that was all. I’ve looked at a lot of dachshunds since Trudy died and never felt the slightest twang of my heartstrings, but I was sucker-punched the minute I walked in the door, greeted by the puppies’ mother, Ginger, who flopped on her back so we’d pat her swollen belly and then danced us back to the bathroom where the black puppies were ensconced.Both parents were brown, but a grandfather in the family tree was black, as were the three babies: two males and a female. In my wildest imaginings I might have imagined taking one female, but the owners, David and Cathy White, were keeping her. That made it easier for me, I thought, until the puppies tumbled out of the bathroom and I fell in love with all of them.In a panic, I called my daughter Skye, now a Carbondale resident, and she and my granddaughter Riley pulled up to the store and in seconds were on their knees, and Skye, who usually keeps me in line when I’m crossing it, said, “Take both of them, Su.”BOTH OF THEM? TWO? I was already chattering at the mad idea of taking one, but Skye pointed out that it would actually be easier because I wouldn’t have to take them to work. One I’d have to take to work, where there are 10 or 12 dogs already in residence, and that WOULD be a hassle, but two could entertain each other in the truncated hours I’m at work.Have I said how adorable they are? Have I mentioned that this has been a pretty rough year in which I’ve been both depressed and bored but maybe not enough of either to be ready for a total sea change?Onward to the choosing of the names. An all-call e-mail contest was announced at work (three free drinks at the Jerome for the winner), with entries ranging from Ben and Jerry, Heckle and Jeckle, Cease and Desist, Oscar and Mayer, Bartles and James, Smokey and Bandit, Frick and Frack to the current front-runner: Freddie and Fisher.In addition to Freddie Fisher, Fred was the dachshund immortalized by E.B. White in many of his essays, most notably “The Death of a Pig.” It was White who wrote of dachshunds that he didn’t know any other breed that understood so well what he said, or held it in more disdain.I pick up the puppies on Tuesday, so it may be too late in the name contest, but if you have an inspired entry, e-mail it to su@aspentimes.com and it will be given full consideration.Su Lum is a longtime local who has pulled up all the rugs from her kitchen, has laid in puppy supplies and is in a complete dither. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.


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