I have a confession to make. While Tony was in Vegas at a bachelor party, I did something even crazier than any of the stunts he could’ve pulled… I GOT A PUPPY.
This is the picture I texted Tony of his new daughter, whom I brought home while he was unwittingly enjoying himself in Sin City.
Let me preface this story by saying I am not an impulsive girl who does whatever she wants and worries about consequences later. I over-think things until I question my own existence. I often write on my To Do list “edit and write new To Do list.” I was voted Best Driver in high school because I was too scared to get in trouble for drinking, so I’d only get invited to parties at the end of the night when the drunk kids needed a ride home. I was basically Tracy Flick. I am the definition of “play it safe.” I don’t do things like adopt puppies while my fiance’s out of town.
BUT I DID. I introduce to you, Miss Maggie “Fats” Magee:
My mom staged this Easter photo shoot. I willingly participated.
I can explain! If you had been in my position, you would have done the exact same thing! I know it was bad, and I knew at the time it was bad, and I just could not stop myself. Here’s what happened…
I was walking our two rescue mutts, Tippi and Lucy (yes we have three dogs now, yes I know that’s crazy, no that’s not illegal), on our daily walk. I have my route perfected to walk past Channing Tatum’s house and up Leonardo di Caprio’s street, and we had just reached the fancy celeb neighborhood with amazing city views, when I spotted a man going through people’s trash bins, collecting cans and recyclables. And standing in front of his van was a woman holding the cutest chubby, roly poly baby dog.
The view we hike up to, and the dramatic backdrop to my meeting of Fats.
Obviously, I asked if I could pet the puppy. And guys, this puppy and I connected… She looked at me with her big sad eyes, I fell in love, and the woman clearly noticed because she held her out to me and said, “You want?”
WHAT. OF COURSE I WANT. WHO DOESN’T WANT PUPPIES.
The man waved me over to the van, saying “More puppies!” So, of course I went to the van to see more puppies! There was a serious language barrier, but from what I could tell, there were 14 puppies, the mom was a yellow labrador mix, the dad might have been a golden retriever (they showed me a picture of the mama lab with the puppies, then the lab again in a pen with a golden retriever and several other dogs, so who knows), and the puppies were fed cookies for dinner, which explains why Fats is so fat.
It’s at this point in the story that I would like to acknowledge that, in this moment, I failed my childhood. It was getting dark out, I was alone, a strange man told me if I came to his van, he’d give me a puppy… And guys, I went to his van. But, isn’t there something sort of quaint about the fact that he really did give me a puppy, instead of hauling me off to his rape den to murder me?
It was a sort of out-of-body experience, where I was looking down on myself saying “Don’t take that puppy! You already have two dogs! This is crazy! Tony is going to be SO MAD!” But I was running on instinct and adrenaline. I ignored the voices in my head, instead listening to the woman ask “You keep? For you?”
AND I TOOK THE PUPPY.
We were about 30 minutes away from our house, and I carried that tiny puppy all the way back. I looked insane, walking two dogs with a third nuzzled under my neck. This gave me ample time to reflect on the choice I had just made. I really don’t know what I was thinking in that moment, I just knew I had to get that sweet, sweet puppy out of what clearly wasn’t a good situation (tons of un-neutered dogs running around in a pen, cookies for dinner, owners that give puppies away on the street). I guess I figured I could carry one back, and if I couldn’t keep her, at least I could find her a good home. (This is how I’m justifying my actions. Judge away.)
When we finally made it back, I figured I might as well rip the Band Aid off, so I called Tony. Instead of answering with “Hey babe,” he shouted into the phone, “There’s boobies everywhere!” When I replied, “It’s okay, enjoy them,” he knew something was terribly wrong. “What did you do?” he whispered with horror… “I got a puppy.”
What I imagine he did after we hung up.
He had the exact reaction I was expecting: Completely reasonable dismay that I would make such a big decision without him, and the rational belief that we should find her a new, equally loving home. I called my parents for a second opinion. My mom took one look at the picture and squealed, “My new grandpuppy! I love her!” My dad said, “Call everyone you know who might want a dog and tell them to come over now.”
This is where Fats was during the flurry of phone calls.
I called a girlfriend of mine who’d recently mentioned she was thinking about adopting a dog; she said they weren’t allowed to have a dog yet. And once Tony saw a few pictures, he said to wait until he got home, so he could meet her before giving her away. Tony would like the world to know, in retrospect, this is where he went wrong. Because every day we kept her, we fell in love a little bit more.
How could you not fall in love with this?!
And, it turned out to be a good thing I took her because when I brought her to the vet the next day, we learned she was really sick. (Again, this is how I’m justifying my actions… I rescued her! I saved her!)
Sick baby at the vet.
Plus, it’s not so crazy to have three dogs! Lauren Conrad just adopted a third dog, and she’s a lifestyle blogger for a living, so obviously she knows a thing or two about smart life choices!
After three weeks of putting off The Talk about giving her away until tomorrow… Tony finally caved and said we could keep her! I mean, look at that face. How could you not?! She’s the gentlest, most mellow, loving little girl. Her favorite activities include napping on my feet while I write and crying for us to lift her onto the sofa (she’s still too small to jump on) then immediately diving off, spread eagle, and sliding across the wood floor. She sits patiently when it’s time for us to set down her food bowl, and she figured out how to use the dog door. She inexplicably smells like vanilla.
Her favorite napping spot, on top of the air conditioning vent.
She’s also a good balance for our other dogs. Our 7-yr-old cocker spaniel mix, Lucy, likes to spend the day sleeping; our 1-yr-old beagle-velociraptor mix, Tippi, likes to spend the day harassing Lucy. Now, Tippi has another puppy to play with and Lucy can nap in peace.
It’s ironic that Tony was at a bachelor party in Las Vegas but it was me, left to my own devices alone in our house, who was lacking in good judgement. I really am sorry for that, because if we learned anything in marriage class, it’s that we’re supposed to be a team and make big decisions together. (Man, did we put those communication skills we learned to good use over the past three weeks!)
Tony came around.
But, we decided together to keep her. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with this, but it’s right for us and we’re happy; we love that little dog (who’s probably going to be a giant dog in a matter of weeks) so, so much. We’re lucky that at least one of us is usually home, and we have a yard and enough space for all three dogs to run around in. And Tony, I promise we’re done at three. (This is not a statement on my willpower. This is because it is illegal to have more than three dogs in L.A. County. I checked.)
Fats, contemplating life at her puppy play group.
Kids, the moral of this story is to listen to your parents — when a strange man tells you he’ll give you a puppy if you come to his van, DON’T… Or you will actually get a puppy!