Elliot turns three on Wednesday but we celebrated today!

Rusty was able to snag a great deal on a huge inflatable bounce house. That was the highlight of the party. Elliot was very excited to have the bounce house and friends over to play. The homemade cake was delicious and darn-near devoured. We opened some present after cake per a departing Grandma, then another at the end of the party then most of the rest after bath time. His favorite gift so far: posable Wall-E!

Elliot has become such a delightful lil' dude. He's very articulate, very observant, caring and easy to be with. He has opinions he's willing to share as well as his suckers. He's now learning to test boundaries and establish his independence. Sometimes he'll get this adorable mischievous look that says "I know you don't like this but I'm doing to do it anyway with a smile". He defends against his brother yet plays well with his friends. Our charming guy is a blessing to be around and I am so glad I get to watch him grow up!

We now own a dog. As of 10am this morning. Meet Duggan:


Duggan ran away from home a few days ago and wound up on a neighbor's doorstep. She posted signs in our neighborhood advertising that this dog was found, and emails circulated. No one came forward. That neighbor had 2 dogs already and they weren't compatible so the dog was passed to another neighbor. But it turns out the wife was allergic. We then took the dog for the day to relieve the neighbor with allergies. The idea was that we'd hold him until the owners were found.

The boys liked this dog right away. Merlin wasted no time in establishing who's boss of the house (obviously the cat). We originally called him Max because that was the name used by the previous two neighbors. I was more or less on the fence and was quickly outvoted when Rusty warmed to him within minutes. Rusty lit up to have a dog who would sit on command (he sometimes does) and who would follow him around. We went on two walks which were actually vigorous runs. We also invested in chew toys and a couple bones. Then just before dinner, the inevitable happened.

Joshua opened the front door and the dog sprinted out!

He was out like a bullet! I followed him cautiously so as to not encourage a game of chase, but the dog sprinted around an alley corner then was gone from sight. I waited a minute listening and waiting to hear or see something, a clue of where the dog had gone. Just when I was about to give up, I saw him loop behind someone's house. I sprinted up to find he had been put into an oversized dog cage with two other dogs and young couple calling him"Duggan". I approached asking if this was their dog, which was a silly question because they had a name and acted like they knew him but I didn't know how else to start the conversation. Next time I'll say something more intelligent. Anyway, they said he got loose a few days ago which matched the timing of how long he has spent with our neighbors.

Turns out, he's a purebred Brittany, a type of French Spaniel. He's very quiet but very active. We haven't heard him bark at all yet. He's 8 years old and has a son. He's been on hunting trips but apparently he's the lazy one who, after an hour, waits in the truck for the others to return. He's been an outside dog but he also really likes to be inside and is generally well behaved.

Now that the owners had him back, I almost said good-bye and left it at that. But I didn't. I infomed them that he had been well cared for by three homes, and was currently very entertaining to our sons. An older woman came out (the mother of one of the young couple) and said if we wanted to adopt him that we could. I was cautious not to be trapped as it seemed almost too good to be true but this legitimately good dog was indeed in need of a home that could give him more. His current home has about 6 dogs and no one was avilable to take them on walks. He had been around kids in the past but now the kids were all grown up an moved out. So the woman said we could keep him. Just like that. I returned with the family less than hour later to thank them and ask a few more questions, like who was his vet.

And that's how we ended up with Duggan, who also goes by Max.

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