Sweet as candy

I’ll tell you the truth: This past week I really began to despair of us ever finding the right dog. I mean, I knew it would happen, intellectually, but emotionally I was feeling like an unfit mother. (Thank goodness I’m not melodramatic or anything, right?) If only things had gone better with Super! If only the right dog hadn’t already been promised to someone else! If only I was just a better person!

Have I mentioned about how I’m a joy to live with…?

I kept telling the kids that when we found the right dog, we would all know it. So when a little 3-year-old shih tzu mix popped up on the page of a local rescue, there was a little tug on my heartstrings, a little quickening of my pulse, and then an immediate feeling of doom and gloom. “We’ll want her but someone else will get her,” I thought. “Or we’ll want her and they won’t pick us.” I filled out the application, but I tried not to get my hopes up. And I didn’t even tell the kids.

But then her foster mom called and said we should come meet her. So we did.

It turns out that we didn’t stand a chance. She was sweet and cuddly and curious and playful and oh, that face. THAT FACE.

This face:


You understand, yes?

We met at the Dog Emailer’s house and got a personality evaluation on her, which basically concluded that she is spoiled rotten but “good raw material,” and then we talked about glamorous things like what little the rescue knows about her (she’s approximately three, she’s had at least one litter of puppies, she appears to be recovering from a bad case of fleas and possibly even a flea allergy, judging by the bald spots on her backside), and then her foster mom said, “Well, do y’all want to discuss it and let me know?”

Otto and I looked at each other. The kids looked at us. And we said no, we didn’t want to discuss it. We just wanted to take her home.

So we did.

There was much debate over her name; despite Otto’s insistence that we name her Average, he was outvoted. Finally we settled on Licorice, which means we’re all spending a lot of time dancing around proclaiming, “LICORICE! YAYYYYY!” in an effort to teach it to her. Every time you say “Licorice” and she so much as glances your way, you then have to act like you just won the lottery. Or so I’ve been told.

She is settling in slowly; she appears to have a nervous stomach, and didn’t eat for the first day and a half, but she’s perking up now. And I urge you to LOOK AT THAT FACE one more time, so that you’ll understand why we adore her even though she made sure to throw up all over the good couch on the second day.

I think she’s gonna like it here. I already like my office better with a dog sleeping on the floor.

77 Responses to “Sweet as candy”

  1. 1
    Jen September 14, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Congratulations on the beautiful addition to the family. Couches can be replaced…

  2. 2
    WaywardGoddess September 14, 2009 at 10:12 am #


  3. 3
    Bonnie September 14, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    Adorable!!! Worth the wait.

  4. 4
    Mary September 14, 2009 at 10:24 am #


  5. 5
    Randi September 14, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    Awww, congratulations!! She’s so sweet!! And I love the name – very unique and perfect for her and for all of you! SEE! Remember a few days ago I told you that it would happen! (I love saying “I told you so”, even though it’s a horrible habit LOL).

    I’m so glad that you guys found your dog! Now begins the training :).

  6. 6
    Aimee September 14, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Oh, WHAT a beautiful face! She is just so sweet! As sweet as… Licorice. Love the name, and I’m so happy you have such a bundle of cuteness puking on your good couch. ;)

  7. 7
    Stacia September 14, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    She is too cute! Hope her stomach settles down.

  8. 8
    Marly September 14, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Oh so cute! She looks a lot like our little black Malte-poo, who also sleeps on the floor in my office, which does indeed make it a better place to work.

  9. 9
    Leandra September 14, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    I have a very, very soft spot for dogs with wiry hair on their faces. If Licorice ever disappears, you can start looking at my house first.

  10. 10
    Anna September 14, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    So sweet!

  11. 11
    Burgh Baby September 14, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    She is abso-freakin-lutely adorable. Congratulations!

  12. 12
    sassymonkey September 14, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    Licorice! YAYYYYY!!!! How’d I do?

  13. 13
    Karishma September 14, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    so cute! good luck!

  14. 14
    Nelson's Mama September 14, 2009 at 11:10 am #

    Love her eyes – feels like she’s looking straight into my soul

    Nelson says to tell you that he’s very happy for you!

  15. 15
    hokgardner September 14, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    Such a sweet face! Congratulations on the new member of the family.

  16. 16
    Crista September 14, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Awwww! I’m so happy for all of you! Yayyyy! And I love her name :) She is so adorable!
    Are you feeding her the same food the foster gave her? And slowly switching over to whatever food you chose, if it was different?

  17. 17
    Sheila September 14, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    What a lucky dog!

  18. 18
    el-e-e September 14, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    She is a cutie!! Congratulations!

  19. 19
    Jane September 14, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Nothing beats the feel of the warm weight of a dog on your feet as you work. And the unconditional love they have for you…just look at it written all over her face.

  20. 20
    radioactivetori September 14, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Oh congratulations! I knew it would happen and I’m so glad you found her so soon. I am so happy for you!

  21. 21
    Megan September 14, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    Looks like everyone struck lucky! Hope all goes well with the newest WouldaShouldling.

  22. 22
    dad September 14, 2009 at 11:47 am #

    I can’t wait to see my new granddog.

  23. 23
    Beth R September 14, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    You’re gonna have a hard time saying no to that face! Congratulations!

  24. 24
    My Kids Mom September 14, 2009 at 12:17 pm #


  25. 25
    Megumi September 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Yay! So happy for your newest addition to your family! Hooray for Licorice!!

  26. 26
    laura September 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    It was meant to be. She will know her name in no time. Never underestimate the power of dog treats!

  27. 27
    Nicki September 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    See, time! Enjoy your new baby. I can’t wait to hear all about these adventures.

  28. 28
    Lisa September 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    That face is adorable. Funny thing, a friend of mine has the sweetest dog in the world–and I would swear they (yours and hers) are twins. :) Enjoy!

  29. 29
    getsheila September 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Mmmmmm…black licorice, my favorite. So glad you found your new pooch. And Otto with Average? I barely averted tea coming out my nose. Thanks so much. :)

  30. 30
    Jackie Hall September 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Congratulations! You won the dog lottery. haha I’m very happy for you. And you are right, how could anyone look at that face and not want her. :-)

  31. 31
    Dawn September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm #


    Also; Yay!

  32. 32
    ChristieNY September 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    Absolutely adorable! Congrats and good luck with sweet little Licorice!

  33. 33
    Kristie September 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm #


  34. 34
    dcfullest September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm #


    My dog has a flea allergy (amongs others– if you knew what we had to spend when he was allergic to commerical dog food, you would weep.) too.

    So long as I am careful about preventative protection, it is almost never an issue. If he does get bit, my doctor has given me steriods to keep at home. I immediately give him a dose when I notice him scratching otherwise he scratches until his cuts himself and then that gets infected.

    BUT, now that we know all this, we are all to keep on top of it and we haven’t had to give him steriods in over a year, and he hasn’t gone to the vet for these issues in 2+ years.

  35. 35
    Lucinda September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    No, you didn’t stand a chance. Congrats.

  36. 36
    Beachgal September 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm #


  37. 37
    Tracy September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    Awwwwww, Licorice…I love it! And that face…jeez, I love that face. She reminds me of my To-to. So, so sweet!
    Her tummy will settle once she knows she’s at home..and never going to be homeless again. I’m so proud of you Mir…congratulations on your new family member.

    Your Dad makes me so proud…grand-dog. That is priceless!

  38. 38
    steff September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    I love her to pieces.
    We have a dog with a sensitive tummy — a little big of plain yogurt will help!!

  39. 39
    alice September 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    Awwwwwww! Welcome, Licorice! You’re adorable.

  40. 40
    Katie in MA September 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Awwwww! That face!! We’re all in love already – I can only imagine how over the moon the four of you guys are. :)

  41. 41
    Suzanne September 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    Awwww… so fabulous! We just got our 2nd rescue… an 8 lb pomeranian who is 6… and had 5 litters of puppies in her short life. We’ve named her Pumpkin to match her coloring… it’s an adjustment to the household, but always a good one!

  42. 42
    Pepper September 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    Welcome home Licorice!
    and Congrats, she looks so sweet!

  43. 43
    Half Assed Kitchen September 14, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    You’re a dog family now! Hooray!

  44. 44
    Tammy September 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    Aaaawww! What a cutie. Congrats!

  45. 45
    bad penguin September 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    She’s adorable! Congratulations on finding your pup.

  46. 46
    AnnieR September 14, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    She’s so cute!!! And yay for you with the name attention training. You’d be surprised at how many dogs have absolutely no idea what their name is-everyone in the family calls them something different and they don’t respond to anything…

  47. 47
    Karen September 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    What a beautiful face :-)

  48. 48
    Alison September 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    What an adorable doggie! Congratulations!

  49. 49
    Brandy September 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    Aww, too cute! We had one that looked very similar when I was a teenager. Very loving dogs.

  50. 50
    Karin September 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    She is much too cute. I hope there will be many pictures of her! ;)

  51. 51
    Paula September 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    WooHoo! She IS adorable! I love her name…it’s perfect for her. Congrats! Where is she sleeping?

  52. 52
    Sara September 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    The cuteness. It kills. She definitely looks like she’ll blend right in. Aren’t you all (including the dog) lucky to have each other? Enjoy her!

  53. 53
    Shala September 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    I am so glad your bad experience didn’t turn you off to dogs. I know your family will provide a wonderful home to your newest addition

  54. 54
    RuthWells September 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    Oh, the cutes! Give that snoot a smooch for me.

  55. 55
    Mom September 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Let’s see now… would that make my Xena her grandmother?

    Enjoy, you guys. You finally got the doggie who was looking for you.

    Much love,

  56. 56
    Jean September 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Science Diet Sensitive Stomach is great for the tummy. She’s beautiful and so sweet!

  57. 57
    MyFaithandJoy September 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Congratulations on your lap-ful of Love!

  58. 58
    Michele Bardsley September 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    Woo-hoo! What a sweet baby. Give him kisses!

    Also, my shih tzu also had a skin allergy. Vet said he could be allergic to fleas, and gave us a medicated shampoo. I also use Frontline once a month on the animals, and it really helps.

  59. 59
    J from Ireland September 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Yay, so happy you finally got you dog. Such a cute face its no wonder yis didn’t have to discuss it!!

  60. 60
    Alison C September 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    So cute!
    And a lovely name!

  61. 61
    Jamie September 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    Yay, yay, yay!!!

  62. 62
    ccr in MA September 14, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    Oh, congrats! She’s much too cute to turn down.

  63. 63
    Ann September 14, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    another food suggestion–rice and hardboiled eggs for a few days, help settle the stomach (we use after the grass eating episodes).
    And Licorice is spoiled??? As I’ve been told: “This makes a difference to”…
    the other dogs in the neighborhood? (nope), the kids? (nope), Otto? (doubt it), you? (nope). Lucky for us dogs can be spoiled and it doesn’t effect them when they grow up !!!!
    Enjoy–I love black puppy dogs !!!

  64. 64
    Heather September 14, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    Hooray! :D I’m so glad you found a pup! Congrats.

  65. 65
    Evelyn September 14, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    Yay! I’m glad she finally found you :) I’d love to adopt some day… hopefully this works out better than the last!

  66. 66
    kat September 14, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    Too adorable!!! I’m so happy for the whole family!!!!

  67. 67
    Catherine September 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Amazing. Congratulations. I hope you all live happily ever after. :-)

  68. 68
    David September 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    At long last. Now, I wonder how long it’ll be before somebody tumbles to her obvious nickname? Lick! =)

  69. 69
    Peggyp September 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    awwwwww so cute!! what a face and I love the name Licorice

  70. 70
    Ruth September 14, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    That is one cutie patootie; thank goodness for gut instinct and for those people who act on it. I’m sure the dog would echo my sentiments. Good for all of you!

  71. 71
    Victoria September 14, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    Look at you — just like Chookooloonks with the dog sleeping in the office.

  72. 72
    mama speak September 15, 2009 at 3:23 am #


    I’m so glad she found you. I’m sure she’s been waiting. (I’m of the belief that our animals pick us, not so much the other way around.)

    It’s gonna be hard but remember, but YOU’re in charge, not her. No matter how much she snuggles, cuddles, licks and kisses you, YOU’re still the boss. (Falls over laughing.) Um, Good Luck w/that. She’s adorable.

  73. 73
    aly September 15, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    we got a shih tsu mix for my husbands first dog (i had a few dogs growing up) and lo, he is head over heels. they’re wicked smart and can be a tad stubborn– but oh so lovely (the lap sitting will be for days/months, send reinforcements!) and ours was super easy to toilet train, etc. the cuteness can be deadly– just watch out!!!

    (also they’re terrible attack dogs, in case the cute didnt let you know that. ;) our dog is uninterested in chasing bunnies, etc. out of our yard away from our garden– meanwhile i’m crazy windmill arm woman yelling “YOU’RE A DOG! CHASE THE DAMN BUNNY!” and you can hear the bunny laughing as it hippity hops, at it’s own leisure, far far away.

  74. 74
    Kristi September 15, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Oh, Mir! She IS adorable! So happy for you all!

  75. 75
    MomCat September 15, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    Her nickname can be Allsorts. ; )

  76. 76
    Liz@thisfullhouse September 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    Welcome to the “cute” side of being a dog owner. Wait until Licorice gets into the garbage. Ah, heck…who am I kidding…with that face, a dog can get away with getting into the garbage, right?

  77. 77
    Flea September 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    I can’t even begin to tell you how happy and excited I am for all of you. Congratulations!

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