How Lollie’s new mom tells it (Part 2)

“After John and I got home from meeting Lily (Lollie!), I called the kids to the computer and showed them Lily’s pictures. They adored that she had a red hoodie — Isaiah has a similar one.  After they quickly fell in love, I showed them the “headstand” video — who can resist that?

Several questions followed the headstand video:

Does she do cartwheels?

Can we get a trampoline for her?

Despite their history of pleading for a huge trampoline, I think they thought this would be yet another opportunity . . . (Cue the obscene image of well-endowed Lily flying though the air . . .)

Can we get her a tutu? And will she wear a tiara?

Despite all of the answers to the above being “no” they still wanted to meet her. I was nervous. I had already fallen in love with her. Would they like her as much as I did? Would my husband consent to walking yet another dog with — ahem — udders?

So the family loaded up and went to visit Lily.  She was of course a very well mannered lady that night.  Aleksandra let them feed Lily vegetables, Lily licked their faces, they loved it! They peppered Aleksandra with questions. She patiently answered all of them.  And then Aleksandra asked them one: “Do you guys like her?” . . . “YES!” So we gave her our paperwork and loaded back up. Once back in the car, we discussed some more.  The kids were excited:

Can we get a purse big enough to fit her in?

Can she ride on my sled? Can she sleep in my bed?

Then Olivia piped up, announcing she liked her but “could we still get a maltie-poo to put in my purse?” I still haven’t figured out what an 8 year old would need a purse for, let alone a dog, but . . .

Driving home I was nervous.  Would she be a good fit for our family? Would she be able to adjust to our house with loud kids and homework and general day to day ruckus? Was I even remotely crazy for bringing home a pit bull mix as the newest family member? (cue my mother’s nagging voice-A PIT BULL! A PIT BULL! A PIT BULL? Can you just hear her yelling all the way from New York about her grandkids and this “Lollie monster”?)

I laughed to myself — no,  I can certainly look past the stereotypes and bad rap, and I knew we could offer our home and our family to this sweet loving dog. If only MCHS approved us! Would we be acceptable? Would I answer all interview the questions right?”

Meet our Chick

Many of Lollie’s friends and fans have been asking about her foster brother Chick, our own resident wonderdog / child / greatest source of pride.

Over the next couple of weeks we will slowly introduce you to Chick. We don’t want to go too fast, because it would be easy to overdose on cuteness.

Lollie’s dancing skills got a lot of attention, but Chick wants you to know that he has skills too. Check ’em out.

How Lollie’s new mom tells it (Part 1)

“We weren’t looking for a dog. In fact, we had decided we probably wouldn’t get another dog. We had just watched our neighbor’s extremely high maintenance Jack Russell mix for a week, and were pretty sure we didn’t want another dog. It was really Lollie’s nipples that made me really reconsider it. No, I’m not into dog porn or anything odd like that . . . let me explain . . .

I had breast cancer at 24, had a few breast surgeries, lost all my hair, all that fun stuff . . . Fast forward six years, and we’re looking for a dog. We found Daisy, a beagle with giant “udders.” A breast cancer survivor finds a dog with udders…it was meant to be! Last year I went through chemo again when my cancer returned, and Daisy beagle was the sole reason I got up and got any exercise some days. She lay next to me on the couch when I felt pukey, she sniffed my head when my hair fell out again, she saw me through the whole year of chemo. That’s a lot of walks together . . . Sadly, we lost Daisy very unexpectedly a few months ago, and I didn’t want another dog . . .

Last month, we babysat a friend’s pitbull puppy for a few days, and I was in love. My husband was in love. We just didn’t want to do the “puppy thing.” But secretly, I started scanning the dogs in rescues and local shelters anyway. I came across the MCHS site, and something caught my eye . . . What’s a wonderdog? There was Lollie. She had her own website! What a cutie! I scrolled through a few weeks of her blog. She was crate trained! Housebroken! Had manners! Was done with the puppy stuff! Eats her veggies! Looks great in red hoodies! Hmm . . . I closed the laptop, and I thought about it all day.

The next night I stayed up obsessively reading ALL of the blog. And there in the pictures, I saw it- Lollie’s got a boob issue too!!! Giant nipples!! Daisy, a beagle with udders, then Lollie, a pitbull with droopy nipples . . . and me, a two time breast cancer survivor . . . If this isn’t meant to be I don’t know what is!

I showed my husband “Look! The dog has a website!” He deadpans: “You know the dog didn’t write that, right?” We thought about it some more. I had always wanted a bigger dog so I could start running trails again by myself . . . She’s got her house manners . . . The kids have been nagging us for a new dog (though Olivia specifically wanted a dog she could dress up and fit in a purse—not sure Lollie would agree to the purse part) and she’s got a BOOB ISSUE!

We contacted Aleksandra and set up a time for John and me to meet her Lollie Wonderdog. If we thought she’d be a good family member, then we’d tell the little ones. We went to meet Lollie. I couldn’t get over her itty bitty waist. She was adorable. Those giant eyes . . . she licked my stinky shoelaces, and it was love. How could a dog who had been through so much still have so much love to give? I thought about it — Lollie and I are both survivors . . . I think we’d be just fine . . . we just had to see if the little members of the household would get along . . .”

Lollie/Lily goofing around with new mom Jen and new sister Olivia

Lollie/Lily expressing her love

Are these not the cutest three ladies ever?


A new start and a new name

After we saw some of the heartfelt, emotional reactions to our last post, we promised that the next one would be more silly and lighthearted. Don’t lead yourself to believe, though, that silly and lighthearted mean unimportant, because this is serious business.

After much deliberation, Lollie Wonderdog’s new family decided to gift her a new name to go along with her new charmed life. Lollie’s new human siblings, 8 and 9-year-old Olivia and Isaiah, were major contributors to this important decision, and came up with a few strong contenders.

Names considered, but not ultimately chosen: Firecracker Leonard and Lily Frankfurter.

No, in the end, Lollie’s new family selected a name that conveys her natural beauty and her nice-smelling nature, as well as her universal likeability and her sparkly personality that dazzles all. As a bonus, her new name has a similar sound and feel to her old name, which will make it easy for her to learn.

So, without further delay, we proudly present to you . . . .

A letter to Lollie in her new home

Dear Lollie Wonderdog,

Thank you for writing us to tell us that you got home safely, went for a nice walk with your new people, and got snuggled in to your new gigantic crate. We are happy to know that like your new mom, who is a real nurse, you have a real knack for treating illness, and you gave your new brother Isaiah lots of licks to help with his fever.

We did think about you a lot after you left last night (I only cried a little, and I hope your new mom’s eyes stopped watering too after you guys drove away). We sat on the front porch to take in the unseasonably warm weather and have a beer, and wondered what you thought of your new neighborhood and your new people. We know it’s going to be an adjustment, and it’ll probably take you a few weeks to really feel “at home” — even though you are a wonderdog– it took you even longer with us.

I hope you remember the things we talked about before you left. Please try not to jump up on your new human brother and sister and knock them over. We know it is hard to learn a different way (other than the natural dog way) to greet people and show them you like them, but please try. When you’re walking on a leash, please try not to pull, even if you discover that pulling doesn’t make the walk stop and stand still until you quit it. The treats will come more quickly if you walk like the good girl that you are. I promise. When you are feeling restless, please try to take to an activity rather than spit-cleaning your new mom’s boots or pacing endlessly around. You found a lot of satisfaction in solving puzzles, playing fetch, and extracting treats and peanut butter from kongs and other toys, so remember to grab a nylabone when you get bored. And while we’re on the subject, please try to keep straight which objects are for chewing and which objects are not for dogs. I know sometimes it’s confusing — especially with firewood and shoelaces — but listen to your new family. They will help you learn.

Lollie, you pass through the world with a carefree grace that I have rarely seen in a dog, and have never seen in a person. Your ability to make everybody like you and the whole world smile, paired with your ability to overcome anything with a wagging tail and a flapping tongue is truly remarkable. I hope you don’t remember the specifics of how you ended up in that dumpster in September, bruised, half-starved, and filthy, but I hope you always remember that you have overcome so much — and come out a shooting star. An eternal firework.

Lollie Wonderdog, it’s an amazing thing when a sad little dog can teach a bunch of humans so much about perseverance, patience, and overcoming the odds. You have touched our lives forever, and we love you very much.

With boundless affection,

Fostermom and Fosterdad (and Chick, but his affection has very clear boundaries)

Lollie and her new sister Olivia, ready to go home

Lollie: ADOPTED!

Lollie Wonderdog has been adopted!

This very evening, Miss Wonderdog will be picked up from our home by her very own perfect, wonderful, dream-come-true forever family. Not only do the kids want to share their lentils with her (a dream come true in itself for Lolita), but we can tell just by meeting and being around this foursome that they are going to love Lollie so well.

It has been a rollercoaster ride for me and Fosterdad and we will blog about it next week after we get control over our emotions again, but I can tell you already that we are feeling a lot of things at once — joy, sadness, exhilaration, satisfaction, anticipation . . .

For now, we just want to share with your our “family portraits” from our last evening with Miss Lollie — our beautiful, our ridiculous, our charming, our fabulous, our first, our unforgettable foster dog. I can’t tell which of these I love more. The one where the dogs are being so themselves, with Lollie launching a tongue attack while I’m not paying attention while Chick is being all perfect and stoic, or the one where Chick and I are posing for the camera and Fosterdad and Lollie are both, inexplicably, posing for something else– something out in space, apparently. You decide.

photo by the talented Dave "Santa" P

photo by the talented Dave "Santa" P

But in the meantime, let’s hear a nice round of applause for Miss Lollie Wonderdog, proud owner of a brand new home. And stay tuned next week for her forever family’s incredibly touching account of how they came to know Lollie, the big reveal of Lollie’s new name, and much, much more!

everything is illuminated

The other night we were sitting around in the den, like we often do, and Lollie was checking out some of our books, like she often does, trying to decide what to read. When she is extra-concentrating, she likes to go into an intellectual play-bow while she thinks.

First she contemplated the blue books . . .Hmm, some Poe? Maybe some Murakami? Perhaps my friend MMB’s short story?

Then she contemplated the orange and red books . . .Ooh, I do like that Michael Chabon, and I heard the new McCann is good too . . .

But then she surprised herself, and selected a book — a favorite of her foster mom and dad’s — that she hadn’t even planned on reading: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated.Smells like a good read to me . . .

She is pretty enthralled with the story of Shapka, Jonathan, and Sammy Davis Junior-Junior (the seeing-eye bitch), but promises that once she’s done reading this book — tomorrow — she will return her attention to her fans, and share the next chapter in her foster adventure.


Adoptable Lollie Wonderdog came home from “camp” tonight and almost immediately scurried off to the nearest dog bed to fall deeply and profoundly asleep. We had been away over the weekend, so she spent four nights at her vet’s kennel. The facility is no fancy digs, but everybody there seems to love our sweet girl, and every time she comes home she is freshly washed and completely exhausted.

Stay tuned tomorrow, for the one in which everything is illuminated.

a (human) suitor for Lollie

The ebbs and flows of interest in sweet Lollie Wonderdog are like a Central Texas thunderstorm in the middle of a long, dry spell in summer. Miss Wonderdog had been living with us for three full months without a single peep of real interest in adopting her. Then, all of a sudden when we were beginning to wonder what was wrong with the world for not fighting over who got to bring home this sweet, adorable dog, we received an inquiry. And then another. And then three more. One more. In all, eleven inquiries in twelve days. A flash flood. And out of nowhere.

Hello suitor, are you my One?

After we got our bearings, we dutifully corresponded with many people who seemed like such great potential Lollie companions, but many people struck out based on circumstances: no past dog ownership experience. Cats or tiny dogs in the house. Babies. Renting apartments that don’t allow bully breeds (let’s not get started on that one).

Some others didn’t strike out, but fosterdad and I took an immediate liking to one family in particular– the first family, in fact. Here are the pertinent facts about them:

  1. Two active parents and two cute kiddos live a few miles from us, own a house with a big fenced yard, and are looking for a “new family member” after losing their previous dog to a sad illness last fall (key criteria for adopting Lollie: active family, space, prior dog experience, plenty of love to give).
  2. Mom has stated that she will “gladly” send follow ups and pictures for her adoring fan club—of which she was a member via the blog (willingness to send periodic pics and updates is on the unofficial criteria list).
  3. The other night at dinner, daughter “O” was careful to clarify that Lollie’s foster mommy and daddy said she could not eat grapes, onions and chocolate, but she thinks that if Lollie becomes their dog, it would be okay if she helped “O” finish her lentils. She wanted to check with us to see what we think (Lollie is the fosterchild of two vegetarians and loves lentils).

There are probably other facts about this family that I could share, but we just wanted to offer a little teaser. Stay tuned later this week, when we reveal whether this family is Lollie’s One . . .

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