It was bound to happen sometime

All right, so, new rules going forward. Everyone, repeat after me.

Carly may:

foster extremely cute puppies

~or~

name cute puppies after her siblings or other relatives

But Carly may not:

do both

Because if Carly does both, she ends up keeping said puppies.

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For anyone reading who doesn’t know me personally, puppy Liam was named after my brother Liam. The rescue had an ‘L’ theme going on, and since someone else had suggested Luke (my other brother’s name) for a different puppy, I thought, “Well, why not?”

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Liam (the original)

In hindsight, the answer to that question seems obvious, but I honestly thought it would be no big deal. Leon got adopted to a great home two weeks after we got them, and I waved him off with nary a tear. I didn’t think Liam would be around long enough for me to get attached to. With his sad eyes and forehead wrinkles, I assumed he’d get snatched up in no time.

But he didn’t. He stayed and stayed and got three times as big and eight times as dense and inexplicably cuter. His penchant for snuggling up and sighing contentedly — with us but particularly with Nelson — became downright ridiculous. Matt and I started to exchange worried glances. A couple applications came in but failed in the early stages. We began to go through phases; one day, one of us would beg to keep him while the other listed all the very good reasons we shouldn’t get another permanent dog, and the next day the roles would reverse. The thought of giving him up became less of a thought and more of a cold stone dropping into my stomach. Meanwhile, the puppy, with his laid-back demeanor and sleepy grumbling and irresistible rolls, continued to cement his place in our household.

When a good-looking application came in, we panicked, straight-up. Now, before anybody gets mad, Liam’s two siblings were still available to choose from (and still are) and the whole application ended up falling through because of discriminatory home insurance anyway. So. We adopted Liam.

Obviously, we couldn’t have a brother Liam and a puppy Liam, so Liam is now Niles and Niles is now ours. As much hemming and hawing as I did about finalizing it, I haven’t had a split second of uncertainty or regret. I hate to make romantic-sounding statements like “he just fits” or “we just click,” because so much of whether a dog fits in a household depends on the humans’ willingness to make it happen, but at the same time, Niles seems to belong here. He and Nelson adore each other, and even though Nelson is typically a puppy magnet and they both like Brody, it’s Nelson and Niles I catch sunbathing side-by-side or cuddling in bed or sharing a bone. That’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

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Fun fact: Niles and his eight siblings were originally surrendered to Pitty Love Rescue, where we adopted Nelson. Since nine puppies prematurely taken from their mother is a lot to handle for any rescue, GTTD took four and that’s how we ended up with Niles. It’s not uncommon for rescues to work together, but it’s really nice that both rescues that have had such a huge, wonderful impact on my life were part of this.

If you’re looking for a Nelson or Niles of your own, please check out GTTD, Pitty Love, Rescue Pit, Verona Street Animal Society or, to find adoptable pets closest to you, petfinder.com.

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