• Matt DeBoer

Welcome Home Girls

We lost Simon just weeks before Chandler and I left for Toronto. He was, like many of yours, the perfect dog. Yes he had his quirks, and the mini schnauzer might have nipped a few people from time to time, but he was German, and they can be a little cranky. Of course, so can the DeBoer line, so he was pretty much screwed from the start.


We had to put him down due to complications and he died surrounded by his family while lying in my arms. I’ve never felt the life go out of someone before and don’t really care to experience it again, but we do what we need to when it is needed most. We headed to Toronto shortly after to begin filming 8-Bit Christmas where our son plays Timmy Keane. Watch it when it comes out in November of 2021 and you will know which one he is. He is the James Spader of the movie since it takes place in the 80’s. More on that another time.


Regretfully, we left Tammy and Olivia behind to deal with the emptiness, the quietness, the sadness that is brought on when you lose a pet. Since Toronto was in a constant state of lockdown, we spent our time outside watching dogs at a nearby dog park to fill the void. We escaped, Tammy and Liv coped, and life as it often does, moved on. Now repeat that last sentence, but in a Keith Morrison from Dateline voice…..go ahead, I’ll wait.


Tammy and I discussed getting a new puppy, but being the mature, intelligent, experienced adults we are, we agreed that it would have to wait until after summer. We already had multiple trips planned, not to mention the everyday chaos of normal life, work, and family. It was a fairly simple, quick, and easy decision to make. In fact, one of the quickest decisions we have ever agreed on in our 20+ years together.


Twelve days after we returned from Toronto we picked up our new puppies. Yes, as in two. Yes, as in, “but didn’t you just say??”. Yes, as in, “are you freakin’ kidding me??” Yes, as in, “Did you leave your brain back at US Customs?” Yes, as in, “Were you really the one who said we should get another one?”


I might have blacked out or maybe it was the fact I was blinded by the comfort of my new Skecher shoes, and their memory foam inserts. Whatever it was, I woke up the next day like a kid in college on a Sunday morning wondering, “What the hell did I just do??”


Since everything is recorded these days, I watched the tape to see the exact moment I lost all sensibility and decided I could blame the other couple that was there picking up their dog – a Bernedoodle. A what? Exactly. A Bernedoodle – a cross between a St. Bernard and a Poodle because why not. I’m waiting for the Great Daneadoodle. I mean how does this work anyway? Who sits around and says, if we breed this Weiner Dog with this Poodle, we can make Weiner Doodles! Although, it would have made Biology a lot more entertaining in high school.


Anyway, when they brought the slobbering Bernedoodle out, it spent a little time with them, but eventually decided he liked the looks of our family better and ditched them and followed us. We apologized multiple times.


“So sorry, here you go – he is adorable. What is the mini-barrel around his neck for?”

“He’s a Bernedoodle.”

“Oh. Of course he is.”


No matter how many times we returned him, he would scamper back over. We would apologize again and then rinse/repeat. Eventually, we both gave up and just played with the dog while they sat patiently waiting for us to leave. But there was a problem, their credit card had been declined, and they could not take the puppy with them.


Meanwhile, our little girl came out with a pink ribbon on her head that lasted about as long as an unclaimed piece of pizza in front of me. Our mini golden doodle “California Rosemont DeBoer” had arrived – or as we call her, “Cali”. Rosemont was the name of the apartment building we lived in while filming in Toronto and California was where it all started. Oh, I asked if would be ok to refer to her as a “her” and she licked my face, so that was a yes.


After playing with her for a bit, I asked if the Bernedoodle could come out and play to see if they got along. The one that kept coming to me was not going to be available because the previous couple had brokered a last second deal to pick the puppy up the following day. However, they had a couple other Bernie’s in the pen and brought them out to meet Cali.


It was similar to the that scene where you see two people running towards each other on the beach from opposite directions. Except at the end of this one, the Bernedoodle puts Cali in a headlock and pile drives her into the grass. I literally lost sight of her for a minute because the girth of the Bernie smothered our new pup.


Cali got up and looked at me right about the same time Jimmy Superfly Bernedoodle came off the top rope again and drove Cali back into the green abyss. This time she got up and looked at me like, “WTH fat boy with the cool shoes” and then splat – face first into the grass again. If it weren’t for the superior grip of my new Skechers, she would have been hit again, but I grabbed the Bernedoodle and threw him as far….kidding. Relax.


I gently placed him back into the arms of the attendee and asked if there might be another mini goldendoodle available. One from the same litter perhaps? Oh, how about another female because that seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. Sisters!


I knew it was over the moment the request left my lips. I should have just handed the sales lady my credit card and waited in the car. But no. Not me. For some reason I decided the best thing at that moment, the thing that would make all the planets align and bring happiness to democrats and republicans alike, was if we skipped the next two house payments and bought another puppy. That is how we ended up with Scout.


Her maiden name is Papaya, but since removing her from her mother and 6 other siblings wasn’t enough stress on this little fruit, we decided to change her name to Scout. While Cali is the sassy little valley girl of the group, Scout is the straight vodka in my doggie dish kind of puppy you don’t mess with. She is a little fuzz ball, all poodle, and lets Cali play around with her until she has had enough and her inner demon comes out. She gets like Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black and tries to put a shiv into anyone who comes near. She clipped me good in the ear and drew blood. It was the first time I saw her smile. She is a sweetheart after she has had her morning blood.


So here we sit with two little fuzz balls that are cute as anything you have ever seen. Welcome to the show Cali and Scout. Welcome to the DeBoer family and the craziness you have become a part of. As you have already determined by the multitudes of markings you have bestowed upon us, the house is now yours. Except for my Skecher shoe closet – I marked that one before you showed up.


Your Fadder

Everyone has a puppy voice. Mine just happens to be a 65-year-old chain smoker from Brooklyn named Marge.


@u.t.l.p.

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