I park in the short driveway in front of the wire gate at a farmlet much like ours.  It’s 1-1/2 hours southeast of us in the foothills of Mt. Rainier. Which is hidden in clouds as usual. The Bearded One and I are fifteen minutes early to pick up our new puppy.


Two tabby cats, the twins of our own Garfield, trot out from the house to meet us.  Yay!  Maybe the new puppy will get along with Garfield.

Soon a young ponytailed woman named Kayla comes out and greets us.  We follow her around to the back of the house where I see the chickens and horse pasture.  And there they are — 3 black, white, gray and brown 8-1/2 week old Beagle puppies, two girls and one boy.  We’re here for the boy, who looks just like he does in the Craigslist ad.

Snoopy on Craigslist

They call him Lucky because his momma, a 5-year-old Beagle who stands nearby, had a difficult delivery and Lucky came by C-Section.  Which was no doubt expensive and why I feel better about paying $350.  It’s a lot of money, but also pretty much normal based on the looking we’ve been doing.


I cuddle him against my chest all the way home.  He is a little pudgy because he was eating a lot of his sisters’ food as well as his own. His ears are velvet, his brown eyes impossibly engaging.

We briefly consider keeping the name Lucky, but decide on Arly, after the Bearded One’s paternal grandfather


who was an Oklahoma farmer and potash miner.


At home, we put Arly in the backyard and the goats run up the hill like a mountain lion has leaped the fence.  All five hens are up on their toes and close behind the goats.


Garfield is inside, in the kitchen.  We hope this goes well.

Right off, Arly walks toward Garfield and puppy barks a huge hello.  Garfield hisses.  This is just defensive.  He hisses again.  I try to comfort Garfield, but he slinks to the stairs and zips up to the lone refuge of the second bedroom.

Now it’s Monday afternoon and Arly’s fourth day here.  Garfield is not especially pleased with this new critter.  The Bearded One and I sit together in the sun watching Arly race from grass blade to twig to dirt hole to my shoe.

Arly 006

He bunny hops after Ruby’s old Kong ball.  His favorite toy, however, is also Garfield’s, the mouse-on-a-string-on-a-stick that the Bearded One made.  If they both use it, it’ll mingle their scents.

Mouse on a string on a stick 002

I bring Garfield outside to enjoy the sun, and he sits under the house on the lattice wall and sulks warily.  He watches Arly closely.  Sometimes they are only 4 or 5 feet apart.  This is good.  He is sticking around.

*   *   *

“Getting a puppy is like catching the flu,” says the Bearded One, exhausted and sore from three straight nights of “sleeping with” the new pup.  It’s only for the first 3 or 4 days.


“I thought you knew puppies,” I say, reminding him of his Alaska stories of raising and training sled dogs.  “Yes,” he says and grins, “I tried to warn you.”  We laugh.  He’s right, though.  I’m the one who wanted the little howler.

Getting a puppy reminds me of how much work babies are.  Everything else goes by the wayside.  I haven’t even marked out the last two days on the calendar.


The Bearded One and I are both bone-tired.  Tonight Arly sleeps alone.

*   *   *

Early that evening Arly is passed out beside the Bearded One in the man cave, watching a football game.

Keith and Arly and Seahawks 002

Garfield arises upstairs and stretches a huge cat stretch.  He pointedly catches my eye.  Watch this.  He saunters unconcerned down the stairs and turns into the den.  Light as a feather he leaps up onto the Bearded One’s leg, maybe a foot from Arly.  He stares calmly down at the sleeping pup, turns away oh-so-casually and hops back down to the floor.  Welcome to the farmlet.

Arly on Monday 003


27 responses to “Arly

  1. Welcome, Arly! He is adorable! Glad Garfield got the ‘nice ta meetcha’ out of the way. A puppy is contagious exuberance, but you’re right — they are also a lot of work. Congratulations to the farmlet family! I’m sure he’ll be a wonderful addition. And I love Grandpa Arly’s photograph.

    • Wiggling chaos, Becky. But such fun and full of life. The goats aren’t as freaked, but they still keep their distance from the fence when he is there. I love that photo of Arly, too. The long blonde hair! I just love boys with long hair. 🙂

  2. Congrats on Arly! He’s adorable! Great progress with Garfield 🙂 I had Labs for years then got a Basset Hound. So different! Enjoy! How fun 🙂

    • We’ve had Golden Retrievers for years. But they are Big Dogs and we have a little house. And the long hair and skin issues…Arly’s coat is lovely, not super short and soft and loose, like a real hound. I love his little howl, too.

  3. I bet the E.P. (aka B.O.)’s paternal grandfather didn’t keep that photo of himself in his battered wallet to pull out and share with his mates when he was seated at the bar after a long hard day in the fields ;). What a cutey eh? Almost as cute as the gorgeous, soft furred, sweet pudgy, puppy scented beagleness that is Arly :). You know how he was eating his sister’s food? Well that’s how it is with beagles. I figure each dog is given a particular talent. Beagles have 2. Their noses are incredibly sensitive and they get used for sniffing dogs a lot and they are prone to being gourmands. I have a theory that the sensitive nose and the guzzling of food are linked. I can smell a chip at 100 paces and have, in my past, been the bearer (and wearer) of a somewhat liberal application of adipose tissue where Steve can’t smell anything and remains a lean, mean, manly machine. I rest my case!

    I commiserate with you Arly…your life will be spent sniffing the air and mainlining anything that you find that is vaguely edible…from a human beagle to the doggy kind, we need to stick together bro…HUGE Yuk’s at the stickification of the pair of you with penny “X’s” on your eyes and Arly still eager to enter the fray. Bezial wouldn’t go near Earl for a week after we got him without growling at him. Poor Earl must have thought that he had cooties! Garfield will accept him albeit in an aloof catty way. Arly will learn the hierarchy the hard way methinks but a lesson learned is a lesson earned so they say (whatever the heck that means…what DOES that mean?) and Arly has just begun the steep learning curve of living on The Farmlet. What a lucky and most loved boy he is!

    • Well, Fran, I think you are on to something with your sensitive nose-food guzzling theory. My olfactory is fed as well when I eat. 🙂 “smell a chip at 100 paces” lol

      It is amazing and wonderous to watch how much Arly is learning each day. His little consciousness is a sponge, he learns from every shadow and peep. It’s quite enchanting and well worth all the puppy hassles. And he and Garfield touched noses this morning. No rubbing yet, but I think by Christmas.

      And I know that saying about a lesson learned, and don’t know what in the heck it means either. We ARE twins. xxoo

      • So long as Garfield doesn’t have to give up his new-found boss position and can see that Arly has benefits as a roly poly easy to lead astray little henchman I don’t think that there will be any problems (a cat needs someone to blame you know 😉 ). I can not only smell a chip but I am fantasising about one right now! I miss potatoes :(. One day someone is going to have to come clean about the meaning of that saying but till then we are going to have to be like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed cow dung! 😉

  4. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!!! Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap 🙂 The Farmlet has a puppy happy dance 🙂 How totally gorgeous – it’s like childbirth Christi, so worth it and soon forgotten as the days pass by. I have never known a Beagle personally but do admire their long silky looking ears and am pleased to read that this is so.

    The photo of the human Arly is wonderful too – what a treasure to have. To know that little fellow grew up to become a farmer and potash miner in Oklahoma – and eventually a grandpa too is a wonderful bit of personal history to have with you.

    I do hope Garfield and Arly become friends, I would love to get a friend for Orlando, but am so unsure if he would be up up for it that I do not nothing but pin photos on Pinterest and share links on facebook 🙂

    Congratulations on your new baby, I wish you all many happy years together – and I’m sure the goats will come round eventually, not too sure on the hens though…. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Pauline! He is entertaining and sweet and as I just wrote to Fran, he and Garfield touched noses this morning. All the farmlet fairies were laughing and kissing and making merry at the sight — perhaps even the sun broke through the clouds. It was a MOMENT.

      I’ve never had a beagle before, either, but they aren’t aggressive, are smart and affectionate, medium-sized, medium-length-hair dogs with velvet ears. They are territorial and will guard the perimeter like Ruby did….but track in a fraction of the dirt. 🙂 We were so lucky to find him! Hugs from Olalla.

  5. Steve here hes so cute xxx (Arly not the bo lol)

  6. Beagles….what a great choice! You know that my Daisy was a beagle! I just know Arly ( what a GREAT name) will be a wonderful addition to the Farmlet, as well as fast friends with Garfield! I love you all.

    • I had forgotten that Daisy was a beagle, Kathie, but her commemorative daisies in one of our gardens came up this last year. I’ve never owned a beagle before and think they are amazing companions and so clean! I swear the dirt just doesn’t stick to him. I love you, too.

  7. He’s a beautiful little dog Christi. Lovely photo sitting on BOs knee and on the bed. Garfield will let him know who’s the real boss around the place as he’s growing up 😀 Happy trails ahead xoxox

  8. Christine Widman

    Love the Bearded One’s drawing of the two cats on the gate.
    Made me nostalgic to hear CSNY’s Our House…”with two cats in the yard – life used to be so hard -now everything is easy ’cause of you.”
    So…hoping everything is easy for you two, the chickens, the goats & Garfield with sweet Arly on the Farmlet.
    The photo of “Grandpa Arly” is fabulous, by the way. He looks as if he would have grown up to be a fashion designer. Or a silent screen movie star.
    lol & xoxo’s,

    • La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, Our house, is a very very very fine house, with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy ’cause of you…

      Oh Christine, what a wonderful connection! That’s how it felt and I’ve loved listening to the song on YouTube whilst typing this. 🙂 Arly is downstairs sleeping with the B.O. watching TV…just like in the photo. This will probably be a common sight at Our House all winter and warms my heart to see. LOL about Grandpa Arly. The B.O.’s dad will enjoy that. Grandpa Arly was married to Grandma Ruby, by the way. 🙂 xxxooo

  9. Arly’s adorable. He looks like a bundle of fun.

  10. So excited to meet Arly one day soon!!! What a joy to have a new life at the Farmlet…he is so adorable….ahhhhhhh, we dog lovers love him. OH, and I bet one day we’ll see a picture of Garfield and Arly sleeping peacefully together.

    • New life, yes! It’s lovely and chaotic and creative and exhausting and fun. It’s been a week today, and Garfield and Arly touch noses several times a day now! We oooohhh and ahhhh every time. 🙂

  11. How exciting! I’m glad you found such a sweet pup. He looks like a darling. I love the puppy days nearly as much as I love the baby days. Nearly. lol But the teen bit is shorter with pups, so that gives them an edge. 😉

    It always takes a while for everyone to accept the new ‘kid’, but I bet they’ll come around.

    Loved the drawings and photos, too.

    May you all enjoy many happy years on the Farmlet . . .

    • Arly is 9 weeks old, so multiply that by 7 (human years to dog years, right?) and that equals 63 weeks, so just over a year old and he is right on schedule with the intense teething. Chewing and biting. It’ll be over soon, though! The beauty of the dog calendar. Thanks for the good wishes, and you’re right, Garfield AND the goats are getting used to him. 🙂 xxxooo

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