A day for the history books.

Sunday, January 12, 2014 was a day for the history books.

A day we dreamed about. A day that, even in our elaborate dream-worlds, never seemed like it could be so perfect. One in which a man straight out of the moving pictures triumphantly delivered a little hairy bundle of joy with the fervor and drama of Rafiki from the Lion King. It was like that, only it totally happened! Rafiki (aka Greg) proudly stood before a crowd of entranced onlookers and shouted the name of our tiny prince, which we promptly corrected:

‘Scue me! — That’s Hans Hugo Hensel-Leto.

This ceremony of sorts was courtesy of the lovely folks at Rescue Road Trips, a pet transportation service that sends newly adopted orphans to their forever homes from Deep South Kill Shelters all the way up to New England. Greg is the “Grand Poobah” of the operation. His enthusiasm and heart of gold know no bounds, just hounds. Do you like what we did there?

RRT works directly with a handful of shelters, which was how we learned about them in the first place. Mutts4Rescue, an organization that finds foster and forever homes for dogs, featured an ad for little Hans on Petfinder. It was – how do you say? ah yes – love at first sight.

Anyone in our circle knows how long we’ve been looking. Spencer’s friends probably got sick of the five new dogs he would show them every week, only to find they were taken, temperamental, or just plain too big. AJ was barraged with suggestions, concerns and assurances that having a dog is hard work. Together, we agreed that the right one would come along. One that would be worth the headaches and stair climbs and poop scoops, and could possibly even match our formidable beard growth.

Did we find it? You tell us:


He’s quite a guy! Early observations: he’s bright, perhaps too much for his own good. He may have a slight Napoleon-complex, or perhaps just a healthy fear of puppies (he and Paige’s Gypsy had a bit of a rough patch, but we think they’re better now). As far as people go, he’s eager to please. He loves dancing on his hind legs and is perfectly aware of the humans he can break with such adorable displays of showmanship. He’s a 14 pounder (Spencer’s target weight) but his personality is a healthy 400. He loves TV, so much so that he kind of ruins it for the rest of us (he’s a stander). He enjoys long walks with handsome men and peeing on street corners that don’t smell like him. Thanks to an enthusiastic instructional demonstration by Spencer in heavy rain, Hans was able to learn how to make doodies outdoors (Don’t worry, Spencer was only “acting”).2014-01-13 10.19.28

So that was the main event, not only for Sunday, but probably for the rest of forever, seeing as Hans intends to outlive all humankind. There were a few other highlights:

We saw a movie! Spike Jonze’s Her, to be exact. It was wonderful, we both highly recommend it. It’s sweet, soulful, intimate, honest, and it’s got Spike’s signature adult-friendly whimsy that makes every one of his movies a marvel to look at. Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely letter writer and Scarlett Johansson as a hyper-intelligent, emotionally supportive OS gave us one of the most unique love stories of our time. It’s fitting that it should be viewed in the same canon as his collaborator Michel Gondry’s 2004 masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It’s every bit as thoughtful and visionary.

We were about two hours early to meet our someone special, so we went for a bite to eat at Someplace Special in Putnam, CT. We weren’t totally excited and anxious and distracted dreaming of our loveable guy. Well, we were at least 95% all of the above. However, our stomachs didn’t take a back seat, at all. We enjoyed a tasty dinner of

  • Chicken Pesto Flat Bread – Grilled and topped with pesto, grilled chicken, tomato, mozzarella & shredded parmesan cheese. 9.00
  • Steak Wrap – Lean shaved steak, sauteed mushrooms, onions and American cheese served on garlic herbed tortilla. 9.50
  • Mushroom & Spinach Wrap – Grilled mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella cheese, served with sour cream on a garlic herbed tortilla. 9.50

Someplace Special lives up to its name. It’s a restaurant that lives up to the restaurants of years ago. With its no-nonsense menu that has an option for most any palate and its beautiful space. It’s surely a regular supper club for locals. The prices are more than reasonable and the food quality was great. I’d return there, for sure!

For six months, we traveled to rescue leagues, kennels and animal societies looking for THE canine cock-of-the-walk. A lovable little guy who would be our properly poised, suitably suave and simply-silly-enough companion for life.

But it was in the least likely of places, tangled among the e-commerce and pornography of the Internets. We found the cutest, most highly-rated longest-tongued tramp in Texas.

Our surrogate child.

Movies. Dinner. Adoption. A trifecta of Joy! We put together into one day three of the things that we love most.


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