It’s 8 am, January 19th. It’s 36°, and I’m sitting on the patio drinking my coffee. I’m perfectly content-it’s not raining. I’m watching the girls play. I’m a dog lover since my first memories of a black poodle friend named Pepper and an English bulldog name Bubbles. I grew up with outside dogs, and I found true dog love when we got our Golden retreiver, Holly. She was my best friend during my worst possible time-high school. My dad would lament, “You cannot sleep with that dog!” But I did. We snuggled in my twin bed, and I slept in weird contortions around her. I made sure she was comfortable. An odd, unlikable professor once proclaimed during a boring history lesson that “no one will love you, be as loyal, as your dog.” The only thing I remember from college classes. Our Gigi died this fall. It left a hole in our family. She was my girl, and she would have been fine to be the only dog. By accident, we stumbled upon a litter of Goldens, and Dave fell in love. Soon we had 3 dogs. After Gigi died, one would have thought the 2 big girls would have been enough. Ellie, our baby, craved the company of another dog. Libby is a loner and would only play occasionally. Our breeder posted they were expecting in October. Molly, Dave and I started texting each other. “Please?” “Do we dare?” “We are crazy!” “It would make Ellie so happy!” So of course we did. The four of us could not agree upon a name. Harper, Peyton, Emma, etc. Molly and I finally teamed up on Harper. “Harper is not a name,” Dave protested. “Hello?! Harper Lee-the author of my favorite book To Kill a Mockingbird. We debated for 3 hours on the way to pick up the baby. I finally threw out Scout Finch. I had my book on my mind. Scout was the nickname of Jean Louise Finch the book’s narrator. Surprisingly we agreed. Miss Scout Finch is as precious as I imagined- all Goldens are. And just as I expected, Ellie has taken to her new best friend. They play and cuddle, and Scout watches her and learns. Dave comes up and puts her in bed with me and she snuggles around my neck. I’m in love. I doubt we’ll ever have just one dog again. They love and need us, but they love each other as well.