Wednesday night: My brother laments to me yet again how much he would like to have a dog of his very own, even though we already have three. Yes, three. But then again, it is Christmas. So I text my mom - Let's get Mike a puppy! - who readily agrees. Then I text Mike's friend, who recently got a dachshund puppy, for the name of the breeder.
(Soapbox moment: generally, I'm not a fan of breeders. I'm all for shelter adoptions and rescue organizations. However, since all of our other small animals, and a couple of our large ones, are rescues in some form or another, I figured we'd saved up enough good karma to go through a breeder just this once.)
Mike's friend answers that Mike is planning to go check out the litter that very night, but they'll tell him there are no puppies left so he won't go. Half an hour later, Mike comes up the stairs, stating dejectedly, "All the puppies are gone." We respond with fake expressions of sympathy.
Thursday morning: Operation Christmas Canine Caper is a go. My mom has an appointment to see the litter of dachshunds at one o'clock.
Thursday, 2 pm: I'm at work when I get a text from my mom: Two left. Got both. They can play with each other :) I call to remind her that we already have three - three - dogs. We don't need five. Really, we do not need five. Not to mention that we now have to keep not one, but two puppies a secret until Christmas morning.
Thursday, 5 pm: We meet at the vet's, where both puppies, hereafter dubbed Things 1 and 2, are pronounced healthy. We head to a friend's house, hereafter dubbed Thing 1 Tender, who has agreed to hide one of the puppies for us. Thing 2 Tender joins us with his own dachshund, and we proceed to have a weenie-fest playdate with all three puppies. Mom and I stop at Kneaders on the way home for Christmas Eve-Eve dinner, secure in the knowledge that Things 1 and 2 are safely hidden for the night.
Christmas Eve morning: Thing 2 Tender has to run errands, but Mike is at work, so Thing 2 comes to our house for awhile. Thing 2 Tender tells us that he took the puppy to a Christmas party last night, where one of the party-goers took quite a shine to him. In fact, Thing 2 spent a good chunk of the evening sitting in the lady's lap. This might be a good home for Thing 2. My blood pressure drops considerably.
Christmas Eve, 6:30 pm: Thing 1 has spent the day being cuddled to within an inch of his life by Thing 1 Tender, but now Thing 1 Tender has a Christmas party, so Thing 1 has to come to our house. By now, Mike is home from work. Mom meets Thing 1 Tender in the parking lot of a candy shop down the street, then smuggles Thing 1 into the house while Mike is downstairs. Meanwhile, Thing 2 Tender calls to say that the lady from the party definitely wants to adopt Thing 2. Things 1 and 2 are reunited for exactly three minutes before we whisk Thing 2 back out to Thing 2 Tender.
Christmas Eve, 9 pm: My mom is sequestered in her room with Thing 1. I try to convince my brother to come with me to our cousins' house. He assures me he'll come shortly.
Christmas Eve, 9:30 pm: I'm playing Shanghai with my cousins when my mom texts me, asking if Mike is there. He's not.
Christmas Eve, 10:40 pm: Mike still hasn't appeared. I get another text, asking me to come home and take the puppy so my mom can leave her room to eat something. We spend the rest of the evening taking turns with Thing 1, who whines if left alone. Every potty trip is a stealth mission requiring two people: one to watch Thing 1 and one to watch out for Mike. All is calm and all is bright and Mike still has no idea.
Christmas Morning, 7 am: We set Thing 1 in a box outside Mike's door and knock. Except Thing 1 doesn't want to stay in the box. Mom has to sit there and keep Thing 1 in the box while I take pictures until Mike opens his door. Having spent the last two days in the company of women, Thing 1 is suddenly overcome with shyness. Mike has to coax him out of the box. He names his new puppy Captain Kirk. And in case anyone's wondering, Thing 2 went home with none other than former Utah Governor Olene Walker. Operation Christmas Canine Caper is a success on all fronts.
Although the Divine Miss Q may still need some convincing.