This pup is OURS! *long post for dog lovers*

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kenly Kenly’s birthday was yesterday!  He turned 7.

When he was a puppy, a trainer told us to get another dog when he turns 7.  At 7, dogs start getting “older” and bringing a new puppy into the house keeps them young and sprite.  Then when the new puppy is around 7, the first puppy will be 14 and you know what happens then….and it will be time to get another puppy.

We thought that was a really interesting concept and have thought about getting another dog when Kenly is 7 ever since.  Randall and I have had a dog ever since we met (Randall came with a dog, lol) and when Anna was tiny, we had two dogs for a while.  We are definitely dog people.

We’ve fostered several dogs over the past two years, the last one being a couple weeks ago (Cricket).  Earlier this summer the girls were begging for a new dog and I told them I was NOT interested at this point.

When we had Cricket, the puppy bug hit me hard!

Sunday night, we were roasting marshmallows around the fire pit and for kicks, I pulled up the Saving Grace website.  I knew there was a lab mix litter coming… and what did I see?  A whole BUNCH OF black and black and white lab mix puppies!

I showed the girls and said to Randall, “Can we fill out an adoption form???” …he hesitated, then said, “I guess”.  lol

The girls and I sprang up and ran in the other room to fill it out.  The funny thing is that Anna was already asleep and didn’t know what we were doing.  She got up early and went to school and never knew about the puppies.  She was on the bus going home when she texted a screenshot of my Instagram post and in capital letters said:  “WHAT IS THIS?  TO KEEP OR FOSTER?”.

I waited until she got home to tell her and we jumped around the kitchen for about five minutes.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 8.34.44 AM We got an appointment to see the puppies – all THIRTEEN of them! – yesterday at 3.  In the meantime, we realized that yesterday was Kenly’s 7th birthday.  How weird is that?

We did some researching on puppy temperment and how to “test” the puppy to see if it’s what you are looking for.  We were looking for a neutral/active puppy.

One of the puppies kept lunging at our faces.  She was out.

Two of the puppies never came out of the dog house.  They were out.  (TOTALLY CUTE, but not right for our family).

So that narrowed it down to 10.  WHAT?  How do you pick!!???

A few of the puppies came over and said hi to us, but then weren’t interested after that.  They went to lie down or wander around.  A couple of them were really cute and cuddly and awesome, but when you cradled them in your arms, they were a bit “stiff” and clingy, if that makes sense.  Some of them had short legs.  Not that we have anything against short legs!  But we wanted a dog that had a more lab-like body.

Out of all those pups, there were two that really stood out from the rest.

Eli and Bryant.  They were cute, interested, loving the girls, loving Kenly, tolerant no matter how we held them and there were three times I looked at a pup like this:

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.00.13 PM and said, “OH EM GEEEE!  Who is THIS???  You are so CUTE!”.

It was Eli every time.

It was a unanimous Pooler 5 decision.  Eli comes home tomorrow.

Now…what to name him?  Any suggestions?



  • Jo September 16, 2015, 9:28 am

    Awww what a cutie!! Besides getting a new puppy for your house, you are helping by giving a home to an ‘orphan’… Exciting days ahead for your entire family…

    Not sure of the name, Stamper immediately came to mind :-) but you guys will figure it out..when you say it and it fits, nothing else sounds right…


  • Sylvana Collins September 16, 2015, 10:01 am

    He is beautiful!!!!! I think the name “Shadow” would fit him nicely! I love him! Enjoy him and take lots of pics.

  • Sandra Johnston September 16, 2015, 10:04 am

    Eli really stood out when I looked at the Saving Grace page. He really has the lab look and looks to be one of the larger pups in the litter. Personally, I sort of like the name Eli. He is a real cutie!!

  • PJ September 16, 2015, 10:15 am

    So glad you found the one that is perfect dog for your family! I was pulling for Bear, but Eli is so sweet looking. Great homework to find the best fit!!!

  • Traci Lord September 16, 2015, 10:39 am

    Omg Catherine, I’m so jealous! I love him! Congratulations! As for a name I do like Eli also but I know if you have an opportunity to pick one yourself it will be fun. Keep us posted. :0)

  • Kathlene September 16, 2015, 10:43 am

    Awww! Reminds me of when I went shopping one morning, never made it inside the store as in front of the doors, was a huge box with 19 black lab puppies. Short, hair, long, curly, straight, every type of fur. I chose a pure jet black female with a white mark on the front of her chest and because she came right to me, I named her Star. Brought her right home at 5 weeks and she never once had an indoor accident, she always went straight to the patio door. Which was so amazing as all the pups were kept out of doors .

  • Heather N September 16, 2015, 11:14 am

    Check out those paws! He’s going to be a big boy. :) And those eyes were just calling you to take him home. It looks like Eli picked you. That is the best way to get a new fur baby. Congratulations to the Pooler 5.2!

  • Kathy Dalgliesh September 16, 2015, 11:23 am

    LUCKY….lucky to be going to a loving home & lucky that He was chosen on Kenley’s 7th birthday ,,,Lucky “7”

  • Sonia September 16, 2015, 11:24 am

    Ohhhhhh he is soooo cute! Congrats to the Pooler family!

  • Lori Fodor September 16, 2015, 11:27 am

    I like the name they gave him. He looks like an Eli. So cute. I am jealous. I have a “thing” for labs. Sweet faces, loving and very loyal. Congrats.

  • Linda Gorman September 16, 2015, 11:28 am


  • Mary Nelson September 16, 2015, 11:35 am

    OMG!! I can’t handle the cuteness! What a face, adorable! I am really loving the name he came with, Eli. It really suits that sweet face!!!

  • Jenn September 16, 2015, 11:41 am

    What an adorable pup! One of our dogs is a lab mix and she is the best. So sweet! Kenley is a cutie too!

    My first thought was Inky, which might work for a puppy, but not so sure about an older dog. I think his given name of Eli works :)

  • Nancy Farrell September 16, 2015, 11:56 am

    Hi Poolers!!!
    I have a chocolate lab and just love him to death! We are dog people too.
    I’m very bad at name, so I’m going to go with the obvious . . . Midnight, Oreo, Magic (as in Black Magic), Onyx, Licorice, Shadow, Pepper, Tux (tuxedo), Inky. Our family goes with people names, after all our fur-babies are members of the family too.
    I just really wanted to say congratulations to you all. I’m so happy for you.

  • Sherry in MI September 16, 2015, 12:54 pm

    He looks like a “Winston” to me….or maybe a “Jasper”. At any rate, he’s adorable. Hope you have many wonderful years with your new family member!

  • Fran W September 16, 2015, 1:27 pm

    OMG he is sooooo cute! Look at the size of those feet!! Give him a big name, he’s gonna need it. I thought of “Inky” (as in black ink) but he deserves better than that. Whatever you name him, he’s gorgeous and will bring much joy to your household -bring on the doggie shennanigans!

  • Sandi September 16, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Love his given name. Strong good name looks like he can handle the whole family. Good luck. I am jealous too.

  • Janice B September 16, 2015, 5:06 pm

    I like his temporary name “Eli”, so I’m no help. But I think he’s so cute and was one of my favorites when you posted earlier in the week about the 13 lab puppies!

  • Lisa Barner September 16, 2015, 5:21 pm

    Congrats!!! I think he looks like a Kasper! Kensly and Kasper. Enjoy him!

  • Ann K September 16, 2015, 6:55 pm

    Name for puppy = SHADOW …. because he is bound to be Kenly’s shadow! What a cute pup!

  • Lynn Mott September 16, 2015, 7:00 pm

    What not name him POOLER?

  • glow:) September 16, 2015, 7:16 pm

    hey there catherine! that is so awesome.. that IS the dog i hoped you would get:) we love our big black lab we have… labs are so awesome awesome dogs and black labs are the best of all:) … haha.. i just find it rather neat that you liked the same puppy i wanted you to… have fun watching it go rolicking around the yard and loving it…; )

  • glow:) September 16, 2015, 7:21 pm

    o yes a name for the dahling :) frolicky…frolicker ricky….hobbs…. dixie… “away away! away down south in dixie”…cute lil song u know:)

  • LB September 16, 2015, 7:37 pm


  • Kathleen Mc September 16, 2015, 7:40 pm

    what a cutie!
    one of the best dog names I ever heard was ‘Taxi’.
    just imagine calling him!!!
    Kathleen Mc x

  • Sue September 16, 2015, 8:51 pm

    Cute puppy and I think If you are changing his name its so obvious it should just be INK! LOL He is black and most ink we use daily is black. Good luck

  • Shanda Souder September 16, 2015, 9:00 pm

    If by chance you are a fellow NC State fan, the name Finley from the Wolfpack’s home stadium came to me after seeing Kenly’s picture. Finn would be a cute nickname. I am sure you and the family will find the perfect name that fits this little cutie!!

  • pat September 16, 2015, 11:05 pm

    Well, Eli’s coming, girl you better hide your heart! I say keep it Eli and play that Three Dog Night song over and over, cause Eli’s gonna steal your heart!
    He was one of my favorites, too!

  • Martina September 17, 2015, 2:11 am

    How cute is he!?!?!?!? And how he looks!!!!
    Can´t imagine that our labby was so tiny only some months ago ;-).
    As I experienced that labbys really love to play the fool, the names that came to my mind are “rascal” oder “jester”.

  • susan mcfeggan September 17, 2015, 9:52 am

    Adorable and Congratulations……Why not keep the name Eli? It’s a cute name and looks like it fits him. Good luck with your new addition and can’t wait to hear what your name dicision is.

  • Jennifer Delauter-Hovermale September 17, 2015, 3:59 pm

    Congratulations Pooler family!! If you change his name, he might get confused and not answer when you call him. My daughter came up with the name “Shadow.” That sounds good to me, so you have 2 votes here for Shadow. Good Luck!!!

  • Hazel Parr September 17, 2015, 5:14 pm

    I was watching your scope the other day when you said you were getting one. I commented saying we had just got a labrador cross puppy to go with our other 3. We now have 2 full labradors, one 2 yr old labrador cross bloodhound and now an 11 week old labrador cross springer spaniel. Do you know what yours is crossed with? How old is he? Name wise I saw someone put shadow and immediately thought it suited him. Whatever he’s named I know he will be loved. Hugs from the UK, Hazel xx

  • Catherine September 17, 2015, 8:02 pm

    We love Labs! We don’t know what he is crossed with…the mom is a mix – looks like a lab with short legs, so maybe Basset? The puppies didn’t look like bassets, but who know!

  • Catherine September 17, 2015, 8:03 pm

    We need to figure out his name QUICK! He doesn’t know his name…yet…!!!! :)

  • Catherine September 17, 2015, 8:04 pm

    They say 40 – 45 lbs…we will see! :) Thank you!

  • Catherine September 17, 2015, 8:04 pm

    Bear is GORGEOUS! But you know, that silly dog didn’t come out of the dog house even ONE time! And we were there for an hour!

  • Connie Brooks September 17, 2015, 9:09 pm

    I really like his given name…Eli. But, if the family is choosing a new name…I vote for Stamper.

  • Sue September 18, 2015, 9:06 pm

    Congratulations on your new family member. His picture and your story of how he came to live with your family brought tears to my eyes. As a Greyhound foster Mom for 13 years, I understand the thrill of a cuddly puppy, well not so little, into your home. Since you fostered, you know what I mean. I had no desire to adopt the ‘fosters’, well, I could have, the first several, but my belief was if I adopted another, I had just adopted my 2 greyhounds, then I knew I couldn’t afford or have room for another one, so my answer to the desire for more, was fostering. So that turned into sometimes 3-4-5 greyhound fosters at a time. It was a labor of love finding the right family for these lives that I was responsible for. Over the years, probably close to 100 greyhounds have passed through my life, and the 2 of the 3 that I love now, were former fosters, considered ‘special needs’ at the time. Greyhounds will always hold my heart, but all dogs should have a family to love them. OK, off my soapbox, sorry about that. I’m not fostering now, but I still ‘preach the sermon’.

    Looking forward to hearing all about this new boy. He is a cutie! BTW, I LOVE black dogs, and black cats. 2 of my greyhounds are black and my 4 cats are black! Oh, and 1 white greyhound!! The colors were not chosen, it just happened.

  • Suzanne T September 20, 2015, 4:38 pm

    I have a question? How did you come up with the name Randall, and how did you know that was the name for him? When my daughter and I went to see about a dog and brought him home, we had NO idea what to name him for a week or so. Then one day I was standing in the kitchen by the sink, and I was looking down at him saying, “what am I going to call you, or what is your name?” He gave me a look to say, “my name is Sam” So, we named him Sam.

  • Catherine September 22, 2015, 12:12 am

    That is awesome!
    We are calling him Eli – for now- that’s the name he “came” with. We like it a lot, but we aren’t sure it’s “it”!!! It’s getting to the point where we need to decide on something else….or call him Eli! lol

  • Catherine September 22, 2015, 12:13 am

    Thank you for sharing your story!
    100 greyhounds!!!?? Incredible!

  • sonia peguero October 7, 2015, 11:06 am

    I like eli

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