My Life Pets

Meet Our Puppy, Oscar Danger Balch

We adopted a puppy! (That deserves all the exclamation marks!!!!!)

Hello, Puppy.

He is supposedly a Bernese Mountain Dog mix — mixed with what, we don’t know. He’s a pretty chill dog for the most part and super snuggly with bouts of puppy playfulness. And bunny hops! Oh, the bunny hops.

Oscar Danger Balch!

I was in bed, unable to fall asleep, looking again at the recently listed dogs on Petfinder (something I had been doing a lot lately). He and his siblings had just been become available that day at a nearby clinic that works with the Humane Society and I immediately sent an email saying “I know it’s the middle of the night and nobody is there, but we’re interested in this dog and we’ll be there first thing in the morning!” The kids had the day off from school, so we were all able to drive over, fingers crossed that the pup was still available. He was! We spent some time getting to know him, then filled out an application and hoped we would be approved.

Adopting A Shelter Puppy Dog

Murray was such an awesome dog, and we were all heartbroken when he died last year. I would look at pups up for adoption and research breeds all the time right after we lost him, and I realized I didn’t want another dog yet, I just wanted Murray back. Any other dog would only be compared to him in every way to see how he did or didn’t measure up, and that’s not fair. I think I was the last in the family to come around to feeling ready for a new dog with their own distinct personality.

We started looking in earnest to add another dog to our family a couple of months ago, but we weren’t finding the the right fit. There was the dog I fell in love with online who was adopted the evening before we went to see her. There was the dog that seemed great until he kept seeking out Calvin specifically to tackle him. And then there were the dogs in shelters that don’t adopt to families with kids under 6, or to homes with a cat, or to homes that don’t already have another dog to “show him the ropes.” It was frustrating at times, even while understanding why they have the rules they do.

We had certain qualities in mind that we were looking for (and looking to avoid), and I was hoping that our patience would be rewarded. I’m convinced we hit the jackpot with Oscar! I’ve never had such a young puppy before, but Brandon has and we’re in a great position to take care of one with both of us being at home throughout the day. I will say that we are tired though! The little guy is only 8 weeks old, so we’re taking him out every two to three hours for bathroom breaks, including overnight. We also read a lot of articles from to understand how handle a puppy.

New Puppy

He was neutered on Monday, came home with us Wednesday, and goes back to the vet tomorrow, but he’s not getting his stitches out for another week after that. Luckily the e-collar does not seem to bother him (bonus: it exaggerates his cute puppy clumsiness as he wobbles his way around the house).

Oscar Danger Balch, Our New Puppy!

The name, you ask?

So yeah, I said no to Oscar Danger Balch as a child’s name. But as a dog’s name? It’s pretty perfect.

Puppy Love

We’re in love.

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  • Gwenythe b. Harvey
    March 24, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Good for everyone concerned especially Oscar! Congratulations are in order and may you all have lots of fun with the new addition to your Family.
    Nicole, I turn to your site often for inspiration for my circa 1877 Victorian. You are truly blessed with fantastic taste.
    Presently I am sanding down the front staircase to paint and install some Persian carpeting. I also thank you for the many links.
    Gwenythe on the Island of Vinalhaven, Maine

    • Making it Lovely
      March 26, 2018 at 9:25 am

      Thank you so much. A Victorian with a Persian runner on the stairs sounds like a perfect match! I’d love to see if you want to share pictures when you’ve finished!

  • Laraine Woodruff
    March 25, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Congratulations on your new little guy ! He’s adorable. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Your site inspires so much. Last summer I lost my sweet 11 yr old chihuahua and it took a long time to warm up to the idea of a new fur love. Finally the day after Christmas I found Gracie, my Chi-Poo at a local shelter and I too am in love again!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

      I’m sorry. It’s so hard when they go. So glad you found another pup to welcome into your life too!

  • Mary Kay
    March 25, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Congratulations on your new puppy!!!
    Right before I clicked on your blog this evening I was thinking to myself, “Maybe they got a new dog.”
    Voila, there he is!
    He is adorable.
    Sounds like he’ll be a wonderful addition to your family.
    I’m very happy for all of you.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 26, 2018 at 9:35 am

      How funny! Yes, the time felt right to add another pup to the family.

  • Peggi
    March 26, 2018 at 7:24 am

    On my goodness! He looks perfectly smooshable! Puppy love is the best! Congrats all around.

  • Kate Sawyer
    March 26, 2018 at 8:32 am

    He’s adorable! I bet the shelter was just guessing on his breed mix, though. He doesn’t have the size he would get from a Berner. Lots of breeds come in black-tricolor, including Aussies and beagles, both of which are probably a closer match to little Oscar. I’m not commenting this to be contentious, just to warn you that shelters pretty much assign breeds at random, loosely basing them off puppies’ most obvious physical feature–their coats–and they’re often very wrong. Try getting him gene tested! The results are fun, even if users have reported mixed accuracy.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 26, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Oh, I’m sure it’s a guess. An educated guess maybe, but still a guess! I’m considering doing the DNA testing both for fun and to keep in mind possible health problems to watch for.

      • Jackie
        March 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm

        I agree about the seemingly at random thing. When we adopted our pup the shelter had him labeled as a “German Shepherd mix”. I assumed they got the card wrong, because he didn’t look remotely like that other than having big, erect ears. We did the DNA test and he’s actually a American Staffordshire Terrier (pittie) / Australian Shepherd mix, which makes MUCH more sense. He’s all adorable though, as is your new little guy :)

    • A
      April 2, 2018 at 10:54 am

      This is true – my brothers family adopted a “collie” puppy & were concerned she seemed underweight no matter what they fed her. Months later they learned they were overfeeding their whippet LOL.

  • Jodi
    March 26, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Congrats! HE is super adorable. We have a 7 year old Bernese. They have the best personalities! On a side note, I was surprised he was neutered so young. Most advise a year old with the breed. Congrats to your family!! I love the name.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 26, 2018 at 9:29 am

      I know, it’s very young. The shelter spays and neuters each pet before even making them available for adoption, so we had no choice in the timing.

  • Emily
    March 26, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Sooo cute! Make sure he can still get to his mouth into his water dish with the cone on though! What do you think he’s a mix of?

    • Making it Lovely
      March 26, 2018 at 9:31 am

      No idea! He has all of the markings of a Bernese Mountain Dog everywhere except for the full face. I imagine he’s mixed with a smaller mutt, not a specific breed I can tell!

      And no worries on the water. He hasn’t had any trouble (though it is messy when he dips the whole front of it in there).

  • Sarah
    March 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Gah! So cute! I’m SUCH a sucker for puppies…especially wobbly ones with e-collars :) He’s about the size my dog was when we got her…although sounds much more chill than my girl (lucky you). I definitely remember getting up with her in the middle of the night. She’s 10 now and still a little crazy at times. Oh, and that name tho :) My oldest son’s name is Oscar, so clearly I’m a fan. Congratulations to all of you!

  • auntiepatch69
    March 26, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    OMG! THAT FACE! What a cutie!

  • Vanessa Bailey
    March 26, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Oh, you guys, how cute! I have to agree with Kate above, I had a male Berner who got to 130 pounds and he didn’t really look like your puppy at all. Although there was another one a few miles away and she was 65 lbs so that was a lot of variation right there. Anyway ,who cares? Puppy breath is the important thing.

    March 26, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    love your blog and your home becomes more stunning with each new reveal.-oh boy is this one of those puppies like the ones we always adopted in 60 years of dog friends that (should weigh about 30 lbs) usually topped out at one hundred plus! Just sayin…seems like a good sized hind paw on Oscar.

  • Ciara
    March 27, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Wow – Oscar is going to be one lucky dog!! We were in exact same boat as ye and it took me nearly a year to get a new dog. Like you we ended up with a very young (and small) puppy (not unlike Oscar) and then he grew and grew and grew … you get the idea. He is now referred to as the small horse but we still love him lots. Best of luck with the training, teething etc!!

  • Christina
    April 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    HE’S SO CUTE. Cute name too. Definitely agree that he’s part Berner, he has the exact paws and ears as ours (and you can see it in the look of his siblings you showed on IG too). And the good news about him being mixed is that mixed breeds live longer!

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