The Casten Kids Get a New Puppy

The Casten Kids Get a New Puppy
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It was a sad time when our dear Potter had to be put to sleep because he had T-cell lymphoma. Our entire family went along for that, including Potter’s sister, Ginny. We knew our 3-year-old dog wouldn’t make it, so before he left us, we contacted a vizsla breeder to see if a litter of puppies would soon be born.

The breeder told us they were expecting a litter in early February. They asked if we’d like to be on their list to secure a male. We decided to put down our deposit. Potter died shortly thereafter. 

All of our pets have a Harry Potter-related name because our family loves the books and movies. We’ve had Potter, we still have Ginny, and we have our bunny named Pixie. After careful thought, we decided the name of the new puppy would be Radcliffe (the surname of the actor who portrays Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe). 

On Feb. 12, we were notified that three male and four female pups were born. We were last in line for the males. This actually worked out well for us because we didn’t have to choose a puppy, we got the last one after others had made their choices. Because our puppy was born on Lincoln’s birthday, we decided that his middle name would be Lincoln. We waited eagerly for the day we could pick up Radcliffe Lincoln Casten in late March.

With pandemic lockdown measures in effect, it was the perfect time to get a puppy. We would all be home to help potty train him, and he would create strong bonds with everyone in the family. We take turns being on puppy duty, and Ella loves to do this.

When it’s Ella’s turn, I place her on the ground with her back against the wall, and she plays with Radcliffe on her lap. They love each other. Ella has all of his chew toys within arm’s reach, and calls his name often to help him recognize it. When she thinks it’s time for Radcliffe to go outside, she lets one of us know and we oblige. Radcliffe and Ella are forming a special bond.

Ella and Radcliffe. (Photo by Michael Casten)

Times are difficult with the onset of COVID-19, the shelter-in-place order, and remote learning. Fortunately, we have a major positive distraction to help the time go by more quickly. The kids are taking their responsibility with the puppy quite seriously and enjoying every moment with our new family member.

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Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.

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