A Surprise Puppy!

Meet Aslan,
our newest farm baby!

{He's sleeping in my lap as I write.}

Aslan joins our Ten 10 Farm family with a great story. And I never saw it coming. You see, a puppy wasn't on my radar. I went from zero animals to 50 during our first year on the farm. {And have endured the loss of many.} Surely I was off the hook for a mess making puppy in the house!

But one week before Christmas, I was part of a secret mission with my neighbor: picking up a surprise puppy for her boys. When she asked if I'd make the drive with her {10 hours round trip}, I said yes in an instant. I should've known right then that something was up. Because who leaves her family during final exams and right before Christmas? And so last minute?

We both knew it was crazy timing. But everything in me said GO! And by the way, my love language is quality time. So 10 hours in a car with a good friend who loves to talk? Heavenly.

But here's what I didn't expect: that in picking up her puppy, I'd meet ours!

I wasn't in the market for a puppy. And while my neighbor thinks Shelties are the best dogs on the planet, I'd never given them a second thought. I always thought they were kind of prissy. Pretty to look at, but not the working dog type. But what did I know? Turns out, the official name of this breed is Shetland Sheepdog. And guess who wants sheep?!?!

So while we were there picking up her puppy, I started asking the breeder about our puppy. He was bigger than all the rest: perfect for a working dog. He was mellower than the rest: perfect for our family. I honestly would've come home with him that very day had he been old enough.

I came home and told my husband I thought I had met the puppy who was meant to be our future sheep herder. He said go for it. {Ever the adventurous, dreaming, spontaneous one!} Then my practical planner side kicked in: too much work, too much mess, too much money, too spontaneous,  too crazy, too uncharacteristic of me.

And that's when it hit me: this whole move has been all of that. I'm way out of my element here, yet this is where I'm learning to really live. {Hence the name of our farm: Ten 10 Farm.}

We think he looks like a little lion. So we named him Aslan.
{From The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.}

And I haven't even told you the best part of the story: the way we surprised the girls. I planned a last-minute trip to the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. We left the farm the morning after Christmas and enjoyed a fancy dinner and an evening Candlelight Tour. The girls thought it was amazing and kept telling us how thankful they were for this unexpected trip.

But it was all a ruse. A cover up for a surprise visit to a Sheltie breeder in East Tennessee. As impressive as the Biltmore was, it didn't compare to the moment when we told the girls this puppy was ours. PURE JOY! {I could watch this a hundred times!}

My girls never imagined I'd go for an indoor puppy. So you can imagine their shock when they learned this little guy was my idea! I'm telling you, if God can change the one who prided herself on never changing, He can change anyone! {Oh, me of little faith!}

Aslan was made for our farm! Like everyone else, he'll have a job one day, but for now, he's just a little lump of love. And even when he becomes a working dog, he'll spend plenty of time inside as a family compaion. He's the only farm animal with an inside sleeping spot. {For those who feel sorry for Buddy and Bella, they continue to prove that the barn and pasture is where they belong. They've protected our chickens and ducks against every kind of nighttime predator...including a huge coyote on Christmas. They took him down! We are so proud of them and are in awe of the way they instinctively do what God made them to do!}

Buddy and Bella are my first puppy loves, but just as you grow a whole new heart for your second child, I have a whole new heart space for Aslan. And the biggest shock to those who knew my orderly, tightly controlled, highly predictable ways in Houston: I'm embracing the mess! And not just the puppy mess, but the mess of life. The farm has been a great teacher!

Here's to a God who makes all things new!


  1. Just perfect! Happy New Year. xo

  2. sweet Asland!! How fun! luv ya lins

  3. Oh this video is precious! What a lifetime memory your girls have now with this surprise puppy! It's a great way to share more of God's creation with them, too! What an amazing adventure an inside dog is...so much fun and so many life lessons too!! And that puppy face is adorable! Have fun :)

  4. What a special surprise for the girls! When I was younger, my parents surprised us with an Old English Sheepdog and it still remains one of my happiest memories. Enjoy your new puppy!

  5. precious. enjoy your new puppy and the new year!

  6. Congratulations! He is just darling!!! There is nothing like a puppy for children to fall in love with - I cried watching your video. We brought our golden retriever puppy home almost 2 years ago and we love her more each day. Having a dog has changed me in so many ways and I look forward to hearing about your adventures with him. Enjoy every minute and remember to take lots of pictures because they really grow up too fast! Cheers to the new year!

  7. How precious to see and hear the excitement in your girls! Thanks for sharing that with us. I so love the transformations in your heart, my sweet friend.

  8. I loved the video of your girls! It brought tears of joy to my eyes seeing their reaction. Super precious and lovely that you caught it on tape! Aslan is adorable and going to be loved!

  9. Linsey,

    the decision to open your heart and home to a sheltie will be one you will never forget. When my husband and I were first married - broke and attending college - we rented a house across the street from a lady that had the most beautiful sheltie that would follow her everywhere she went. I was always impressed by this dog's temperament and loyalty. Fast forward many years (and several dogs) later and we have Chance - our Sheltie rescue - a sweet, gentle boy that has been with us now for 9 years. We all love him to pieces, but he seems to have latched on to me the most. He still has the vigor of a puppy, loves to "talk" and fits into our busy household marvelously. Have fun making memories with your new addition - ones your family will never forget!

  10. He is beautiful! The video is precious! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your new puppy! Happy New Year!

  11. i'm so tickled!!!
    love your spontaneous side my friend...and i can't wait to meet aslan!

  12. Thank you for sharing the video. It made me have a lump in my throat. I have felt your pain through the words your write, I also feel you joy and this was awesome to see your girls be so happy.

    Happy New Year
    ~ Lisa from Indiana ~

  13. Adorable. Good for you and welcome home Aslan!

  14. I watched the video and cried like a baby.
    Your girls are precious…oh goodness..that moment was priceless.
    What sweethearts they are….and what grateful hearts they have….

    LOVE this.

  15. ps. my kids think i'm weird for crying.
    i mean…they thought i was weird before this, but i guess i just keep confirming my weirdness to them!!!

  16. I am beaming with joy for you all. Happy New Year! xoxo

  17. I with tara, crying like crazy. sweetest thing ever. i love your girls. and... i wanted to call you when i opened your card and never found a great moment! linsey! it's a true work of art. just beautiful. i appreciated every detail so many times over - thank you! merry christmas, my friend! happy 2014!! we must find a way to get back to franklin this year!! xoxo, tess

  18. Happy New Year! Congratulations on Aslan - what a regal looking pup!! I'm looking forward to updates on him and the rest of the gang in 2014. Wishing you all a happy and healthy year ahead.
    Warm greetings,

  19. Congratulations on the newest addition to your family. Aslan is gorgeous. We have had 2 shelties and they are sweet-natured loyal companions. I have recently discovered your blog, it is lovely btw. Happy New Year from across the pond.

  20. We have had a large 40 lb sheltie for ten yrs and she is the most amazing dog. Nightly she makes her rounds from from to room to check on her "sheep". Weekly she has her route to visit the neighbors. Although they bond with their family, they are strongly bonded to only one. Which will probably be you (female alpha). It is a remarkable feeling


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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