In February, the Austins welcomed three pug puppies to their extended family, and Decatur House residents immediately embraced them as their own.
The lone detractor was nine-year-old Woody, the patriarch, who has reigned over his domain, unchallenged, for years. When the puppies arrived, he didn’t even try to hide his disdain at their frolicking, tumbling and pouncing on one another like caffeinated kindergarteners.
When they ventured into his space, Woody —who bears a passing resemblance to Winston Churchill—grumbled his version of, “You kids get off my lawn!”
But within a couple of months, the puppies won Woody over, and his inner puppy began to emerge. Today, when he thinks nobody is watching, he actually participates in their playful antics. Woody and Maggie Mae, Steve and Linda’s puppy, have been spotted tumbling about on the floor like two exuberant lion cubs.
While Woody mostly strives to maintain his dignity – Maggie Mae, constantly begs to be picked up and cuddled. And unlike Andrew’s puppy, Aurora, Woody would never think of napping blissfully on Whitney’s lap or dozing alongside Helen. Furthermore, he wouldn’t be caught dead in Aurora’s pink unicorn costume!
Woody even cozies up to Evie, the tiniest of the three sisters, who makes her home with Sarah’s family. “We call her ‘Evie Bean’, because she’s so little,” said Sarah’s daughter, Bella. And while her potty training is not going swimmingly, little Evie’s actual swimming lessons have been a major success. “We all get in a circle in the (family) pool, and she swims to each of us,” Bella said “She’s like a torpedo!”
With cold weather on the horizon, Evie’s swimming days are numbered. She and her sisters will likely spend their days indoors, in search of snacks, laps and pats, while big brother Woody enjoys whatever me-time he can get (which he spends basically following Steve around the house.)