Welcome home, Lynda Carter

By Billie Johnson

Back in January, I wrote a column called “The Important Things.” I ended by saying, “We’ve got clean underwear and a bit o’ quiet, and that is important and enough for now while I wonder what will bubble to the forefront of 2015’s other important things.”
When I wrote that, I was excited about the new year and what it might hold. I didn’t realize how important a youthful dog in the house was for me until my 3-year-old labradoodle died weeks later. A number of Idaho State Journal readers have approached me with condolences since I talked of Bob’s passing, so I feel compelled to share. We got a puppy!
On the first of February, instead of settling into the Super Bowl and 10,000 calories of pizza, Doritos and a courtesy carrot stick, my girlfriend and I grabbed some apples and Clif bars and drove to Boise. We found a breeder online who had one female puppy left from a Christmas litter. We wanted a male, so we didn’t jump right away, but I just kept thinking that with all of her litter mates having gone home weeks before, she must have been waiting for us. And she was.
I wore my favorite Ninja Turtle hoodie, and we arrived at the breeder’s home after they got out of church. Right as we met the puppy, a pre-teen girl walked into the living room and shouted, “I love your sweatshirt!” The whole family is fans of the Ninja Turtles, and the mom told us her nickname while growing up was “Turtle.” Needless to say, we are now Facebook friends and enjoy sharing our love of turtles and pups across the state.
As the Patriots squeaked by with the Super Bowl win against Seattle, we brought that 10-week-old goldendoodle puppy home. Her name is Lynda Carter. I’ve always wanted to name a pet after the actress who played Wonder Woman — 2015 was the year!
A goldendoodle is a crossbreed of a poodle and a golden retriever. Lynda Carter’s dad is a standard poodle, and her mom is a first generation goldendoodle, meaning her grandmother on her maternal side was a golden retriever and her grandfather was a poodle. Are you following her family tree here? In other words, Lynda Carter is 25 percent golden retriever and 75 percent standard poodle. She’s on her way to being 60 pounds of mischief and delight.
Because Lynda Carter is a puppy and in trouble most of the time, I use her full name most of the time. It’s a bit of a mouthful, and sometimes I feel silly walking her around Holt Arena with firm and curt shouts of “Lynda Carter, heel!” I imagine that’s how parents of Alexanders and Elizabeths feel.
It brings me joy when the secretary at the vet’s office says, “Hi. We are calling to confirm Lynda Carter’s appointment.” They use her full name, too. It’s so sweet how they cater to the crazy animal lover in me. They were the ones who watched me sob when Bob died, so I imagine my rekindled smile brings them a little joy, too.
Lynda Carter has required a lot of work. Training her and molding her into a solid companion and good canine citizen is important to me. It’s probably as important as clean underwear, and it’s proving to be more important than establishing the stillness and quiet I need to write.
Businesses and executives often use the phrase “shifting focus” when they assume new strategies or undertake new jobs, and my own focus has shifted greatly with Lynda Carter’s arrival. I continually think in prose, and I have hundreds of columns unwritten in my head that I hope to share one day, but the wonder pup is stealing every second of spare time right along with my shoes, socks and underwear. She chews and poos with no attention to my plans, and when I don’t meet her demands, she targets her puppy power toward the poor cat, Phil.
I’m sad to say that I’ll be writing a lot less in the near term, but so thrilled to say, welcome home, Lynda Carter.

Billie Johnson of Pocatello holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree from Idaho State University. She works as an engineer, is an avid community volunteer, and maintains a blog about her adventures in a cow suit at www.CowSuitSaturday.com.