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I’ve been keeping something (or rather someone) from you. Hints: he’s furry, loves long afternoon naps, and licks my fingers every time I sit next to him on the couch with my laptop and try to type.

Meet Teddy! 10 month old Beagle mix

Meet Teddy, the latest addition to our family!

This four-legged bundle of fur baby love came into our lives the night we arrived home from Thailand. Because, obviously, what you should do immediately after spending 2.5 weeks in a different hemisphere and enduring a 30-plus-hour-long travel day is adopt an animal.

In the words of my neighbor who spotted us walking our new pooch while in a jet-lagged stupor, “You two do like drinking from a fire hose.”

And what a cool drink of water this little guy is!

Teddy in the snow

As an animal lover who works from home, spends too much time at her computer, and has a habit of talking to herself aloud, I’ve long considered a dog. I reasoned I’d appreciate the extra company, talking to someone else instead of to my empty kitchen (even if that someone couldn’t talk back), and having a living, breathing reason to stand up from my desk and go for a walk.

Like a child who is caught reading under the covers after her bedtime, on more than one occasion Ben leaned across the bed to find me clutching the iPad secretively and taking online quizzes with names like “Dog Breed Selector” and “Which Breed Is Right for Me?” A few late nights and internet sessions later, I had our ideal breed selected, three breeders emailed, and was on the waiting list for our perfect purebred puppy.

Then we met Teddy.

Teddy-10 months old

I’m not sure what exactly prompted me to open a new internet tab and search “dog shelters, Milwaukee,” but before I knew it, I was pages deep into puppies, adult dogs, and even cats in need of loving homes. Many of the shelter websites included blurbs about the dogs’ personalities, and I loved the idea that I could get to know a little bit about my future pet before bringing him home.

But no, no, noooooooooo, we were getting a purebred puppy that we could mold from Day 1, that wouldn’t shed or chew on things it wasn’t supposed to, and that surely would receive a full ride to college. Plus, I’d already taken all of those dog breed quizzes online. No sense wasting the effort!

Then we saw that one of the shelters was having a meet and greet at a local Petco. Prospective owners could spend time with available dogs and learn more about the adoption process. We decided it “couldn’t hurt” to “see what was out there.” We stopped by the week before we departed for Thailand.

The meet and greet was purely for theoretical research purposes, of course.

No way would we be so ridiculous as to adopt a new pet five days before leaving the country…

Teddy (10 month old beagle) and Erin - Well Plated

Until we did.

We knew when we met Teddy (whose name at the time was T-Rex) that he was special. He was calm, cuddly, and had this super serious look to him that still makes me giggle. It’s as if a mini Ralph Waldo Emerson were looking up at me through his eyes, wanting to have an earnest discussion about the finer points of literature…while rolling over to beg for a belly rub.

We visited Teddy again two days later, and by the time he climbed up into my lap and started licking my face, we were sold.

The shelter made a special exception for us by holding Teddy while we were traveling (THANK YOU). As soon as we landed, we dumped our smelly backpacks in the middle of our kitchen floor and made an emergency run to Petco, where a cashier took pity on us and helped us shop our entire list. We headed from Petco directly to the foster home where Teddy was living, signed the dotted line, and just like that, we were responsible for a living, breathing animal.

It’s been two weeks, and I am in love with this pup. We named him Teddy because he is just that: a cuddly teddy bear. He’s 10 months old and, according to the shelter, a beagle mix of some kind. In terms of personality, “T-Rex” couldn’t be any further from his demeanor. I mean…

Teddy napping

Other than Teddy’s extreme distaste for the vacuum cleaner, he’d be more likely to lick an intruder to death than scare him away. He comes whenever he’s called, sleeps quietly at night, and lives for head scratches and belly rubs. Walking on a leash is still a bit of a challenge, but we are getting there.

Teddy’s favorite activities include napping, eating, being pet, learning new tricks, being pet some more, and assisting me with work.

Teddy "helping" with laptop work

Teddy has zero concept of personal space. He nuzzles my fingers when I type, follows me into the bathroom, and when I try to push him away, he gives me this:

Teddy Computer 2

How am I supposed to resist that look?

But, as Teddy will tell you, I’m not the pushover in the house.

Ben and Teddy

Welcome home, Teddy!

Woodland Christmas Stockings—santa, angel, deer

Happy holidays from all three of the Clarkes, especially our newest family member.

Christmas Beagle!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I am so happy that you adopted a rescue dog , you will never ever regret it. From the looks of Teddy , he loves you as much as you love him. Even tho he sounds like the perfect dog it’s  still not a bad idea to take him to  dog training classes.  Your new family member is adorable and Teddy is very lucky that you are giving him a loving home.

    1. Nan, I’m so happy we did too! We actually just starting training classes last night. He’s doing great so far, and I think it will be really valuable for us both. Thanks!

  2. I think it is wonderful that you rescued Teddy! We have 2 rescued Labs, and they are the best. I think most rescue dogs know that you saved them, and are so appreciative! One of my Labs will not eat his food until he has given me a “Thank You” lick! He has done that since the day we adopted him. Congratulations on your new family member…you won’t regret it!

    1. Brenda, your rescue dogs sound like absolutely sweethearts. Thanks so much for your kind words. We are so happy to have him!

  3. Ahhh I can’t wait to meet him! Is it cool with you if I just lay on the floor with a glass of wine and pet him for hours?? So excited for you!

  4. Those eyes!!! What a little cutie. We had a toy-miniature mix poodle (4# at her heaviest) for 15 years and it was like having another child – only no back talking or being a know-it-all. She was definitely my dog and was always at my side. I still miss her. She still has an ornament on our Christmas tree.

  5. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKK omg girl! This post is EVERYTHING!!!! TEDDY IS SOOOO CUTE!!!! I cannot wait to meet him one day (hopefully soon!) Congrats on your expanding family, and I absolutely love the pictures! SO stinkin cute!

  6. Erin, I am beyond excited for you guys! (I even texted my husband from work just now – “Erin from Well Plated just adopted a puppy.”) Rescues are the very best. They’re always so grateful. We’re on our 3rd girl rescue, after have lost our 15 year old rescue last year. They’re all wonderful and you will never regret your decision! Merry Christmas to you, Ben and Teddy from John, Sadie and me!

  7. My twin sis, her fiancé, my husband, and I are the lucky parents to three sweet cats (purr-babies, if you will). My sister and I had them before Matt and I found a place together, so they have several parents. ;) They truly make our lives so much richer, and they rescued us just as much as we to them! I’m really thankful you found the perfect new member to your family. Fur-babies are the best, and Teddy is adorable! Congratulations, Erin!

  8. OH MY GOSH. TEDDY IS SO INSANELY CUTE!!! That picture of him giving Ben a high five is TOO CUTE. Did I mention that this is all ridiculously cute?! ;) Hope your family has a wonderful Christmas, Erin!! <3

  9. Thank you so much for choosing to adopt! There are so many sweet, wonderful homeless dogs in shelters just waiting for a home. You rock!!!

    1. Molly, we met so many sweet dogs! I’m so glad we decided to look at a shelter. We never would have found Teddy otherwise.

  10. I was just grinning and woohooing and ooooing and awwwing  reading your post until I got to the photo of your mantle……I just burst into tears at that sweet photo. Teddy is one lucky little fellow to have found his forever home with you and Ben!  Merry Christmas to your newly expanded family from ours here in NC!  And put your good shoes up on a closet shelf! :) 

    1. Joanie, you are so kind, thank you!!! Wishing you a very very Merry Christmas too. (and so far, the shoes have been safe but YOU NEVER KNOW!)

  11. TEDDAYYYYYY. Omg I am so excited about this little guy. Alex and I are seriously considering a dog right now and this makes me want one even more!!!

    1. Sarah, DO IT. He’s definitely extra work, but it’s so fun, because he loves us right back. Let me know if you have any questions about how it’s been going so far. I’ll give you my honest opinions!

  12. Precious! Such great photos – I love the one of him high-fiving Ben. :) He looks like such a great pup! Congrats!

  13. I LOVE TEDDY! He is just so perfect. So happy for you! FFor some reason I needed this post today and it totally made my day. He’s a doll!

  14. AHHHHH!!!  WHAT A CUTIE!  Also, welcome to the world of parenting!  Where you get all the advice you never asked for and more.  That said . . . I’m so happy you didn’t go with a purebred!  Lol!  We had one years ago, and though she was THE GREATEST DOG OF ALL TIME, she had a lot of illnesses that were only because she was a purebred.  Next time around we will certainly get a mix.  And now I want the next time around to be tomorrow. ;)

    1. Come over and meet him soon!!!! (PS. Shelter in case you guys are in the market/want to make your lives a little more crazy is JR Pups N Stuff).

  15. Congratulations! Teddy is adorable. Kind of reminds me of our 2 yr old Aussie/Rott, only a smaller version. But he has the same issues as Teddy :-) Enjoy!

  16. While I’ve enjoyed many of your recipes and blog posts – as a fellow animal lover – nothing makes me happier than seeing a furry face get a loving home. Congrats and kudos to you for adopting Teddy and giving him the happy, loving home he deserves!

    And as a volunteer for a local animal shelter in the Chicago area, I’d just like to include on shameless plug for any of your readers in our area who might be interested in adopting a new pal. Visit:

    All the best to you and Teddy!

  17. Ah yes, the old “it couldn’t hurt to see what’s out there” which goes with ” let’s just see what’s on Petfinder!”

  18. Teddy is darling! We’re bringing home our new beagle mix puppy on Thursday, a Christmas surprise for our 8 year old daughter. We’ll enjoy following your adventures with Teddy as we start our own with our new puppy!

  19. This is so exciting!! Baron the Beagle can’t wait to become virtual friends with Teddy just like their mommies. Also, when Charlie got Baron, his name was Taz! 

  20. Hi Erin, oh, what a great story! So happy you were able to adopt Teddy! What an adorable little guy! We know you, Ben and Teddy will have a marvelous Christmas!  Love your Christmas stockings! We have “joint custody” of Richard’s adopted dog, Cosby (black labrador mix). Cosby lived with us full time while Richard was in school with Ben. Now that Richard is back in Minneapolis, Cosby stays with us during the week (going to work all day with my hubby, Carl) and spends the week-ends at Richard’s. We all send you best wishes for a fabulous Christmas! So glad you finally have an assistant! Does he get to taste test?

  21. Teddy is a cutie, all right.  I’m another one who is glad you chose to adopt a rescue dog.  They are not always easy (as my sister will tell you about Murphy, her chocolate lab), but they are definitely worth it.  If Teddy has beagle in him, I will warn you to be very careful about having  coffee and/or chocolate any place where he can sniff it out and reach it.  My sister had a beagle who dug through a box of stuff to get at a container of chocolate-covered coffee beans – while she was gone, of course.  He required an emergency visit to the vet, and ended up being okay, but dogs and caffeine just don’t mix, and nosy, piggy beagles can get themselves into serious trouble in you aren’t careful.  I’m sure that Teddy will continue to be a wonderful member of your family.  Thank you for introducing him to us.

  22. Congratulations! I am so happy you adopted Teddy! I foster for Fetch, another local Wisconsin Rescue out of Madison and NOTHING is better than matching these precious animals with their forever families!! This makes my heart full! Thank you for sharing!!!

  23. As a furry foster mom that has fostered many dogs over the years, I thank you for adopting instead of shopping. You won’t regret it! Teddy looks like a real sweetheart!

  24. Oh my gosh, Teddy is beyond adorable! I’m so glad you’ve decided to give him a home. I wasn’t *really* serious about adopting a dog when I decided to take a peek at…and before I knew it, I was bringing home an un-housetrained puppy two weeks before the end of my first year in graduate school (because finals aren’t stressful enough without cleaning up messes everywhere!). It was pretty hectic but totally worth it. Happy holidays to you and yours :)

  25. Thank you for the heart warming story! Pretty pictures! Since it’s cold where you live, please get him a little sweater or jacket for the winter months.

  26. I have to ask, did you get Teddy through JR’s?? I looked at a puppy named T-Rex because I was trying to convince my husband that we needed 2 beagle mixes!! Our dog is a JR’s pup. :) While the beagle nose can be very distracting (walks are still difficult sometimes when there are bunnies around!) Rosco is a such a sweetheart. Wouldn’t trade him for anything. Congrats!

  27. So sweet! We have two pups, and I was never a dog person beforehand, but I will always have a fur-babe by my side. Also, “The meet and greet was purely for theoretical research purposes, of course.”, is pretttty much how we ended up getting a friend for our first dog. We were just looking, but that backfired, in the best way. Congrats!

  28. So happy you decided to adopt! I volunteer with the Elmbrook Humane Society in Brookfield, Wisconsin (near you!) and I’m always urging people to stop in and meet the dogs, rather than buying purebreds. We got our furbaby from Elmbrook over 7 years ago :)

  29. How funny! I also unexpectedly adopted my beagle mix named Teddy from a Petco adoption day! He is a beagle/basset and was around 7 months old when I adopted him, but he’s almost 11 now. Your Teddy looks just as sweet and serious as mine and I’m so happy you adopted!

    1. Lisa, I’m just now seeing this for some reason—WHAT a funny coincidence! It sounds like our Teddys would get along famously :)

  30. Teddy is a lucky puppy especially since you are home alot. Thanks for sharing your family stories. I always like to read your blogs and make many of your recipes. Merry Christmas to you and the boys.

  31. Teddy is adorable! Thank you so much for adopting him! You might want to consider creating Teddy his own Instagram account for us to follow his antics! Congratulations to all 3 of you! Have a happy new year.

    1. Hi Candy! Thanks so much. He is such a great dog and we are so happy to have him. If you’d like to see more pictures of Teddy, I occasionally post them to my personal Instagram account @erindeeclarke. Feel free to follow along there.

  32. He is gorgeous. I’m so glad you decided to adopt. And trust me, he will talk! For my dog (a dachshund/lab mix), it’s all in her eyebrow movement, haha. :)