1. FarmWife was approached by the potential puppy-giver (FarmHusband) several weeks in advance of the holiday. The subject was broached, FarmWife got her clapping and squealing out of the way, and a decision was made by all of the grownups in the household in concert. There would be a Christmas puppy.
2. Several breeds were considered. Each grownup expressed his or her preferences on the matter, and certain rules were established: Must be small (FH). No dachshunds (FH). No beagles (FW). No terriers (FW).
3. Internet searches were made to learn of the adoption procedures at various local shelters and rescue groups. Applications and Statements of Interest were filed where necessary. With thousands of lovely dogs sitting in local shelters and foster homes, there was no reason not to adopt.
4. Dogs were met, and shelter representatives were told about our household (active, rural, big). Must like MulesGoatsChickensChildrenMenDogsVisitorsRabbitsWomenCatsCarRidesLongWalksOnTheBeach etcetera.
5. A dog was selected who suited the preferences of all of the adults in the household and who would likely enjoy the children, to whom they were being presented as a gift. Humane Society staff were informed of the dog's intended role as Gift, and they agreed that it would be acceptable (and that the dog could go back into foster care if it turned out that she did not enjoy the children). FarmWife met the dog in advance of FarmHusband's bringing her home, and they got on swimmingly.
6. The Gift was presented by FarmHusband to his wife and children on an evening when nothing special was planned, when no trips were coming up, and when FW would be home for most of the ensuing days to look after training matters.
7. Joy filled the household, and FarmHusband's esteem grew in the eyes of his wife and children. All was good.