Patch, the dog...
It was our second child that named the animal that resides with our family.
I remember the day I first saw Patch, a puff of hair surrounding a shih tzu puppy. Our neighbors and good friends had puppies on display at their house and I was the first to see this incredibly cute force of nature (if you've ever seen a shih tzu puppy, you know what I'm talking about...). The neighbors said a puppy was available and I came home and told my wife about the dog.
My wife is a cat person, and since we all know what that means, further clarification is not needed. The kids, however, would love a dog. Kids and dogs go together like kids and mud, or dads and Apple Computer products. I told my wife about the dog and before she went up to experience the first sight of this particular breed of puppy, I warned her. I think I'll remember what I said as long as we have this dog--maybe longer. I said, "You can't go see that dog unless you are prepared to have a dog in our house." I'm glad I said that because the cuteness factor proved to be too powerful for my wife to resist and we got the dog. That, and advise my wife received from her late mother-in-law, which was, "Sometimes you do things for your kids, even if you don't necessarily want to."
So this is Patch, everyone. Perhaps at a later date I will describe what it's like living with Patch, but for now, she's still pretty cute.