Our New Baby

It’s no secret that I love having a cuddly little baby to snuggle. This has resulted in me making two of my own little babies, and going attachment parenting all the way. But all good things must come to an end. Axa and Raj are by now far past the breastfeeding and cloth diapering stage. In fact, they are well into the insightful conversations around the dinner table stage, which is a delight in and of itself. However, I still need a little snuggly something to keep in my lap and shower in kisses and carry around with me.

And here she is:

Lyra portrait

I’ll pause here for a moment so you can swoon over her adorable face. And those ears! Yes, I think she is absolute perfection. She’s a Papillon, or Continental Toy Spaniel. Bred for hundreds of years as companions to royalty, they are sweet, intelligent little dogs who love pleasing people. The name comes from their butterfly ears. When she arrived, she had one up and one down, which was its own class of adorable.

one ear up

Her breeder said they would choose up or down sometime within the next few months. I can’t even decide if up or down or one of each would be cuter. We have all fallen under her spell. Axa can’t spend a moment apart from her.


I confess to wearing her just like I used to wear my babies. In Amsterdam, land of dogs, she can go just about anywhere, so this is how I take her to the grocery store. She spent a couple of days at work with me too.

Snuggle backpack

We’ve introduced her to our favourite cafes.


And we plan to take her pretty much everywhere with us. In fact, one of the reasons we chose a papillon is that she will never weigh more than say, 3 kg, so she’ll always be able to ride under the airplane seat when we take her on vacation with us. Her breeder is in Slovakia, so she had her first plane ride home from Vienna with us when she was ten weeks old. She has her own passport (yes, my dog is more European than I am).


When we’re just about town, she rides in a basket on the front of my bicycle.


She has her own bed, but there’s plenty of snuggling that goes on in my bed too.


Her name, Lyra, comes from the spunky female protagonist of Philip Pullman’s novel Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the U.S.):

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tony and I watched the movie that is based on this book, and he asked me to check it out for him. So of course I ended up reading it myself too. This did turn out to be one of those cases where the book was better than the movie, mostly because the plots were very similar, and the movie was visually stunning. Nicole Kidman was lusciously villainous, and Pullman’s alternate-reality-London was gorgeous.

My favorite part of the book/movie was the premise of people’s souls (called “dæmons” in the book) walking around outside their bodies in the shape of animals. Sort of like a cross between a best friend, a smart pet, and just a really good justification for talking to yourself. All in all, this was a fun book, but nowhere near as profound as it was trying to be.

She does tend to follow me about like a little shadow. When I’m not around, she makes do snuggling my shoe.


I couldn’t be more in love with her, and I’m so happy our little snuggle princess is part of our family.

cuddle princess

Welcome to the Familia family and to Amsterdam, Lyra!

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