Puddles

Puddles is the puppy that Sir Alistair brings home for Helen’s children in To Beguile a Beast. Puddles is described as a “brown and white spaniel with floppy ears and a speckled nose.” Sir Alistair bought him from a farmer for one shilling, which even in 1765 wasn’t very much.

Here’s the scene when the children first meet the puppy:

“A puppy!” Jamie cried and lunged for the poor creature. 

“Careful,” Sir Alistair said. “He hasn’t . . .”

But his warning came too late. Jamie lifted the dog and at the same time a thin stream of yellow liquid poured onto the floor. Jamie stood there, mouth open, holding the puppy in front of him.

“Ah . . .” Sir Alistair stared blankly, his magnificent chest still bared. Helen sympathized with the man. Half killed by cold the night before, not even dressed this morning, and already invaded by incontinent dogs and running children.

She cleared her throat. “I think—”

But she was interrupted by a giggle. A sweet, high, girlish giggle that she hadn’t heard since they’d left London. Helen turned.

Abigail was still standing by the doorway, both hands clapped over her mouth, giggles spilling forth from between her fingers. She lowered her hands. 

“He peed on you!” she crowed to her poor brother. “Peed and peed and peed! We ought to call him Puddles.”

NB: rest assured Puddles does get a better name by the end of the book!