The Puppy You Prescribed For My Broken Doggie Heart
You did this.
I’ve said that many times these last few days.
You, Dear Reader.
You, who took the time to reach out after my beloved Darla Dog passed.
You, who encouraged me to get another dog.
You, who told me to not wait too long.
You, who said the ache would ease.
You, who said it wouldn’t, but to take the dive anyway.
And so well, Saturday.
The day my daughter saw a crack of opportunity in my husband’s defenses.
Husband, who has appreciated the break from fur,
From from dog stink,
From another body taking up space in our smallish house.
For some reason she asked,
Saturday, he said it would be okay to go look.
That’s how we ended up at the Humane Society.
The same place I found Darla Dog 17 years ago.
“Puppies in that room, older dogs in that one,” the front desk lady directed us.
“Wait, where are you going?” I yelled after Daughter as she made a bee line for the puppy room. “I was thinking, ‘dog,’ not ‘puppy!’”
She was already out of earshot.
Catching up with her was like stepping into the shooting of a “love at first sight” movie scene.
“That’s her,” Daughter beamed, looking down at a speckled brown, white and black pup.
So many patterns on one little puppy.
As if the dog gods couldn’t decide what breed she was supposed to be so they stitched a bunch together into one dog.
Pup waddled over to Daughter’s hand and started dispensing kisses.
“You want to hold her?” the shelter tech came by and asked.
“Yes!” daughter replied before I could explain there would be no going back.
That there is no better sales technique.
That puppy wouldn’t sit in her lap.
It would snuggle into her heart.
And then mine,
When it was my turn.
A one-way road trip if ever there was one.
“Can I do this?” I asked
“Can I split my heart open again?”
“You can,” I heard you say.
I thanked you.
At 2:38 am,
Not so much.
Pup didn’t get memo that middle of the night is for quick potty training,
Not for playing,
Not for snuggling,
Not for crying like you’re being dismembered inside your crate.
“You did this,” I said not thinking not very nice things about you.
Three days later, Pup is rocking potty training.
She loves her crate.
The family clears out early and she and I have the day.
To laugh at her silly puppy-ness.
To look into those hazel brown eyes.
To swear she grew two inches between breakfast and lunch.
To say her name.
Because our hearts have melted.
I have a dog.
We have a dog.
I have fallen.
I am back in the world of dog.
Where I belong.
You did this.
I thank you from the bottom of my melted heart.
And if you enjoy this column about loving your dog, you might enjoy my book,