Lost in Suburbia: The dog days of fall
When our dog Riley passed away last June, I couldn’t imagine the day when I would even think about getting a new dog. I was so completely heartbroken at the loss of my best friend that I could do nothing but grieve. Everything I did, everywhere I went in the house reminded me of the dog. From the back door where he would greet me with his tail wagging his whole body to the crunchy spot on the family room rug that was his go-to place to throw up … the whole house was full of Riley.
But time, as they say, has a way of healing all wounds, and when the first leaves of autumn began to fall, thoughts of puppies suddenly and surprisingly began to fill my head.
The kids were completely on board.
The husband? Not so much.
“Do you remember how much work a new puppy is?” he asked.
“No, actually, I don’t,” I admitted. “It’s been 11 years since we had a puppy and 15 years since we had a baby. And honestly, I don’t even remember what I had for breakfast two hours ago.”
He shook his head.
“You have to get up in the middle of the night and take them out and they pee all over the house for months and they chew up all the furniture, cabinets and basically everything except the rubber chew toys they are supposed to chew on.”
Since I had already made up my mind, there was little my husband could say to talk me out of it short of convincing me that the puppy would chew up the only existing manuscript of my new book (*note to self: make copy of manuscript of new book).
“I’m sure this will be an easy puppy who will sleep well and immediately get housetrained and only chew up a sock or two,” I argued. Clearly I had two feet firmly planted in the sea of denial.
The problem was, once I had the inkling I might want a puppy, I had Googled puppies and been hypnotized by pages upon pages of cute puppy pictures. It was like Crack for the puppy–obsessed. If I had any reservations about the timing, they were immediately rendered null and void by hundreds of photos of extreme puppy cuteness. I drank the puppy Kool-Aid and I was sold.
Eventually I wore my husband down and began researching breeds and breeders, adoptions, and rescues.
Then one day, I ran into someone walking an English golden retriever and I fell in love. She gave me the name of her breeder and I made the call.
“I found our puppy,” I announced to my husband that night, “And I know that it was meant to be.”
“Oh really?” he wondered. “How’s that?”
“Well they just had a litter and the puppies will be ready to come home in October which is perfect for us,”
“Is that it?” he wondered.
“No. It turns out her local newspaper carries my column and she is very familiar with it,” I said.
“So she’s a fan?” he asked.
“Not exactly,” I mumbled. “She actually uses my column as wee-wee pads for the puppies.”
“That’s OK, honey,” said my husband. “So will we.”
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