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Thoughts on Existence - An Appreciation: Article One "The Puppy"

Updated on September 6, 2013

The Decision

I fought against it for the last few years; the yearning of an unwed, childless, thirty year old woman for – a puppy.

I already had an angel on earth for a dog whose name, ironically, was Puppy. Much of my reservations stemmed from not wanting to disrupt his life in anyway. He was too good and gentle of a being to harm, but that little thumping in my chest arose anytime I intentionally walked into a pet shop not to buy a dog or surfed the internet for adoptable puppies hoping not to find any that I could rescue. The worst sting came from anyone in my family or anyone one of my friends getting a new dog. They already had families! A puppy was my thing.

Well, Puppy Senior and I had a nice, long talk about the situation. After a few knowing glances and a couple scratches behind the ears, I felt that he was on board. His assurance that he “just wanted me to be happy” was all I needed so we shared a snack and called it a day.

Little to my surprise, there happened to be a tiny lady available for me to take home immediately the following day. I convinced myself that female Bichons were difficult to come by and that this opportunity may not present itself again…for at least a few days. Lulu and I were on our way home.

A note about Bichon Frises: They are truly the only hypo-allergenic dogs that I’ve come across. My family has a wide array of allergenic and asthmatic afflictions, and these little white curly mops have never given any one of us trouble. On top of that, they are wonderful with children and are darn near human if there ever was such a thing as a human dog or a dog human. You know what I mean.

With Lulu, her human characteristics have surfaced pretty quickly, but let me back up a step to the ride home…

The Ride Home

In my infinite wisdom, I did not have any vessel prepared with which to carry her safely. This had to be purchased on the spot, and was not cheap. It would have cost considerably less had it not been pink, but I felt that to be an essential quality in a carrier especially for a “Lulu”. Despite the lovely hue of the carrier, Lulu did not care for it. As a matter of fact, it could have been a mini-mansion inside that carrier and she would have still cried out as if she were being murdered. We did not even make it all the way home. A scream break had to be taken at my aunt’s house nearby.

Here Lulu was introduced to some of the family. In doing so, she turned from a snuggly bundle that wanted only to be loved and coddled to a pint-size adventurer who wanted to climb under anything possible and chew on a buffet of items not intended for consumption. I was not discouraged, anything but. My new baby was lively and healthy. My aunt even commented on how much energy she had. This was a good thing, right?

Soothe-saying, singing, gentle pleading to be quiet did not help the second leg of our trip home. We finally made it, and I hoped that the baby would be just as exhausted as I. Again, no preparation was made at home for her arrival. Puppy was slightly unimpressed with the tiny specimen of his own race and stayed as far away as possible. I and my new bundle spent the rest of the evening in the kitchen. I tried putting her in the kennel that all expert articles told me dogs really love. By 2:00 a.m., I decided that the people writing those articles were out to get me. Why on earth would they all agree on something that was clearly false? The carrier was going out the window in a moment.

I thought if I cried, perhaps she would have mercy on me and let me sleep for a few hours. That only irritated her. She shamed me for being weak by tilting her head with a puzzled look on her face. It was obvious that she wanted the lights back on and wanted to play. Play in puppy terms, if you aren’t aware, is basically a sacrificial offering of your fingers and toes. If you happen to find yourself in my position, be sure to stock up on band-aids.

The Reconsideration

As dawn broke I had given up the thought of sleeping for the rest of my life. I was hunched over cleaning up another voluminous “accident” that somehow erupted from this small creature. The bloody stumps that used to be fingers were stung by the noxious liquids contained in a bright, smiling, pet-friendly cleaner bottle. That, too, was going out the window in a moment. I was beginning to think that I might have bitten off more than I could chew, if you forgive the pun.

Just then, I look over my shoulder to find that maddening snowball curled up in my bed. I seriously considered passing out on the floor so as not to disturb the monster but I decided to try out my alpha dog authority and get in bed. I managed to contort myself in ways I didn’t think were possible to squeeze around her. I had initial success, but then she lifted her head. I thought I was doomed. Shockingly, she only looked up at me with lazy, beady eyes and let me get comfortable. She adjusted herself to fit right in the crook of my arm, gave a yawn of intangible contentment, and was fast asleep.

For the next fifteen minutes, I thought that this may be what life is all about. A life was in my hands, or more likely, my life was in hers. I took a step toward something greater and more important, faced the challenges that came with it, and was now accepting the rewards of my companion. For those fifteen minutes I prepared for a nice, long rest with my new charge.

But then…she woke up…and I went downstairs to make coffee.

© 2013 Molly McPhillips

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