Puppies

Don’t get me wrong, I love babies, too, but no-one my age is having them anymore.

Yesterday I met Piper, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Daisy, a Cocker Spaniel. Piper is nine weeks old, a whole week older than Daisy so they’ll probably be in different grades at school. Just kidding.

Our Zoe turned ten years old in January. We’ve had her since she was five weeks old. She’s very healthy and spry despite having no hips. Several of her older buddies are not doing so well.

Their time is not our time. If your child is given a giant breed dog at age ten, chances are it will be gone by the time she goes off to college. We don’t have children, that’s something we missed out on involuntarily. I do worry about getting a child a long-term commitment in terms of a pet. It’s a lot of work and joy and sadness in losing them in the end after deciding when their quality of life begins to slip away.

Puppies represent the cycle of life. I’m already looking into a pup five years from now when our Zoe is gone. She will never be replaced, nor will her predecessor Chani. Or my two cats, now gone. Puppies are darned cute, too.

I had great luck with my first dog Chani, at the shelter for a year and a threat to children and men. She spent her first year being abused by a deputy sheriff so was terrified of men in hats or any kind of uniform. When she was two, I broke her of her fear of being kicked in less than a month, and when she died at age 12, the day before she passed she carried a huge teddy bear and said farewell to everyone at the park, men, women and children.

All the neighbors got together and donated a tree to the city in her memory. For years I’ve only been able to see it on GoogleEarth but it’s growing and so are her young friends Jesse and James who’ve probably graduated from college by now.

Zoe was the first dog I’ve ever had as a pup. I wanted to try to create a “normal” dog for a change. Of course we paid $75 for her at the shelter, more on all her stuff, and even more to have her hips taken out at six and nine months of age because of severe dysplasia. She learned stairs, getting on sofa and bed and then couldn’t do any of those activities.

She is a sweet herder, obstinate and needy, smart and she must have gotten herself a hearing aid she can turn off when she doesn’t want to listen or perform a command like Come When Called Leave That Squirrel Alone. After 20 years working with animals she is the happiest critter I’ve ever met and we love her. Even though I have to lift  or “Otis” her to the bed every night.

Puppies. I may have one more in me, to raise. I’ve only gotten my four pets (total, over many years) from shelters but may look into Bernese Mountain Dogs (docile with lots of fur) or Portuguese Water Dogs (no shedding therefore no husband allergies). It would all depend upon when, and where we are living. I’ll let you know. If you’ve strange or silly stories please share….. Dee

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