Friday, August 14, 2009

Puppy Love

Last night, I met my new nephew.

He's tiny, at just over three pounds. He felt so fragile in my arms that I worried about breaking him. He needs a lot of care right now, and my sister isn't getting much sleep, but one look into that precious little furry face and I was in love.

My new nephew is a canine. And even though I am more of a cat person, this new puppy has been all I can think about all morning.

Right before vacation, my sister and her family lost their 11-year-old dog, Daisy. It was a peaceful death; she had been having serious heart problems and was making them have long talks with the vet about euthanasia. Yet she ended up leaving this world the way so many of us want to: in her sleep. Her death, though peaceful, devastated them. In particular my nephew, an only child who grew up with Daisy. Unable to cope with a house made so empty, they decided to get another dog.

I will be honest: I didn't really approve of their choice at first. Not so much the new dog part, because we have always been people who need some kind of critter in the house. What I questioned was the choice in dogs. They chose to contact a breeder in our state and picked a dog that costs more than a monthly house payment. Never mind that the breed they chose is the only breed of dog I have ever considered making a house dog myself. Once I found out how much those puppies were, I was shocked and appalled and casted my vote for a shelter dog.

But all my misgivings went out the window once I met their furry bundle of joy. It's not a yippy, hyperactive toy breed, but it is a breed of dog that will stay fairly small. I've never met such a small puppy; most puppies I've had the pleasure of knowing were destined to grow into large dogs. When I held him, his fur was like spun silk against my chin. And when he licked my nose, I didn't mind at all. I could picture myself dog-sitting and taking him for walks. After he's been well and thoroughly house-trained and grown out of the furniture-chewing stage, of course.

Oh, no. He's going to make a dog person of me yet.

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