I’ve always been a dog person. We were raised with dogs and a variety of cats in our growing up years. They were members of the family, but we weren’t crazy about them. They just were. This was before the Pet Craze when the world spins around our furry babies.
As an adult, I’ve had several dogs. A crazy Cocker Spaniel that truly was a “dog of little brain”. Someone broke into my backyard and stole him. I’m sure they questioned their judgement after the fact. I had a couple of cats who were the height of indifference, as only cats can be. My husband bought me a black lab when I was 8 months pregnant. That sweet little girl had no chance. We were busy with a new baby and she was. . .a lab, which meant that she was active and chewed everything in sight, including an entire fish pond and pump. We soon found her a home with a lovely farm family so she could run and chew to her heart’s content.
Joe brought home a little puppy that some girls were giving away on a corner. She was a fluffy bundle of Corgi and Dachshund. An interesting mix—short legs, long body and fur for days. BJ was part of my girls’ growing up years. She was a sweetie until you let her outside. Then she was a holy terror, chasing the cat all over the yard and running down and biting my nephew. But she was our dog and lived to the ripe old age of 15, outliving the cat who died at 14. Something about our house that encouraged longevity in animals.
And then there was Max. I’ve talked about our little boy in a previous blog. Max the Wonder Dog, the pug who owned us. He was an amazing, smart, manipulative and interesting little guy. He feared all other animals because he truly did not know that he was a dog. But, put some chocolate chip cookies in the oven, and he would sit on guard and bark before the timer went off to tell us they were ready. If you said “walk”, he was at the door, dancing around until you could get his leash on him. He was Joe’s best friend as they hung out together all those nights when I traveled. His death last year just about put us under. It broke our hearts. And now, more than a year later, we still don’t have a dog. Joe’s still not sure that he can take falling in love with another animal with a shorter life span than him.
My girls were raised around animals and, somehow, they did not get the memo about having one pet or two pets at a time. They each are running their own personal animal havens. Darcy rescues boxers and has at least 6 dogs and a couple of cats on their acreage in the country. Sunny has determined that there are never too many animals in a house. She had three rescue dogs and three cats. Emphasis on the had.
Her boyfriend’s dog, who still lives on his parent’s farm, was quite the little neighborhood flirt and ended up pregnant. She is a lab/pit mix and the baby daddy was a Great Pyrenees. Soon she popped out 10 beautiful little black and white balls of fur.
Ah, the joys and magic of Facebook. She posted these little darlings on FB and within a week had given away nine. Within a week! But, I knew as soon as I saw the little girl who was the runt of the litter that she wasn’t going anywhere. She had the sweetest face and there was no way Sunny was giving her away. So, a fourth little four-legged baby, Rosie the Rebel, has come to live at her house. We can’t keep her because she will get too big for our apartment size rules. But I can be a puppy GiGi!
Sunny’s bringing her up to the office because she’s too little at this point to be with the big dogs or to be crated all day. Sunny works with Joe and his office is next door to our InSight Books office, so I get to see this little girl each day. As I write this, I’m puppy sitting because Joe has clients in and out all day today. She just melts my heart. Our UPS driver laughs at me because when he pulls up every afternoon, there I am outside in the grass with Rosie while she does her business. I’m teaching her how to walk on a leash and letting her come into my office and chew stuff.
Puppies are the best anti-depressant known to man. Now, Sunny and Justin are tired and cranky because she’s waking them up during the night—welcome to parenthood. But, she just has to walk in to our office and everyone smiles. My sister plops down on the floor to play with her. Strangers who are walking down the hall in our office building, stop and come in and smile. Everywhere she goes, smiles follow her. What is it about puppies that bring out that instinct in us? Is it the protective nature to care for the young? Is it the innocence and trust of these little hearts who know no fear or hurt? Is it the belief that all creatures great and small are vital to our wellbeing in the world?
I don’t know. But I think we should grab a basket of puppies and take them where they will do some good. To those people who disagree with each other in voices that can be heard but not understood. To the angry people on both sides of issues. To the divided country who cannot find a single vision or goal to agree on. You need some puppies. Everyone needs to take a breath, take a moment, take a step back and let a puppy cuddle up in your arms and give you kisses. The world looks a little brighter, a little softer, a little gentler. And then we need to sit down and roll a ball together for the puppy to chase. And say “good girl” when she sits and take turns giving her treats. There’s no room in the air for harsh words when a puppy is around. Puppies can bridge those gaps that seem too far and too wide. Rosie the Rebel can lead the puppy parade to world peace.
We all need some puppies.
Glenda Stansbury is Marketing Director of InSight Books and Co-Founder of InSight Institute Certified Celebrant Program. She is also a speaker, a trainer, and an observer of life, and one of Doug Manning’s adorable and talented daughters. You may email Glenda at OrdersAndInfo@InSightBooks.com.