Tale Waggers - Puppy Love


You’ve seen it…
children running, eyes glazed,
toward a litter squealing
Adults are far more dignified -
we approach slowly,
chanting "puppies, puppies, puppies"
softly under our breath.

They’re enchanting. Small furry morsels with the most delicious "puppy breath". Fat bellies make them wobble as they turn to examine this "tail thing" that always seems to be following them no matter how often they bite it. Even squatting, they are painfully endearing. Why no one has ever written a sonnet about puppies is beyond me. Maybe it is because superlatives are not enough to describe a puppy. They are unconditional love wrapped in a luscious fur coat. They are soft new paws and yawns and tiny barks that sound like tin horns. And, for mere money, you can have one for your own.

There are women who swoop down on strollers and baby carriages, cooing and smiling. I go limp at the sight of a waddling pup. Like children, they are sometimes best when not your own. The enjoyment is not marred by the inevitable training battles to come. Their thimble sized bladders are not spilling on your carpet. They can be cuddled and fussed over and returned, leaving only a blissful memory of their sweetness behind (instead of stains on the carpeting). But, the awful truth about puppies is that, despite their huge appeal, the best is really yet to come. Once you’ve had adult dogs for company, the tiny squatters can seem a bit dull.

I’m waiting anxiously for Emma, our youngest, to reach that magical three year birthday. When Cockers are three, you can breathe a sign of relief. They’re solid citizens by three, full members of the family and mostly trustworthy. Basic training is behind you (or should be). Surprises are usually pleasant. If you’ve done your job as a parent, they’ve been around the block a few times and can take most anything in stride. You know them pretty well. They know you even better. The best kept secret in the world of dogparenting is this golden time.

Knowing all this, we actually planned not to get another puppy. We were going straight for a grownup, fully functional dog. Tristan had died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving a huge hole in our lives. It was even harder for Arthur, his dogfriend. Arthur had never been an only dog. He was deaf and old. He relied on Tristan to guard the house and clue him in to various goings on. Arthur needed another dog in the pack. We went to the specialty show to meet breeders who might have an older dog - a failed show prospect perhaps or a retired stud or brood bitch ready for a cozy home life. Six hours later we were driving home with a four pound bit of fluff with a bladder the size of a pea. She was a mere seven and a half weeks old. Even the buddy system didn’t work. We took a friend along. He’s the pup’s godfather now…

What can I say? Puppy Love twisted around our brains and squeezed. Puppy Love is a boa constrictor and we were gasping for air. I vaguely remember writing a check and being handed a bag of puppy food, some papers and a small furry object… Once home, I remembered, almost instantly, the multitude of good reasons why I wanted older dog. Now I’m counting the days till the darling is three - only a year and a half to go. The activity gap between Emma and Arthur is still tremendous. We’d like to get Emma a friend…an older dog…at least two years old… really…but we’re afraid to try again until they come up with a vaccine for Puppy Love.


are you already a victim of "puppy love"?
this link may be your salvation...
Dog Training Basics
a willing victim?
read this before you make your choice...
The Poop on Puppies

Straight from dogmama - I wouldn't lie to you!

already fallen?
read A Pup in the House

strong-willed and big hearted?
consider adopting a slightly used dog from a shelter or breed rescue.
try Petfinder


Copyright 1997 - 2007 Elizabeth Cusulas
Tale Waggers - Stories for Dog People
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction without written permission is expressly forbidden