Skip to main content

And They Call It Puppy Love

"Good fences make good neighbors" wrote Robert Frost.  Well, what do you do if you don't have a fence, and all the bushes on the perimeter have died because of the salt water?  And what do you do if your bad next door neighbor happens to have children who are heroin addicts and are either dealing or buying from their house?

You get a puppy.  One that will grow up to be a B-I-G dog.

I didn't start out with the intention of getting a watchdog.  I just wanted a dog...any dog.  A few years ago, Wingman and I decided that it was finally time to get another one since it had been over a decade since our last dog died at the ripe old age of 14 1/2. He had cataracts and hip displacement, and it took a lot of effort to get him outside to do his business towards the end.  Most times, as I carried him outside, he was peeing which meant changing whatever I was wearing.  Wingman was the one who took him to be put down, and it was very hard on him.  He vowed that he would never do that again, but I convinced him that our empty nest needed a dog.

Anyway, it was the year that son #1's Korean fiance was staying with us while she studied English.  She was terribly homesick, and we thought that it would be the perfect time to get one for all of us.  Unfortunately, the SPCA though otherwise, and turned us down for adoption.  Their reason: the dog would have separation anxiety when she went back to Korea.  So I waited until the following summer and applied myself through a rescue site., I don't have a fenced in yard.  No, I do not stay home all day-I have to work.  No, I do not currently have another pet for company for the rescue.  Three strikes-DENIED AGAIN.  I found myself thinking it was a good thing I gave birth naturally or I may never have had kids.

In hindsight, it was probably a good thing that we didn't get another dog at that time.  With Wingman dying, the house flooding and me losing my job, it would have been a struggle all the way around for both son #3 and I and the dog.  Last Thursday, as he raked the yard and I watched two carloads of people sitting in front of the bad neighbor's house waiting for God-knows-what, I raised the idea again of giving him a puppy for Christmas and he was all for it. On Friday night, as two cops removed a girl in handcuffs from the house next door, I knew we weren't going to wait any longer.

I know people will be all over me for buying a puppy, but really guys, we tried to adopt.  I took bags of towels to the SPCA at 11:30 one day and tried to see the puppies, but they wouldn't let me in before wasn't convenient for them.  I searched rescue agencies who were all heavy in pitbull mixes.  It just wasn't the pet we wanted.  In the end, we found Bill in Lancaster who had a litter of German Shepherds just eight weeks old, and we drove out to see them on Tuesday.

Bill brought us two males.  One had a 'tude-he got up and walked away from us and around the barn like he owned the place.  The other one was shaking and didn't want to leave whoever was holding him.  Son #3 chose that one, saying he needed my son just like the little Christmas tree needed Charlie Brown.  He named him Dexter after his favorite TV serial killer.  Such a great name for the dog that will eventually protect us and the house.

Dexter is already 17 pounds and now rules the lower level. His cage is as big as a small condo.  He has chicken feet and pig's ears, and all the right toys all over the floor.  His food is organic-a far cry from the cheap cans of Alpo and dry food we fed our last dog. He's nipping at everything and everyone and I've already laid down the law that the first teethmarks in the new furniture will find him gumming his food the rest of his life.

But he has us smiling and talking to him in voices two octaves higher than we talk to each other.  And for the first time in a very long time, there's someone there who is really glad to see us when we come home. 

The bad neighbor may not be so happy in the future.


Popular posts from this blog

I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt

Wingman use to call me many things. Obstinate. Overcritical. Certainly bitchy. I even recall on our wedding day that he called me "beautiful". But that was a one-time happening, and I don't recall him ever crooning Eric Clapton"s "You Look Wonderful Tonight" after that. So it comes as no surprise that he never called me "sexy".

And I get it.  When I went to school in NYC, a couple of my friends were stopped by Eileen Ford and asked to come to her agency to model.  They were cute, and one was even, in an exotic way, sexy even back then.  But not me. I was and always will be, fine with how I look.

There were some things over the years that got me when I stopped dying my hair and grew it out to donate for a wig.  As part of a lecture that I did on The Avon Walk For Breast Cancer, I had my beautician come in and cut my waist-long hair short. The following Sunday at church, I was a Eucharistic Minister, which at a Catholic Mass is a re…

'Cause Baby You're A Firework. Come On Show Them What You're Worth

Five years ago today, I stood in a hospital room strewn with used syringes, rubber gloves and other medical waste, looking at the lifeless body of the man that I shared a life with for over 30 years. I should have been thinking of family, love and loss.  Instead, my first thought was, "Wow, I'm a widow now." Pretty pathetic in retrospect, and when Wingman referred to me just before I left him as "The Bitch", probably not too far off the mark.

But in time-warped speed just a half hour before that, I had already talked to the hospital twice, woken son #3 up to go over to the hospital with me, called Wingman's brother on the way, fought with a gimpy legged night watchman who wouldn't let us in the hospital, and finally took "that meeting" in a small private room where the doctor told my son and I that they did everything possible, but unfortunately (UNFORTUNATELY???) Wingman had passed. My brain was filled with what to do, who to call, …

But She Use To Have A Carefree Mind Of Her Own, With A Devilish Look In Her Eye

The first time I went out with Wingman, he remarked about how much I reminded him of his mother.  When we finally met, I just didn't see it: she was a tall, chain-smoking blonde, with a Lauren Bacall-esque voice, while I considered myself just an average size brunette with no distinguishable qualities.

She and I began our own relationship with stories about our lives, and she won every round of "Can You Top This". At 10 years old, she helped deliver her brother when her mother went into labor at home. Later, her alcoholic mother walked out on the family and was never seen or heard from again, so she dropped out of school to help. At 19, she and her husband eloped, and thought no one knew.  A photographer however, took a picture of them outside City Hall which became the cover of the afternoon edition of the NY World Telegram. (Oops.) A couple of years later, her very pregnant self drove her father and his equally pregnant girlfriend to City Hall in Newark to MAKE them get…