Life with a new puppy is really a lot like life with a new baby. I’m not altogether certain I was completely aware of that fact before we got the puppy. Having said that, however, I can tell you that I’m really pleased with how it’s all working out so far.
Tuffy—named by my husband, and short for “tough guy”—really is a bit of a tough guy, lately. He’s become very protective of his family. If there is a sound he doesn’t recognize, or if he is startled, he sets to growling, and sometimes even barking. Not only that, he gets all puffed up (his fur actually stands on end) and he places himself between us and whatever monsters may be about to break down the door.
This little, not quite three-pound creature of mostly fluffy fur truly has the heart of a lion.
He’s also very adaptable, and he likes his routine. This is a blessing for me, because the one thing I was worried about was that being home with the little guy every day while my beloved headed off to work would infringe on my writing time.
So far, that’s not happening. Yes, I know. I crossed my fingers and knocked on wood as I wrote that.
Tuffy gets up for the first time at 4:15 a.m. when the alarm goes off. He is happily scooped from his play pen on wheels that is in our bedroom over night—no mere ‘crate’ for this little guy—and he lays on the sofa with my husband until 4:45 a.m. Then it’s time for breakfast and a bit of a play while his daddy gets ready for work. Sometimes, if my daughter doesn’t have any clients first thing in the morning after dropping off her dad, she’ll bring one or more of her puppies with her when she comes to pick him up. So that gives the tough guy a few minutes of romping play with one or two of his buddies, as well.
While all this is happening, I am completely oblivious, because I am still in bed, asleep. Then when my beloved leaves for work, he puts Tuffy back into his playpen. The little guy settles right down and goes back to sleep. Rarely does he wake me before I get up, which is around 8:15.
We greet the day together in lazy fashion, play, and generally wake up. But that’s fine, because after two hours, tops, he’s dropping off to sleep again. I move his play pen out of the bedroom, into the living room, and he settles down, in his safe place, with his chew bars and squeaky toys and his little house. He sleeps on that house as often as he sleeps in it.
I made it clear to my beloved, when we got this new family member, that I would be happy to baby sit for him while he was at work. Yes, I stressed those two words, baby sit. Because we had been in agreement for the last several years that once our old puppy left us, there would be no more dogs as we’ve had somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 in our lives together.
In truth, it was David who was the most adamant about this, and I, over time, matched his intensity of dedication to this dictum.
However, neither of us had taken into consideration how much he had invested, emotionally, in that old dog. Nor were either of us prepared for the loneliness that he would experience once his beloved Rochie dog passed on.
So it really didn’t take much arm twisting for my daughter to “talk me into” getting this puppy for her father. On the weekends, the two are inseparable. I refer to them as “Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy”. I love the puppy too, of course. But mostly, he’s his daddy’s dog.
My brother was quite surprised and not at all pleased when he found out about the new addition to the family. Pets have never been particularly important to him. He said, “Well, hell, I thought you were going to be done with animals. Now look what you’ve done! You’re stuck with a puppy!”
I just shrugged. And I told him the truth.
My husband is happy, really happy with his new best friend. In light of that reality, nothing else really matters.