Of course, it is too soon. It is way too soon to replace my beloved dog, Magnus. But when you want a new dog they are not always available. So it is best to act immediately if you learn about a good one. And that is what happened.
Everyone knew how sad I was to lose Magnus. They wanted to make me happy. “I am happy,” I said. “Magnus was my most demanding dog. He had me running to let him in or out, to pet him or pick him up, to give him some of my coffee. He was just about the most demanding dog I have ever had. It is peaceful here without him, even though it is sad for me.”
But my son, Robert insisted that I must have some “happy stress” in my life. And it is true. Seeing that puppy wagging his little tail when he sees me melts my heart and dulls the ache of loss I was feeling for Magnus. It is important to think about meals for him and make sure he has a chance to go outside after eating or taking a nap. There is a certain amount of mental energy involved in the care of a puppy.
We all need hope. We need young things that grow up and flower. It could be an animal but it can also be a plant, a garden, a tree, or maybe even the lawn. Bird feeders bring multitudes of birds but also squirrels and chip monks. The latter are fun to watch, in spite of taking seed away from the birds. There is plenty for everyone.
Warm spring air engulfs me as I walk across the threshold of the French door leading to my terrace. The redbud trees are in full bloom, ditto the pair of pink crab apples on my driveway. Also, a tree of white apple blossoms, some of which are fluttering to the ground, stands above a small garden bright with spring bulbs, dying daffodils, Hyacinths, Lily-turf, lambs ears, and creeping phlox. There are a few lilies of the Valley and an occasional tulip. The color is marvelous and the air itself appears to reflect color as sunbeams illuminate the pollen floating all around. I sit down in a chair with my bare feet resting on the ground, mesmerized but content. It is lovely to let the sensations of spring cleanse my spirit.
And in the midst of this peace and I hear a little squeak of a puppy signaling he is confused. My newest addition to our family is Hercule Poirot, named after the hero of so many Agatha Christie mysteries. He is a dachshund puppy of a reddish-brown hue. The adorable little face is wrinkled and rolls of skin adorn his neck and his short stubby little legs. His back is smooth and his tail color bleeds from brown to black as it travels the length to the tip. He has bonded with me. The first evening when my son brought him home to me, I was confused by the feelings that crowded into my brain. Was I sad for my lost dog, buried in my garden, or was I elated with the sweet puppy before me, warm in my arms? Swirling emotions kept me off balance as I sat on the couch trying to reassure my female, dachshund, Sisi that I loved her best, in spite of the little puppy that was clearly NOT LEAVING. SIsi was skeptical. She has seen new dogs arrive and stay.
The best test is the first night (and subsequent nights too). So I brought Hercule into my bed and turned out the light. Sisi was under the covers near my feet. Dandy was in the right-hand corner of the bed at the foot. I sleep on the left side mostly. The puppy was in the crook of my arm close to my body and still as a mouse for the first 4 hours of the night, When I woke to the call of nature and returned to bed he burrowed down under the covers along my side and stayed there almost all night until the sunrise was near and the sky brightened. Then he came up from underneath, alongside my neck placing his head across my tender skin there. What bliss. He is so sweet and loving. He did NOT pee or poop in my bed. When we all woke up I took him outside immediately. He knew what to do, or at least he did it. What a little Prince. I am so pleased with my new little boy.
My daughter Lilla speaks fluent French. When I told her the puppy’s name was Hercule, she asked several times what it was. Then grasping the idea she repeated the name with a perfect accent. “You have named your dog a name you cannot pronounce?” She asked me. Well, yes, I guess that is technically true. I believe we will eventually call him Harry for short. But it has only been two days and two nights…
I almost reneged on the deal to buy the puppy but a friend wrote me about a relative who suffered the loss of a loved cat. She said the man’s children gave him three kittens, and within days they all had names. She wrote, “Get the puppy!”
And so I decided to go ahead. Oh! What a blessing. What a little winner he is. Thank goodness I went along with my son’s plan. This puppy is already injecting new life into me and my other dogs. Yes, it is a nuisance in some cases. Yes, I have to get up and let him out. Yes, he makes the occasional mistake. But the LOVE!!! The love he brings to me and all the other dogs in my house, even my son Roberts’ dog Uhtredd, is impossible to compute. Love has a way of compounding itself. What a wonderful phenomenon that is. If you are wondering, feeling too old, not wanting the hassle, or just scared to have a puppy, I have only one piece of advice; “Get the Puppy!”
Copyright©. 2023 Bonnie B. Matheson