Sunday, February 7, 2010

Puppy Love

Who'd a thunk it? Me with a new puppy!! My sisters and I were raised to believe that dogs are unclean and that if you must have one, it stays outside forever and ever, Amen. If a dog ever touched a dish from my mama's kitchen, the dish could never come back into the house. My sisters recovered before I did, (Hi, Mom! Love you) and Dave and Deb always seem to have some fancy new puppy in their home, but then I've got Jim who said before we were married that we'd never have an indoor dog. Add all this to the fact that when I've spent the night with pet owners, I've gone home with runny eyes and stopped up sinus. A dog for me? Not likely.....

But as my 62nd birthday approached, I thought more and more about a puppy for companionship. I knew I wanted a small, fluffy one, and when I researched the most hypo-allergenic dogs, I was surprised that Shih Tzu made nearly every list, that despite all that hair, there's minimal shedding if they're kept groomed and brushed regularly and have very little dander. Okay, Shih Tzu was at the top of my list, too. Now to broach the subject to Jim; I knew he'd ask, as he always does, "What do you want for your birthday?" This year, I actually had an answer.

He said, "No," matter of factly, and tried to change the subject. He's generous to a fault with me, but this dog thing could really be the sticking point. I pressed onward, undaunted, and laid out my carefully prepared case. (Girls, don't act as if you don't do this.) He ended by saying, "Let me think about it a few days." I didn't care how many days he thought on it, I already knew I was getting a dog.

On Friday, he asked, "Now where are you planning to get this dog?" Ta-daaah!! We got out the Democrat-Gazette and looked under pets. Betty Williams had 10-week old Shih Tzu puppies for sale right here in our town, about 5 minutes drive away. I liked her when we talked on the phone. I didn't get "puppy mill" from her situation, just an older lady who raises a few litters of registered puppies in her home to make extra money. On the drive over, Jim delivered the speech you give to a 7-year-old who has begged you into buying a puppy, "Now, this is your dog. You will feed it and take care of it; I'm not having anything to do with it." Yeah, right.

Betty's small, neat home was alive with yelping dogs! Eight puppies from 2 litters in an enclosure in the living room and 4 or 5 adults in another room. I went in thinking I wanted a female, but you know how you're drawn to some more than others, and I was smitten with this little male I later named Marley (after Bob Marley, not the movie).

We're working on paper training.......with occasional successes. Jim's resolve not to be involved melted within the first hour. He sneaks him extra food and water, making house breaking even harder, and since Marley has become my little shadow, he's a tad jealous, but he loves the wild romps on the floor with Jim and hops around like a little bunny on speed; he also plays alone with his toys beside my computer chair, and when he's tired, he snuggles in for a nap under my foot rest. The only time he barks is in the kitchen; that's because of the monster. I'm not sure if the monster is in one of the potted plants or if the monster is a potted plant, but it must be watched closely.

That very first evening, while I was cooking supper, Marley clambered into the lower shelf of my napkin cart and snuggled in, on top of the clean, ironed napkins. He looked so cute and pleased with himself, I couldn't say no, just removed the napkins and put a towel in their place. Now he has claimed the second shelf, so I've taken out those napkins as well. Maybe it's his doggie bunk bed. He didn't even cry the first night he was away from his brothers and sisters, just snuggled into his crate and slept the whole night. So, it looks as if this is the beginning a beautiful relationship. I will likely post more Marley photos as he trains us in the Art of Puppy Maintenance.


  1. That is the cutest little face I have seen in a long time. Congrats on your new baby. Him beez a sweetie-pie
    Ann Roberts

  2. I had to rub my eyes to believe what you wrote. YOU GOT A PUPPY!!!
    I am so happy for you and Jim. This little guy, Mareley, will open up a world of joy for the both of you (even if he is your dog). Waiting for more pictures of him. He is as cute as ever.
    LYMT.....puppy breath

  3. Marley is so cute Cat, I'm sure you'll all have many happy years together :)