On puppies

In which the puppy arrives

Three days missed, but I’ve got an excuse, a reason even, because I got talked into getting a puppy. The last time we had a puppy, it was an Absolute Disaster there is no other way to describe it. A beagle, brought into our lives at the height of its tumult. Cancer, dementia, infertility, beagle. Anyone who knew anything about beagles–about cancer, dementia, infertility, puppies–looked at me with horror in their eyes, and they were right. I had no idea how to care for a dog, let alone a beagle, and it was an added stressor I really did not need.

But while we were living in Abu Dhabi, we grew used to having a dog in our lives. In response to the needs of my youngest boy–I’m serious when I say he didn’t just want, he needed a dog–we fostered a little white terrier that was waiting until it had its rabies jabs cleared before it could join its family in Australia, and then adopted a wonderful dog. She was about nine years old when she came to us, a corgi crossed with a german shepherd and about as far from a beagle as you could get while still being a dog. She was what dogs used to be, back in the days when getting a dog was as simple as waiting for your neighbour’s dog to have a litter and there was none of this putting yourself on waiting lists with breeders. She barked when anyone knocked at the door and they stood on the other side frightened until they opened the door and saw her. Short, tail-wagging…beautiful old thing.

We brought her back to Adelaide with us, but she got older as we all do and one Saturday the end of her life came much more quickly than any of us had been ready for, but it was the best way to die. One bad day, surrounded by people who love you.

It’s funny that having a puppy has made me notice the space where our beautiful dog used to be. It reminds me how it was to be greeted by her every time I came home, or got up in the morning in the way that only a dog can do. ‘Oh my god, you came back, I had no idea you would come back, this is the best moment of my life.’ And when I was lonely, the only adult in the house, she would sit, quietly, just being with me. I had never been a dog person before, but she turned me into one.

And now we’ve got this puppy and it is the sweetest, cutest thing on the planet. As much as sometimes I do regret the passing of time, I like the way this puppy reminds me that life is easier than it was all those years ago when that beagle came to stay. Because when I look at this puppy I’m not terrified.

7 thoughts on “On puppies”

    1. I really don’t know why my blog keeps sending your comments for approval. I apologise! I am really scared of dogs, and if I’d known it was a shepherd cross I probably would have been too scared to take her, but she had such a lovely nature and although I probably could never get a full-sized one because I’m still scared of dogs, I am most definitely a fan of the breed now.

      1. I learned to walk pulling myself up on the Shepherd’s tail. I teethed on his ears. He paid me back by draining my bottle. Perhaps your blog has identified me as a dubious character. It wouldn’t be alone.

  1. I am so glad you are popping up in my feed again! Even though I sometimes regret the responsibility of a dog, I do love the love and snuggles and sheer excitement of coming home. Looking forward to a few puppy posts!

    1. I am impressed you still have a feed! I have no idea how to even find blogs any more. And agreed re the dog, the responsibility is a bit Gah!, but it is pretty good to feel so loved

    1. I do remember when I got the beagle puppy, and your dog was lovely and mature and I felt like maybe one day that would be me. But it never was…I’m still kind of sad about that, because beagles seem to be so lovely.

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