Monday, November 17, 2008

I Heart... Puppies!

Today has been a mess... plumbing issues, problems with the internet.  Oh, and it is Monday.  Knowing that some of you may be in the same boat, I decided that we all need a little lift today.  So, I have a gift for you:  puppies!  Read on... there are even more smiles at the end.

I love dogs, but you may already know that.  However, I used to be very afraid of dogs.  One of my childhood friends had a German Shepherd who terrified me.  And I didn't grow up with dogs.  But when my parents divorced, my mother told my sister that we could get a dog.  I was not happy.  I didn't want a dog in the house.  I really had no use for them.  But my sister, an ardent animal lover, won.  I think my mom was totally on her side.  So, one day we drove out to a house outside of town and picked up our first puppy.

And I fell madly in love.  Abby was a little blonde cocker spaniel.  She was sweet, playful, and lots of fun. She cried all night that first night she was at our house, and I took my quilt into the laundry room where I curled up with her to sleep.  I had become a dog person.

That's my sister with Abby in the photo...

Sadly, we were inexperienced dog people, and Abby was hit by a car after only a few months.  But the girl who didn't want to get a dog -- me -- was one of the strongest proponents for replacing her.  Abby was followed by Happy, another buff cocker, who was our companion through the miseries of middle school... and the trials of high school.  She moped around when I left for college and just about wriggled out of her skin when I came home.

There's my sister again with Happy...

And then I moved away for good, and it was clear I would need my own dog.  I was broke and living in Fairbault, Minnesota, where I scoured the local paper daily looking for cocker spaniel puppies that I could afford.  But they were all much too expensive.  The local SPCA was on alert and promised to call if they got a cocker.  And I almost took home a Beagle puppy after a day of playing with the puppies and dogs at the shelter.  But I knew that my heart belonged to a cocker...

And then, one day, there it was:  an ad for a cocker spaniel puppy for only $100.  I could barely afford it, but I was willing to forgo some gas and grocery money for a puppy that month.  I called, and they had one little girl left, so I drove to a lovely little farm in Ellendale to see her.  As soon as I sat down on the floor in the farmhouse kitchen, I was covered in puppies, but one just crawled right in my lap and fell asleep, and that's the one who came home with me:  Wendy.

Wendy was my faithful companion for a decade.  She clearly approved of my boyfriend who then became my husband.  Oh, and he loved her, too!  We made a great little family until one night just over two years ago when Wendy died, curled up in my lap just like the first time I met her.

So, it came time to fill that dog-shaped hole in our hearts.  And we were lucky enough to make some incredible friends who breed cocker spaniels.  And that's how Lucy came to our lives!  Right now she is sleeping on the back deck, soaking up the afternoon sun and ready to protect our house from any squirrel who might threaten it.  What would we do without her?

Oh, and one more thing... here's a few puppies who will totally make you smile:

The video was taken by our friend, Jim Zimmerlin , and is posted on his website .  Sorry, those puppies all have homes!

Are you a dog-person?  Tell us about your puppy!  

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