A Bad Case of Puppy Love
Since today is Valentine’s Day, I’m going to put myself out there and officially declare to the teeming masses that I am irrevocably, unashamedly, unabashedly in love with a new Valentine who I only met for the first time less than three weeks ago. But I’m okay with that. More importantly, my wife of almost 27 years is okay with that.
My Valentine has soft, beautiful, wavy brown hair that I just can’t stop running my fingers through. My Valentine has ears like mud flaps, loves to snuggle against my neck and be held constantly. Oh, and as I’m writing this, my Valentine is curled up contentedly at my feet.
As you may have guessed, there’s a new dawg in da house. After losing our beloved pooch back in June of last year and being a dog-less home for the first time in decades – we have a new puppy. Not that I’m thrilled or anything, but he’s an 8-week old, chocolate brown Labradoodle who came to live with us just this past Saturday. And he goes by the name of Oakley.
How’s it going so far? Well, if I say that I’m writing this with a good portion of my brain half asleep, one eye shut and drool barely missing the space bar on my keyboard – does that give you a clue? As loveable and adorable and cuddly as Oakley can be during the daytime, the little guy is – so far at least – not all that happy with sleeping in a crate by our bed at night. And by “not happy” I mean miserable as in yelping, barking, crying, whining, whimpering, growling, simpering and howling.
I want to know how in the animal kingdom world does a small, 14-pound package of puppy make such an ear-splitting, headache-inducing racket for hours upon hours upon hours every stinkin’ night? I mean, if the nights were warmer and we had our windows open, I have no doubt that by now one or more of our neighbors would have called the ASPCA, Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, the Animal Protective League and maybe even the Arizona Humane Society on us. I’m pretty sure Oakley’s protestations could be heard in Phoenix if our windows weren’t shut.
One would think a hound from hell has possessed our bedroom every night between 11 p.m. and sunup since last weekend. And then, the morning comes, Oakley is released from his torture chamber (with its cushy foam bedding, doggie pillow, chew toy, soft blanket covering to create a sense of safety and security) and he becomes, once again, a cute, cuddly angel puppy who wants nothing more than to wag his teeny tail, gaze lovingly at us with his irresistible green-gray eyes, lick our faces and romp around in the yard, chasing leaves and shadows and gusts of wind. The transformation is like, well … night and day.
Even so, I already love this little guy. He is fast becoming accustomed to the workday routine in my home office and shows every sign of being an ideal co-worker, office mate and lunch companion for the long haul. As I’ve already mentioned, in fact, he’s below me right now while I’m writing; his soft, warm fuzzy muzzle resting on my foot – sound asleep and dreaming whatever ridiculously cute puppies dream about.
He’ll most likely wake up just long enough to quietly escape my office while I’m on a client call or lost in thought over some other writing project and sneak out to find a new place on the carpet to deposit another “surprise” he has personally made for me to discover when I realize he isn’t underfoot any longer. But for now he’s sleeping the sleep of an exhausted puppy and storing up energy for another long, loud night ahead.
Here’s hoping my wife gives me bright red ear plugs for Valentine’s Day.
I’ll see you ’round town.