Wednesday, March 31, 2010


After 5 1/2 years of being without a dog I got a puppy at New Years.

We had Raggs for about 10 years and I loved her. She died - or as someone recently said to me, I had to let her go - four days after my mother died and we immediately "replaced" her with 2 cats thinking that getting another dog right away would be too difficult. Over time our family was joined by two other cats, who used to belong to my sons, and so we became a 4 cat home! I was one cat away from being the crazy cat woman of Etobicoke.

But I always missed having a dog in my life. The cats were great - are great. But they aren't dogs. Obviously. So this past Christmas I thought a lot about getting a dog and decided that a puppy would be the best way to introduce a dog to a house with 4 cats. I've always wanted a Golden Retriever and so found a breeder not too far away and we went to visit. As I walked towards the door it opened and a gorgeous puppy romped across the snow covered grass. It was love at first sight.

That was 3 months ago and at this point I can't imagine my life without him.

What I am now learning about though is dog owner etiquette. I walk him a lot and since I'm not a particularly social person my tendency, at least initially, was to share a brief 'hello, how are you' and move on. But doggie owners are a special breed (if you'll pardon the pun) and they like to talk. Bailey is an extremely social puppy - he loves to play with any dog he meets along the way - and so I end up spending time in a doggie coffee cliche (usually sans coffee!) trying to make small talk with people who appear to know an awful lot more than I about how to raise and train a puppy.

Because Bailey is my first puppy - all the other dogs I've had have been were adults from the pound - I really don't contribute much to those conversations. I mainly try to listen and learn although there are an awful lot of conflicting ideas & viewpoints. And an awful lot of holier than thou opinions.

As I write this he's sleeping quietly in front of me after having spent the morning playing in the park and the afternoon playing with my son's dog (yes, I have both his dog and his cat AND him in my house now).

The sun is shining. The dog is happy and healthy. What could be better.

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