Our neighbour has a brand spanking new pup. A Shih-Poo. Nine weeks old, button eyes, curly black fur with smatterings of dark gold across her paws and a curly white patch on her chest.
Within four days of moving in, she’s gone from a timid waif, barely able to look you in the eye to a bouncy spitfire with a ‘look at me, I’m tough’ baby bark.
Would cute describe her? She is so cute it makes one itch to talk baby talk to her.
And she’s smart. Three days to settle in and she’s going to the door instead of using the floor. Imagine if children were that easy to train—we’d be in a world of problems. We’d all be producing like rabbits on steroids. Thank heavens we’re as pooped as the messes we had to clean by the time our precious babies were trained.
And speaking of pooping—the neighbour told me that during the first night home they made a soft cage of pillows between them so they could keep an eye on her. That was their first lesson on just how clever she was. Somehow she escaped long enough to scoot to the foot of the bed, poop, and then crawl back into her cushy cage and flake out till the alarm rang.
What wouldn’t we have given for our offspring to poop in one far corner of the crib and then scoot to the other until we got there? There is nothing quite like finding your offspring grinning like a banshee under a world of brown goo after discovering they could get inside their diapers.
So all this cutesy cleverness oozing from this pup now called Bella, was making us wonder if it was time for us to get another dog. Our answer came when another neighbor (isn’t everyone in a small park?) happened by with their own dog tale. Poor Mags, their West Highland terrier, was due to have her second hip replacement as well as another piece of minor surgery. They are looking at a bill of around $5,000.00 by the time she’s back to good.
That awww-let’s-get-a-pup feeling disappeared like smoke from a money-fueled bonfire. We’ll just stick to packing a pocketful of dog treats for the canines we meet on our walks and for the little bundle of fur next door.
In a way, it’s like being a grandparent—‘Love ‘em and leave ‘em’ before things get ugly, or expensive.