Ever since my wife and I moved into our dream home, The Locke Nest Cabin, as I’ve named it, one of our favorite things to do is have our coffee in the morning on our second-story deck. We talk about everything from what we are going to be spending our time on that day, to what we will be doing over the weekend and, to add a little laughter into the conversation, talk about our past year together. Everything from the wonderful highlights, such as trips to Ashville, NC, to the absurd actions and impulses which led us to be together.
“You know one of our golden moments was when your grandmother called us about the puppy on the road,” I said as I leaned from my deck chair to scratch behind the ear of the not-so-small anymore puppy.
Tara smiles at me and looks down at the fluffy bulk of Winnie by my side.
I confessed to her, while we were on our way to check out this “lost” puppy that I was telling myself NO, NO, NO – we were NOT going to keep this puppy. No matter how cute or sweet the little thing may be, I kept repeating in my head: NO!
If the pup had to go to a vet, we would take it to the vet. That was without question. But to keep… why in the world would we do that to ourselves? We already have 8 other dogs. And, for a ridiculous moment, I thought I had the conviction enough to stick to the plan of saying, “No, honey. We are not going to keep it.”
How stupid I can be at times.
Once we found Tara’s grandmother parked on the side of the road, both her and I stepped out of the vehicle, looked around and saw grandma a few yards away from her car, standing alongside a ditch. Tara rushed over to her. I stayed back aways, walking slowly over to soon-to-be crime scene.
I stopped just as I saw Tara bending over to pick up, I imagined, the puppy. And I was right. Damn I was right. Maybe the poor thing I run off, I had thought on the ride over. Then I wouldn’t have to break my wife’s heart when I put my foot down and tell her there is no way in hell we were going to keep the puppy.
Then, it happened: I saw the look on her face, the light and happiness in her eyes… I also saw the potential of me making one hell of a big mistake if I were to say the wrong.
“Isn’t she beautiful!” What do you think? You said you wanted a Pyr puppy. Here she is. Your puppy!”
My puppy! This was shifting into something dangerous. My wife was baiting me. How happy do I want the rest of the night to be? (I remember mentally asking myself that question.)
“Well, why not,” I asked aloud to no one specifically.
From that early June afternoon to this very night as I am writing this, that little puppy has been with us. Has travelled with us. She has joined us out on lunch dates, gone shopping with us… she is our little pain-in-the-ass that is not so little anymore.
I named her Winnie, after Winnifred Rd., the road we drove to NOT claim her. Funny how things can change in a nanosecond. I, however, would never rewind the clock back to that late afternoon and wish I’d made a different choice. I honestly can’t picture my life without that Winnie, Winnie, Winnie pup.
“You remember how tinny she was when we brought her home,” Tara asked. “And remember how she bit down on Tike’s tail and started pulling on him?”
“I remember all of that, sweetie. Do you remember later on that night? After all the dogs were asleep?”
Tara looked at me quizzically.
“We had some…ah… grown up fun… you know, in the bedroom.”
“You can’t blame good sex on a puppy,” she said. And her after-smile from the comment was the most beautiful thing I saw that morning