New Puppy or No Puppy?
I’m getting broody, like a hen clucking about her house, settling on eggs she will never hatch. Dear Husband was concerned that it might mean I want another baby and he suggested we get a puppy. I could hear the panic in his voice when he brought it up.
We love our kids and have embraced parenthood with a joy I really didn’t think we had in us. But between my writing career, and DH’s work, and our aging parents, adding another child to the mix would certainly complicate things. Besides, DD 2 has only recently become entirely potty trained and the thought of my world revolving around diapers again is not very exciting.
I called a friend of a friend and went to see the pups she had that were ready to be adopted.
Is there anything that smells as divine as puppy breath? Could any fur be softer brushed lightly across your cheeks as that of a puppy? Even the little grunts and groans they make as they settle for the night, missing their mother and litter mates are adorable.
I brought one home. I called her Alice and she seemed happy enough that afternoon and evening. I fed her, the girls played with her, and she was good about going outside to do her business.
The sun went down and she wanted out again so I stepped out onto the deck to keep an eye on her. Instead of quickly squatting and running back to me, she faced the road and sat there, watching. Waiting. The twin humps of her bony shoulder blades rose and fell under deep sighs. I knew exactly what she was doing. She’d had her little visit and it had been fun, but now she wanted to go home. She was waiting for someone to fetch her and take her back to the warm pen in the barn where her mother and siblings were likely curled up for the night. She was waiting for the night sounds she was used to, the creek of the barn and the hoot of an owl.
After a while, she lay down and put her chin on her paws and a sound rose from her chest that brought tears to my eyes. She didn’t howl or even cry out. With every exhale she whimpered. She was suffering.
I know my friend’s friend won’t keep all the puppies her dog whelped but I can’t be party to causing pain.
The drive across the sparkling cold night landscape was uneventful. I think Alice knew she was going home. She stood on her back legs and watched out the side window. And when we got back to her original house, she frolicked and all the other pups greeted her joyfully and her mother sniffed her, likely noting the strange smells she’d picked up on her adventure.
I haven’t ruled out getting a puppy, but for the moment, as I stood over my sleeping daughters’ beds, I realized even if I was broody, I really didn’t need new chicks. The ones I’ve already hatched are plenty. For now.