Puppy Love


I knew we would only have a few minutes to debrief before he fell fast asleep in the back seat, so I chose to ask three questions:

  • What were the highlights?
  • Any Lowlights?
  • Was there anything different about camp this year?

luna resting on jagI was surprised when he mentioned that he missed home more this year. Allowing myself a follow-up question, I asked, “Why do you think that was the case?” His reply: “New puppy.”

I understood exactly what he meant by those two words, despite that she isn’t all that new and isn’t really a puppy. She’s already more than eighteen months old and has been part of our pack for more than six months.

I also missed home more this year; I returned home twice on my Wednesdays off, which I’d never done in my previous nine summers at camp.  I missed my spouse and my daughters, I missed reliable WiFi and, I’m not ashamed to admit, I missed Luna.

* * * * * * *

I rescued Luna in early December, after her thirty day stint in the county shelter. It was eleven weeks after Jenna’s death. When she died, my son and I began lobbying for another dog almost immediately. His sisters and, moreover, the top dog of our pack, were not ready. My son and I waited with mounting impatience.

I knew I needed a totally different dog—a younger, leaner one—that I’d be able to lift into the car if necessary. My son and I were visiting Petfinder and other rescue sites daily, looking for a mutt who was already house-trained, who would presumably not suffer from some of the health issues that afflict full-bred canines.

I struck up an email correspondence with one of the volunteers at the shelter. She asked me a lot of questions about our family make-up, our experience with our first dog and our expectations regarding our next dog. We made a date for noon on Thursday, and she promised to bring several dogs that would be “a good fit for our family” out to meet me.

luna profile picI have many friends that are dog people. Throughout Jenna’s illness, they had reassured me—along with the Vet—that when it was her time I would know. Now they assured me, “the dog will choose you.”

At the time, I had doubts; I dismissed them as dog people. Driving home from camp, after five weeks without regular access to puppy love, I’d come to the realization that I too am a dog person.


Comments (2)

Really liked it. And I found myself missing your dog and wondering what kind of a reception your son received when they were reunited.

Thanks, Anne! It was quite the homecoming. The only way to avoid giving Luna constant attention and affection was to go upstairs…she still doesn’t venture to the second floor. Guess she lived in a ranch, or wasn’t allowed upstairs, during her first year of life.

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