If we were having coffee, I’d have to give it to you in a travel mug with a lid because my new puppy has developed a taste for coffee and all cups of java in my home must be served with a lid for the foreseeable future. She’s already shown a talent for knocking a full steaming mug out of my hands while trying to plunge her entire face into its depths. Obviously, the lid is to protect my puppy from burning her sweet little face.
Also, it’s coffee. She’s already robbed me of roughly half of every meal I’ve tried to eat in the past six weeks. She’s destroyed my favorite Ryka sandals and three pair of my son’s basketball shoes, not to mention the impressive amount of blood she’s taken from my hands, arms and ankles. I’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and I’m drawing that line right around my bright pink travel mug filled with strong coffee and a generous dollop of hazelnut creamer.
My coffee is the one thing this little demon is not going to take from me.
I may be exaggerating just a bit. Not by much, though. While Rosie is not a vicious animal, she is playful and energetic, and I am discovering that I was woefully unprepared to be a single parent to an eight week old Husky puppy.
That’s right; I brought home a Husky, despite my experience with my late husband’s Husky, Razz, who sank his teeth into my arm the first time we met and decided that I was quite tasty. “Never get a Husky,” the Big Guy used to say, “They’re hard-headed, even more stubborn than you.”
I really need to start listening when people say things like that.
My high school mascot was a Husky. Our rivals were the Mustangs, and we used to shout things like “Huskies eat horsemeat!” at them during football games. It’s been more than 30 years since I graduated, but I still think of myself as a Husky. Proud and strong, a Husky to my dying day.
My college mascot was a beaver, but I really can’t envision any circumstance in which I’d declare myself to be a beaver, proud and strong, a beaver to my dying day.
At any rate, I promised my kids we’d get a new puppy when our Heeler died last May at the ripe old age of twelve. We checked out shelters and searched for just the right animal: a puppy who would grow up to be a member of our family. A protector and a friend. A smart, loyal, loving animal who would respect us and learn to get along well with our three cats.
Instead, we got Rosie.
One of the Amish families in our neighborhood had a hand-lettered sign by the road that said “SPITZ PUPPIES.” I turned in on impulse, and a young man led my son and me down a trail into the woods, where a tiny kennel was nearly overflowing with dogs of all sizes and ages. Too many dogs and puppies. My heart broke for them; I wanted to take all of them home with me, right then and there.
He scooped up one tiny, shivering bundle of black and white fur and placed her in my arms. She immediately burrowed in under my chin, making all kinds of little quivery puppy noises. My heart melted on the spot. It was love at first cuddle.
But I had one concern. “She looks like a Husky,” I said.
“Her mother is half Husky,” our guide admitted. “Father is Eskimo Spitz, mother is Spitz and Husky. Mostly Spitz, though.”
“I’m not sure if we should get a Husky,” I told my son. The puppy licked the underside of my chin and promptly fell asleep.
Obviously, I had no choice. “She’s just so sweet,” I sighed. Surely her sweet, calm nature came from the Spitz part of her. Her Husky nature couldn’t be that strong, right?
Well, the little con artist waited three days before showing us her true nature. She’s clearly a Husky/Spitz/Tasmanian Devil mix. She’s a whirling, bouncing, hyperactive ball of demonic energy. She never stops moving or chewing. This morning, for example, she managed to destroy an entire package of wooden clothespins while I was in the shower.
In the shower, folks. I didn’t even wash my hair or shave my legs! I wasn’t in there for more than a few minutes. I don’t even know where she found an entire package of clothespins. I looked for those things all freaking summer and couldn’t find them, but the demon found and destroyed them in the amount of time it took me to take a very quick shower.
She chews everything. My days have become an endless cycle of chasing Rosie and hollering at her to give me whatever personal possession or nasty bit of garbage she happens to have in her mouth. The neighbors are starting to give me strange looks every time I dash outside after her, yelping things like, “Gimme the tampon, Rosie!”
She redeemed herself a tiny bit last night, however. While we were outside for her last potty break before bed, I heard the unmistakable sound of coyotes in the woods behind the house. I stepped back toward the door, tugging on Rosie’s leash to get her to hurry up.
Rosie was no longer interested in going to the bathroom. She stood at high alert between me and the woods, baring her teeth and growling. Growling soon changed to angry barking. In that instant, my hyperactive little demon-dog transformed into a twelve pound ball of pure rage.
It was adorable.
I doubt if she could have protected me from anything more ferocious than a rampaging chipmunk, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
My week was actually pretty eventful; I have a lot more going on in my life than just a battle of wills with a demonic puppy, but she’s sort of front and center in my attention at the moment. But enough about Rosie and me: How was your week? Coffee’s nice and hot, so grab a travel mug and pull up a chair and tell me all about it.