Sunday, February 21, 2010

They Call It Puppy Love

The song had it right, but my idea of puppy love has to do with my furry baby and the ones in the past. There’s nothing like snuggling up with our furry friends to make us smile.

There’s days when we can’t help but feel just flat out happy. We’d want to dance in the moonlight – okay, maybe not, but the idea sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Growing up we had a shepherd/collie named Skipper. He was totally my mom’s dog. Any time we were in the car I had to ride in the back seat because he rode shotgun and if I dared sit in the passenger seat I got ‘the look’ and immediately scrambled into the back seat. Skipper was a wonderful dog and even saved my life when I was three and a rattler ended up in my sandbox. He killed the snake and was bitten on the nose as a result. One vet said he couldn’t be saved, but that didn’t stop my dad. Another vet worked hard and Skipper came home to us. What else I remember is his running with the coyotes at night. They’d show up in our back yard and next thing he was off with them, coming home a day or so later. He was hit by a car when I was nine and we all missed him so much.

Then there was Prince, a gorgeous German shepherd who was lame in a back leg but always managed to stand on his hind legs for a lengthy time. No one wanted him because of that leg, but we did and he was a great watchdog and playmate.

Princess was our Malamute/wolf mix. I remember her looking quizzically at my middle school summer science project of 12 mice. She never tried to hurt them, just tried to figure them out. And if you wanted to date me, forget my dad, if Princess did like you, you knew it!

By then I was married and our first dog was Mac, a gorgeous shepherd/mix I adopted when we were based in Boston for a couple years. Mac went everywhere with me and loved riding in the car and visiting the Coast Guard base when my husband came back from ocean station. Everyone else had their kids on the dock when the ship came in. I had Mac.

Can you tell I’m a dog lover? We had cats, I have parrots and a tortoise, but it always seemed the big dogs captured my heart. But then we don’t choose a dog, they choose us.

Until Cocoa, a dark brown terri/poo who said “let’s go home.” He was the most laid back dog I’d ever known and I know if it hadn’t been for his brain tumor we would have had him for more than six years, but we did have him for an extra four years thanks to our fantastic vet.

And Bogie, who said the same thing when I thought of company for Cocoa. My Chi/Yorkie mix was my baby. We bonded that first day and I was so lucky to have him for 18 years. He hid his treats around the house and in the couch cushions, he had the pathetic look down pat if he wanted something and he was my love puppy. I always felt sad to know he’d cry the first two days I was away at a conference and hardly eat. And when I’d return home I’d get a “it’s about time you got back!” I also had to say “bye, Bogie, Mama will be back” because if I didn’t he’d cry and howl while I was gone.

Barney, my white mini-Schnauzer is a totally new experience for me. His behavior isn’t like any other dog and luckily, old friend and author, Elaine Raco Chase, has always had Schnauzers and is leading me through the goofball that’s the little guy that hopped up to me, wrapped his front paws around my leg with “I’m now yours”. He leaves his toys scattered all over the house and what can I say – he humps a mega spider every night after his dinner. Yes, at our house it’s dinner and a show. When I return from overnight trips he’s bouncing toward me with I call Tigger hops with “where ya been, huh? Where ya been?”

And this is why I call it puppy love. I love my furry beasts. They make me laugh, yes, make me cry, and offer up comfort when it’s needed.

What about you? Do you have critters that give you that puppy love?



  1. Not quite a puppy, but we got a new kitten for Christmas this year. He loves to cuddle and will even jump from the floor into my arms (generally when I least expect it and with claws extended). Thing is, I'm not sure if he thinks I'm his mother or his mate...

  2. Ah, the pictures are so cute, Linda! Well, I've had an Afghan hound (which has a cat-like personality, independent), silky terriers, standard poodles, toy poodles, miniature poodles (none of these dogs shed), a yellow Lab, definitely shed, and several cats over the years! I loved them all. :)

  3. I loved reading about the furry ones, Linda. We had a dog with a lot of shepherd in her--and a lot of everything else. She was originally my brother's dog. When he went off to college, she transferred herself to me.
    We were inseparable. She walked me to school each morning, and came for me, to walk me home, every afternoon.
    I don't want to tell you how many years ago that was.
    I miss her still.

  4. We do love our pets. Your photos are so cute. We currently have an English Shepherd (Brisco) that is spoiled beyond belief. And we have a stray that came up we call Molly and love her to death. The first time I took her to the vet the entire time we were gone she looked so sad. The second we got home and I opened the door, she was the happiest looking dog I had ever seen. I think she was afraid she was being taken off again. In addition we have two house cats, seven barn cats and five horses. As you can tell, we love animals too much. But I won't get rid of any of them for the world.

  5. Yep, and she's actually a puppy!
    Great post, Linda!
    BTW, saw where you were quoted in the RWR article about movie/TV rights. Fingers still crossed that your books make it to the big screen someday!

  6. I have two cats, but I like dogs too. I was so sad to learn yesterday that Daddy, the pit bull on The Dog Whisperer, passed away. I sort of felt like he was my dog!

  7. Great post, Linda! I loved the part about "dinner and a show."
    I have a Jack Russell Terrier who's similarly entertaining, and a great big, hundred-pound chow mix (we think the other half is grizzly bear). They both have starring roles in Cowboy Trouble! I love my babies and can't imagine life without them.

  8. You can't help loving them Terry. A neighbor has a gorgeous Irish wolfhound. He stands way above my waist and is a total sweetie.

  9. Oh man, fabulous post, Linda! I have WAY too many animal stories to ever begin to write them here.

    Growing up we were total animal people. All kinds. My dad was a mountain type of fella so at one time or another we had an owl, a hawk (dad was a falconer), a half-wolf half-shepherd, birds, rodents, cats, and dogs. Oh yeah, fish too. We ran a zoo.

    My sister took over that legacy for decades doing wildlife rehab and raising birds. You name it, I can guarantee she had it!

    I have kept it more tame, mainly because my husband was not raised in a wildlife menagerie! Now we have a cat, a dog, bunches of fish, and a gecko. But never in my whole life have I been without a pet for long. The cat was supposed to be the lap animal since the dogs are outside, but alas I have the uppitiest cat on the planet who would sooner have his toenails again removed (without anesthesia) before allowing me to hold him!

    Maybe someday I'll get that lap dog I have fond memories of from my youth. Gidget, Jodi, Merlin, and Pepsi - rest in peace. You were the best. :)

  10. Oooh, a pet post! My very favorite subject in all the world!

    We lost our "baby" (12yo Akita mix) to cancer last summer, and we were immediately worried about how our 14yo Aussie/Heeler mix would handle it. On our vet's advice, we adopted a 1yo Australian Kelpie mix from a local shelter, thinking she'd be a good companion for the old man. Not only has that turned out to be true, but there's another added benefit. The old man is mostly deaf now, and tends to wander off when we go for hikes in the woods. He can't hear me calling him, so the new pup has now learned the command "go get Ozzy." She takes off like a rocket, finds the old man, and herds him right back. Now THAT'S companionship! :)

    Thanks for sharing your trip down doggy memory lane, Linda! It's always fun to hear about other peoples' fur babies.


  11. Ooooh, MM!

    That baby was keeping you safe.

  12. How true, Mason.

    I was gone overnight for my RWA meeting and when I got home Barney hopped up to me with a 'where ya been, huh? where ya been?' look.

  13. I've done that with my guys, Joanne. Now I have to figure out where Barney will go.

  14. WONDERFUL Post, Linda!
    But DARN! I was gonna post about my puppy loves and now I'll have to think of a new topic.

    I'm a real 'dog person' too. I've had a few cats, but the dogs have always had my heart! My current two -- the Yorkie Unholy Terrier and the Pug-Wa-Wa RULE the roost around here, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    As my BFF and I like to say, our pups are the only "true love" money can buy! ;-)


  15. Oh AC!

    But I bet you'd have another spin on puppy love.

    Barney's sitting in my chair with me right now looking out the back window and barking at the kids in their yard above us. He wants them to know he's here.

  16. I have 3 dogs Linda and one of them really rules the roost here even though she came to live with us about 3 years after we had the first 2. Tootsie was my Mum's dog and when we lost Mum she came to live with us she often stayed here if Mum was away or when Mum was here as well so she was very happy here.
    She mopes a lot when I go to work and gets so excited when I get home but I gotta say she is the boss LOL

    Have Fun

  17. I have two adorable chihuahuas, who are so funny and brave and smart and cuddly. Fun post, Linda!

  18. I am sooooooooooo a dog person. My yorkie Molly was my baby. We were newly married and it turns out Hubs didn't like sharing me with a dog and the dog didn't like sharing me with Hubs.

    It wasn't an easy adjustment sadly. But now I've got "my girls" Vixen and Raven the 2 cockers. Love my girls!

    And they love Hubs.

    Who still isn't a dog person.

  19. Sorry I'm late to the fun! I have a HORRIBLE cat named Bootsy Collins (yes, after the disco funk singer) and he hates pretty much everyone. But he'll always be my kitten, even if I can't stand him most of the time.

  20. Helen,

    You've always got the alpha. I always let my guys know I'm the alpha even if they believe they are. :}

  21. Judi,

    When we were first married, Mac wasn't happy when Bob would come home from ocean station. He'd even push him out of bed. Mac considered me all his and he was my buddy when Bob was at sea, so Bob put up with it.

  22. Yep, you still have to love them, Danielle.