<HONEA EXPRESS: And He Calls The Puppy Love
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

And He Calls The Puppy Love

Yesterday was a good day. No, I didn't fool around and get a triple-double, but I had some of those father and son moments that after-school specials and Hallmark would sell their souls for, respectively.

Atticus has wanted a puppy for some time. He almost got one for Christmas, but I forgot to put holes in the box and he just wound up with a very stinky stuffed animal.

We went to the county animal shelter earlier in the week. We walked through the smells of sadness, playing god, and saw one that fit our criteria, that being a puppy that would grow into a good-sized dog.

Tangent Warning. We wanted to get a puppy for many reasons, not the least of which being puppy breath. We already have two dogs, the oldest, Harley, being 14, and while she still has some spunk in her step, I know she won't be around much longer. The youngest dog, Valentine, 5, is so attached to Harley that I'm afraid of what might happen should she find herself alone. For this reason we wanted to introduce a third-wheel now, so that bonds could be formed and so on. Plus, with young children and cats, we thought a puppy would be easier to conform to our system of live and let live than say a 4-year-old Pit Bull. /Tangent.

We went to the shelter, picked a dog we were interested in and then stood in line for an hour while the 3 women working the counter, in a very hot and fly infested office, talked on the phone, ate Del Taco and generally took their sweet-ass time.

I looked at the people in front of me, Ving Rhames and Mike Vick, no doubt they were going to take a while. I took Atticus by the hand and told him we'd come back later, when the shelter employees actually cared about the lives of their animals. We drove by puppy mills that weren't even on the way home.

Yesterday we went to the local PetSmart, where they have independent shelters providing dogs for adoption. We took the first puppy we met.

Atticus and I wandered the aisles and bought the puppy more treats and toys than most spoiled children have. We also bought stuff for the other dogs, so as not to piss them off straight away.

"What do you want to name the puppy?" I asked him.

"Dog Food," he replied.

"We're not naming the dog, Dog Food."

"How about Kitty Cat?" he asked.

"No," I said.

"How about Kitty Cat Food?" he continued.

"How about Smokey?" I asked him, not really liking the name, but that was the one the shelter had given her for the few days they had her, and frankly, it had a better ring to it than Kitty Cat Food.

By now we were in the car and the puppy was curled up, sleeping with her head in his lap. "I'm going to call her Love."

I spent the ride home trying to convince him that, while a nice name, it was going to be embarrassing to yell out in public. People might think him a sissy. He didn't care. His mind was made up. The puppy is Love.


We took Love home, and Tricia and Zane ran out to meet her. The puppy played with Harley and Valentine, ate some treats, jumped on the couch and went to sleep.

"I'll call her Luvly," Tricia said.

"Yeah, that's a lot better."

The puppy's name is love, and Love is all you need.


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