Sunday, December 10, 2006


The Pup Who Stole My Heart

Jacob came to pick me up on a Sunday morning in February to take me to meet my perfect-puppy-to-be. I had contacted many breeders, some of whom I really liked and some of whom I thought were in the game only to make money off the backs of poorly bred puppies. The breeder I decided to meet with had both parents on site and seemed to love his dogs.

Settling in for the trip, I was filled with anticipation, endlessly chattering to Jacob about how I wouldn't let emotion rule me, how pleasant the breeder had seemed on the phone, and how I had thoroughly researched this breed and I would only accept a perfect specimen that I would look over meticulously for faults.

Then we backed out of the driveway and began our journey to the breeder's, who lived about 90 miles from my home. I continued to fill Jacob in on all things Boston. Once we got on the road, I did notice when I glanced over at him a few times during the drive that he looked a little shell-shocked. His eyes were slightly glazed over (Was he wearing a new brand of contact lenses? I wondered, making a mental note to ask him about it when I finished talking about how Boston females sometimes never bark at all, according to an online expert) and he had an odd, frozen half-grin, half-grimace on his face. His knuckles seemed slightly white as he gripped the steering wheel more tightly than he usually did. Jacob usually drives with one or no hand on the steering wheel and the other typing out a text message on his cell phone. Sometimes it seems he actually has a third hand involved in his driving...the one he uses to punch the buttons on the remote to his satellite radio. The person with white knuckles is usually me, holding on for dear life in anticipation of the deafening sound of the car being smashed into a road kill pancake. I made another mental note to self: ask Jacob if anything is stressing him out; AFTER I tell him about the corkscrew tails on Bostons that add so much character and charm. "Some people get kind of cheated by accepting a short-tailed Boston,” I explained, “because they don't know it should have a corkscrew shape. At least I am going prepared!!"

A few times during the trip I took a moment to catch my breath and I noticed Jacob would immediately grab his remote and turn up the volume on his radio. If I didn't know him so well, and if I hadn't raised him to have impeccable manners, I might have thought he was trying to let me know he was tired of listening to me talk. But, since that was obviously not the case, I told him, "If I pick out this puppy and we come back next week to get her, I will bring a good CD to listen to so you won't have to fidget with that silly radio so much." For some reason, his half-grin sort of dissipated into a full grimace.

We finally arrived at the breeder's house and I saw two adult Boston Terriers frolicking in the cyclone-fenced side yard. Man, were they ugly! All bug-eyed and flat faced, tall and lanky and seemingly unstoppable in their hyperkinetic enjoyment. Just what I wanted! I figured the high energy level was because we were company. All dogs get a little excited at the prospect of sniffing a new friend, right? After all, the online information I had found had assured me that Bostons were calm, somewhat docile, and had a moderate energy level. The breeder came to the door to greet us, without our even knocking. He may have been alerted to our presence by the incessant barking and howling of the forlorn souls in the side yard. I quickly noted that the female seemed to be barking louder and more mournfully than the male; and I just as quickly dismissed the thought. She was probably just anxious, I reasoned, because strangers were headed into the house to handle her babies. I am a mom, I get that! Plus, and this is key, I told myself, the online expert didn't say ALL Boston females never bark.

What happened next still has me in a bit of a tizzy. The breeder took us back to the puppy room. Four squirmy, fat, waddling little pups were huddled together in a clean cage, playing and making those amazing growls and squeals of puppyhood. My heart nearly stopped as I was handed the only black and white female in the litter.

"I'LL TAKE HER!" I nearly shouted and told Jacob, "Quick, honey, take a picture!!" My son obliged, and then he and the breeder went into the other room to discuss money, while I nuzzled and cuddled and smelled the sweet puppy breath of my new little girl, Daisy. I had had her name picked out for weeks. What a great name for a comedic little ugly girl! It wouldn't be her full name, of course. I would need to spend some time with her to figure out her special moniker. It was hard for me to hand Daisy back to the breeder after all the business of the day was taken care of, but she was still a little young and needed one more week with her mother. Jacob and I made arrangements to come back the following Sunday to take her home.

The trip home was quite a lot quieter. I was beat from all the excitement of the day and just lay my head back in contentment. After a few miles, Jacob looked at me out of the corner of his eye and said, "Way to go on not being overcome by emotion, Mom. You really stayed strong!" Then he laughed a little and said, "Does she have a corkscrew tail?"

"Well," I replied quietly, "I'm not sure."

Watch for the next fun episode: A PERFECT ANGEL FOR ONE WHOLE DAY~~coming soon!

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