Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Puppies and Other Memories

Annie and her Porch Potty

As I write this, I have a pile of puppy in my lap.  It's amazing how a 6 or 7 pound puff of fur can be so life changing.  Annie has been in our home for 19 days now and has turned life as we knew it (calm and quiet) upside down.

We realized some changes would be required in getting a puppy.  After all, it's been 5 years since we had a canine in our lives and 18 years since we had a puppy.  We still and will always miss our wonderful beagle Zoe.  Even after she's been gone for 5 years, it's just as likely that when we call for this new puppy, we will say Zoe instead of Annie.  I'm afraid that Annie will actually think that her name is "Zannie" because we so often start with a "z" before realizing our mistake.

Having a new puppy has made me think more about Zoe, but it's odd that when I think of her, it is always as an older, overweight and cranky dog, not as a dog in her prime of life.  She wasn't nearly as lovable in her last years, yet I loved her so much.  When we would come home, there was no excited greeting like there used to be.  Instead, she would merely look up and give us the equivalent look of "oh, it's just you" and resume snoozing.  So I find it strange that I don't have a clear memory of what she was like when she captured my heart.  Sure, there are photos, and I especially cherish the ones of her as an adorable puppy with her big flapping beagle ears and too small body.  But a lot of the years with her are now just a blur to me.

Unfortunately, the same is true for humans as well.  My mental image of my father, who died about 10 years ago, is him as old and frail as he was in his last years, not as the robust man he was as I was growing up.  I'm not sure why these are the images that come to mind, but I'm hoping to change this cycle, starting now.

Emily, Chew Toy, and Annie

So I'm trying right now to savor the puppy moments - both the good and the bad - in the hope that they will be emblazoned in my mind.  The times when she's just a puddle of puppy in my lap, so limp and relaxed that she's like a dish rag.  The cute little pink tongue that can't wait to lick my face or licks off the water from my feet and legs when I get out of the shower.  The rascal times when she goes back to chew on the very same thing that she was just scolded for chewing.  The sitting for what seems like hours holding a chew toy for her.  The racing around the room at break-neck speeds for no particular reason, climaxing with a flying leap into her bed.  The praise that we give her when she goes potty in the right spot that compares to the accolades she might get for discovering relativity.  And the manic victory lap she does after this effusive praise.  I hope to take this all in and remember.

This is part of a constant effort to be more in the moment, to enjoy now and to keep these memories with me.  I hope I can achieve this, but it's questionable as the puppy is so darn exhausting that there are times when I wonder if I'll even remember my own name when this puppy period is over.

Aaahhh - some needed rest for Mommy

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