This is my dog, Wylie, an 8 month old yellow lab puppy, the one I swore I’d never get. Not this particular one. It’s just that our family had accrued a lot of dogs over the years, five to be exact, and I didn’t want anymore.
Shadow was sixteen when he passed away two years ago, with the help of the vet, in the grass in our front yard with his head in my lap. A sweet chow retriever mix that looked more like a big brown bear sometimes than a dog. Part Jack Russell, part rat terrier, Milo almost made it to thirteen and was the smartest dog we’ve ever had. And Fuzzy who I swore would out live us humans, slipped away in the early spring of this year. ( Of course we still have Molly, an eight-year-old black Lab who lives to eat and Toby, a 4-year-old Jack Russell terror–not a typo.)
After nursing Shadow and Milo, whenever I looked at sweet Fuzzy, who only had one good eye, and limped around on bad knees, I thought, “Who needs another round of this in their lives?” Consequently, I became immune to the charms of puppies. I could have walked through a football field full of them nipping at my heels and not taken a single one home.
But just before Christmas, something changed in me. I’m not sure if I was just ready for a new puppy or if I wanted a distraction from Fuzzy’s impending death, but the minute the lady put Wylie in my arms, that was it.
Down south, or for all I know universally, when someone really loves something, they’ll say, “I wouldn’t take anything for it.” Despite, the shoes and the underwear and the furniture and long list of things Wylie has chewed up since he became part of our family, I wouldn’t take anything for him.