Ringo the Dog came to live with us 10 years ago and I’ve mentioned his crazy antics often over the years, including, but not limited to:
- The night he ate our couch.
- The day he chewed the leg off the coffee table.
- His fear of vacuums.
- His love of snow.
- The times he’d snuggle in my lap, even as a 90-pound dog.
- The way the word “walk” sent him into spasms of joy.
- The way he’d act like I was returning from a 90-day world cruise, although I’d just gone downstairs to get towels out of the dryer.
- The way he couldn’t corral the grandkids, and it drove him bonkers.
Five months ago, Ringo the Dog passed away. It was unexpected and heartbreaking. There was a sudden emptiness in our home that had been filled with Ringo begging for treats or running in and out of the doggie door.
We were all dazed, unsure how to move through our dogless days. There was no furry distraction keeping us from sliding down the death spiral of today’s political chaos.
I had to start talking to my husband. I had no good reason to go for walks every day. No one jumped on me when I got home from work. Well, my husband did, but it just wasn’t the same.
Few things are as satisfying as a warm, happy dog snuggled next to you.
For my birthday in July, we decided it was time to get a puppy. I yelped and jumped on the Google machine like an 8-week-old Pomeranian to search for dogs. I was quickly overwhelmed with the sheer number of puppies and the high-level of cuteness available.
Then I saw a German Shepherd/Lab puppy on the Community Animal Welfare Society website. I contacted the CAWS foster mom and was told he’d already been adopted – but his sister was available.
I couldn’t drive fast enough to meet this little ball of furry energy. Even before I’d held her, I knew she was mine. When we discovered her birthday was Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), that clinched it. #StarWarsGeek
We named her Jedi.
After filling out the application, where I had to list everything from how often she’d go for walks (daily) to what Netflix shows I binged (all of them), CAWS finally approved her adoption and we brought Jedi home.
I forgot what it’s like to have a puppy sleep between your feet as you get ready for work. I get overwhelmed with happiness every time she pounces on her squeaky toy. I find reasons to stop at PetsMart every day for treats and toys and accessories. My husband suspended my credit card.
My 2-year-old granddaughter can finally boss something smaller than her. My 7-year-old grandson spends time training her to sit and lie down. (The puppy, not his sister.) My husband’s adjusting to having Jedi knock the lamp over every single day. I’m floating on a puppy-shaped cloud.
I tried to invoke the Family Medical Leave Act so I could spend all day with Jedi watching her explore and grow. My boss wasn’t buying it, so I dash home during lunch for some quick puppy love.
I know we’re in the puppy honeymoon stage and soon our sweet little girl will turn into a velociraptor, only with more teeth. But I also know time with our pets is so short. That makes it all the sweeter. Jedi didn’t replace Ringo, she’s just a rambunctious extension of his joy.
I’m sure every dog owner thinks they have the most wonderful dog in the world. The best thing is, they’re right.
Originally published in the Davis Clipper