Garrett column: Dog that once called shelter his home has won her heart, paws down

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Lee Ann Garrett
For the Salisbury Post
He made me love him. I didn’t want to do it. And I’m so mad at him for it.
Those adorable brown eyes; those ears, slightly too big for his head; and that tiny brown tail with the white tip, which he chases until he bites himself and yelps.
Yep, it’s puppy love. I swore I wasn’t going to do it. But, how could I resist? Spunky is Mom’s new Chihuahua mix puppy rescued from the animal shelter.
Mom hasn’t had an inside dog in years. When she brought him home, I said I wouldn’t get attached. I didn’t need to fall in love with a puppy.
I was wrong.
He makes me laugh at his ridiculous antics. His running fits on the hardwood floors, skidding around the corners, sometimes wiping out completely, landing in a heap of brown fur and gangly legs against the wall. He just shakes his head and keeps running.
Every morning, when I return from delivering newspapers, he greets me at the door with a toy in his mouth. I’m his play buddy, and he does the “happy dance” every time he sees me.
He makes me forget how old I am, that is, until I try to get up off the floor and my leg is asleep. When did that start happening?
I try to wear him out so he won’t be so hyper for Mom during the day. But, this tiny little critter has turned our entire house on its ear.
The other night, as I left for work, Mom scared me to death standing in the front yard in her robe at 1:30 a.m. taking Spunky out to potty. Seeing your 72-year old mother in the front yard in her robe in the middle of the night is a little weird. And Spunky doesn’t seem to understand potty-training yet. He does part of his business outside, then politely deposits the rest under the dining room table as soon as he comes back in.
Pee pads are out of the question. Mom bought some with adhesive on the back. I stuck one to the floor, and Spunky immediately ran over, ripped it off the floor, tossed it in a heap and then sat down, quietly looking at me.
Guess, we know what he thinks about that.
I’m not the only one with puppy troubles. My son’s fiancee, Mandy, has had trouble with my granddog lately. Toby, the small we-don’t-know-what-kind-of-mix puppy, has suddenly turned into a big dog. While taking him out, Toby leapt down about seven steps to get to a dog he saw, yanking the leash from Mandy’s hand.
She landed on her knees at the bottom of the stairs on the concrete. Ouch!
“I can’t stay mad at the Tobester,” she says.
This is the same dog who bounded across the yard and crashed into Mandy’s mother, Melinda, knocking her down and costing her an emergency visit to the dentist on Father’s Day.
Guess what? Melinda couldn’t stay mad at him, either.
Have we all gone nuts?
With one son in Afghanistan and the other starting to drive, I’m nuts enough without falling in love with a puppy. But, he’s so cute and adorable and funny, and he loves me so much and I need help.