2011: Christiana getting some puppy love

My parents got me a puppy when I was four—even though that’s a little young. Of course, I wasn’t really responsible for her, but she was my dog—especially when she’d fall asleep snoring in my parents’ room and then they’d deposit her, still sleeping soundly, with me.

Mom and Dad did not give me everything I wanted, from that horse I never stopped requesting to large stuffed animals. But they said, as early as two, I was busy advocating for a puppy. I kept asking for something “soft and warm and fuzzy”—and though my stuffed animals were well loved, they did not respond back.

I won’t tell you the long sad tale of losing my puppy due to an accident through no fault of our own, yet it didn’t stop me from wanting to have other dogs.

I will tell you, however, that I still want something soft and warm and fuzzy. Thank goodness I live with two creatures that fit that bill! And I’m pretty sure Sherman doesn’t want to be known as soft and fuzzy anyway . . .

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

Furgus and Sam share the Puppy Smackdown with one another, but with me, they share the Puppy Snuggle. Armed with my brother’s worn-out bed comforter from the 70s, I cover the big chair where there is just room for me and my two dogs. The Puppy Snuggle is not a time for play—if they want to wrestle, I push them soundly onto the floor.

No, the Puppy Snuggle is quiet time when I can sit with one or two dogs in my arms, flopped over my legs, or by my side. This is what all those studies mean when they say dogs can lower blood pressure—despite all the recent stress in our home, my most recent numbers were 112/72. Yeah—now can I deduct some of the expenses related with my dogs as medical care?

Probably not, but petting a dog or two a day helps to keep my doctor away.

Sam is sometimes vigilant, sometimes sleepy, and sometimes cuddled into me. But Furgus—he is a snuggler extraordinaire. I’ve never had a big dog so willing to be a lap dog, even now that my lap isn’t quite big enough for his not-so-puppyish form. No matter how Springer-Spaniel-wound-up he is in the morning, a moment on my lap turns him into the mellowest old soul you’ve ever seen.

Judge me if you will, but these cuddling sessions keep me from turning to anti-depressants or even to drink. Now this is the soft, warm, and fuzzy puppy love I’ve dreamed of my whole life.

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

It’s almost enough to make me forget about the items “Goat Boy” has chewed or the not-so-great responses to commands. Almost, but not quite. Don’t worry, we’ll keep training Mr. Soft, Warm, and Fuzzy, but not so much so that he forgets that part of his job is also to listen to my heart as well as to my voice.