“I have a puppy.
My puppy is very small.
He makes me feel very big.
Our pup is not so very small, but I can see that she makes my son feel big. Perhaps it began the evening when he accidentally dropped a cookie down his pajamas. Millie followed, nose first. A pint-sized Pied Piper marching around the kitchen table, flaunting his newfound power, little teeth flashing in a grin: ear to ear.
The first month after we got Millie, I often found myself attempting to give dog treats to my boy, and even once (or twice) caught myself saying, “Sit!” I was (and still am, truth be told) slightly horrified by this oversight, and yet I can see how such a mistake could be made: those two are thick as thieves (you must know, reader, that I use this allusion intentionally and literally). Where there is one, there is often the other, and then there is trouble.
Developmentally, they both are into everything, everywhere, all the time. I am already familiar with “baby-proofing”, as this is my third child, but now I have to think about “puppy-proofing” as well. Between the two of them, my brain is stretched and reshaped and stretched again, several times a day: Furniture is shuffled, gates are built, plants are moved to higher ground, gates are re-built, choking hazards are put into storage, toys and books and shoes and slippers and anything that can be placed inside a mouth are put away, outside ruckusing is prescribed, gates are re-built and re-inforced with towers of chairs, food is stored on high shelves, counters are wiped clean, art supplies (one likes to draw on walls, one has a peculiar appetite for crayons) are placed in high cabinets, granola bars and bags of flour and stray potatoes are confiscated, food is stored on higher shelves. And nap time, my friends, is strictly enforced for all:
*Rutherford, Bonnie and Bill. How to Love a Puppy. Norwalk: C.R. Gibson Company.