Jim, a sales associate at our store in Natick, was examining a piece of furniture when I noticed a deep scratch on top of his head. “What happened?” I asked, curious. “My five-month-old puppy took a swipe at me,” Jim said. “Her nails were pretty sharp.”
Oh, the puppy stage. I know it well. Jim pulled out his phone to show me photos of his beautiful English Spaniel. He named her Ally, a play on the basketball term ‘alley oop’, in which a player catches a ball in mid-air and dunks it before his feet hit the ground. The name alone told me his puppy was an energetic ball of fur.
“How’s she with the furniture?” I asked innocently. Jim’s pained expression said it all. Unsupervised, his pup would shred the low rungs on all his bar stools.
When my Boxer, Roxie, was a puppy, we made the very unfortunate decision to replace our old carpet. One day after the new carpet was installed, Roxie coughed up a bone in the center of the room. A mountain of scrubbing bubbles still hasn’t gotten that stain out.
Puppies are mischievous. They can’t help it. They seem to possess a radar for the things that mean the most to you and they’ll find a way to improve them by gnawing or scratching. That’s probably so you’ll realize that the only perfect thing in your home is the pup. Ask any of my three boys what they love most in our home, they’ll say Roxie. My son, a college freshman, doesn’t seem homesick for us, his family. But he does tell us how much misses the dog.
Looking for some puppy love this holiday season? There are 95 days until Christmas. If you’re planning to get a puppy, start contacting breeders now. In about six weeks, you’ll get to pick your pooch. Be sure to use that time to come to terms with some of life’s truths. As often as you tell the kids about their new responsibilities for the dog, you’ll probably be the one to feed it, walk it, clean up after it, and take it to the vet.
At FCG, we often see the evidence of puppy wear-and-tear on furniture. Some of the damage, no doubt, was annoying at the time to the owner. But ask any of them if it was worth it. I’m quite sure they would all say yes.