Puppy Love

Quinoa

At the end of the first week that David and I began seeing each other in 2008, I called him on Friday night.  We talked about the upcoming weekend when Adrienne and Matt, and Matt’s parents, were coming to see Church Landing on Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’d booked their wedding reception.  Matt’s parents were bringing their two West Highland terriers.

“They’re nice dogs,” I said.  “I like having dogs in the house.”

“Do you want a dog?” he asked.

“Oh, no,” I answered.  “I’m done with pets.  But you’d be astonished at how many people, close friends even, told me I should get a pet after Eric died.  They’d call and say, ‘I know what you need.  You need a dog.’ Or they’d tell me to get a cat, or something.  When I’d answer, ‘You do realize, don’t you, that even if I get a dog or a cat Eric is still going to be dead?’ that usually shut them up.  No, no more pets for me.  I travel too much for one thing.”

“Well that’s settled,” David said.

“What’s settled?”

“The question of whether we’ll have pets.  I’m done with having pets too.”

I was surprised he was already talking about whether we’d have pets, but I liked it.  It was a comfort to think there was a future where I’d be making decisions with someone else about how I lived.

I haven’t changed my mind at all about having a pet.  But this week, being a grandparent to a puppy has been a delight.  Quinoa is lively, spunky, affectionate and adorable.  His unbridled joy at seeing me when I take him out of his crate after being out doing errands, is so gratifying.  I’ve had dogs, and understand the attraction of having such a devoted companion.  But experiencing the devotion this week has made me feel the attraction again, not just understand it.

But it’s only puppy love.  When Quinoa goes back to Tennessee with Sam this weekend, I’ll be fine going back to my petless state.

 

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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