Puppy for Christmas

Holy ghost of Christmas past! I was watching “Miracle on 34th Street” and Kris Kringle was on his way to Bellevue when I realized I have a blog deadline. I don’t want to miss this one because I’m writing about Awesome Doggy.

What an awesome dog you are, Aw'gy.

There are plenty of other things about which to write, such as Christmas coming this time each year (The Beach Boys told us that) or readying my new house for move-in December 27. But none are as important to me as my dog, Aw’gy.

We met 4 years ago today at PetSmart in Las Cruces. My friend Tom was with me when I went in to buy cat food for Hidey. “Let’s just see who’s here” I said. Safe Haven Animal Shelter had two pups – a brother and sister – resting on a pillow like yin and yang.  “The girl’s been adopted. He’s the only one left of 12.”

Adopting a dog was the furthest thing from my mind that day but there was something about this pup – so sweet, the runt of the litter, licking my friend’s face and that broken tail.

Like Nemo’s lucky fin, Aw’gy’s broken tail only bothers others. I say it would help me pick him up out of a line up. “We think it happened before he came out,” the Safe Haven ladies said. Later I told someone at the dog park it happened because he was at the bottom of the barrel, to which she said, “He was in a BARREL?”

He had a wonderful foster mom, Judy, who – with her own dogs – showed this Black Lab with a side of Hound how to be a good pet. I brought him home Christmas Eve knowing he would name himself. “What a good dog,” I marveled after showing him just once how to find his way outside. “You are AWESOME! What an awesome doggy!” Thus Aw’gy was born.

At least once a day for the first six months I found myself wondering what the heck I was thinking, bringing home a pet and me with nary a clue. Determined not to have an obnoxious dog, formal puppy training helped me learn how to be a good owner. Sure enough, over time we have learned from each other how to be good companions. Now it’s safe to say, just about everybody loves Aw’gy.

In just four years, we’ve walked hundreds of miles together. I thank him out loud for getting us out in nature. It gives me great joy to see him chase a jackrabbit through the desert or now to run with abandon down the beach. He’s a guard dog, treat freak and car-ride junky. Together we’ve traveled the country, visiting friends and family from New Mexico to Wisconsin and Indiana to Florida, Louisiana and back home again across Texas. We’ve stayed in hotels (La Quintas are most dog friendly), shared snacks on the road (he LOVES a Starbucks’ puppy chino). He’s my side kick.

In about 10 days we move into our new home on Crimson Drive in Valparaiso, in Indiana’s snow belt. I have some anxiety about where he’ll go for quick relief when there’s 3 feet of fluff on the ground. I’ve decided not to worry but rather trust that we’ll figure it out together. Awesome dog. Smart puppy. Sweet companion. I’m grateful that Hidey lead me to Aw’gy. My live is richer for the fuzzy company I have known.

Thanks to the ghost of Christmas presents for putting Aw’gy in my path. Happy Holidays to you! Now go hug a puppy.





3 responses to “Puppy for Christmas

  1. Michelle Cannizzero

    That is such a touching story. Awgy certainly deserves the praise. Isn’t it
    amazing how a dog can touch and enhance our lives. Shine on!!

  2. a canine heart hug!

  3. What an awesome story. I can’t believe Aw’gy’s been in your life for 4 years. He is a great, gentle dog.

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