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A New Puppy; Lilly

Shannon Bohrer

My wife and I have been married for 37 years. During this time we have always had horses and most years we have also had barn cats and dogs. We have been fortunate to have had some good dogs. We never purchased a dog, they just show up or we receive the dog of someone we know who couldn't keep it for one reason or another. For the last several years we have been without a dog. Whenever we observed someone with a dog my wife would comment, "they have a dog." Being a police officer for many years I thought that might be a clue that my wife wanted a dog.

Several months ago I purchased a little black lab puppy and brought her home to my wife. My wife loves the dog and she named her Lilly. None of the previous dogs came to us as a puppy so we have been learning a lot, and so has Lilly. She has energy to spare, loves everyone, and believes that everyone loves her. When my wife or I arrive home Lilly is so excited. She jumps and runs so that you would think she just found a life supply of dog food.

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful"

Ann Landers

Lilly stays away from the horses but she wants to play with the barn cats. They do not wish to play with her. One cat "HD" an older male sometimes tolerates Lilly when she is not wound up. HD will treat Lilly like another cat, rubbing his scent around Lilly's face. Lilly is not sure of this and just stands there. However, there are other times that Lilly chases HD and HD, not being stupid, runs away. Lilly then stops and is probably saying to herself - why? All I want to do is play.

One day my wife caught me dancing with the puppy and she said that I looked like Tim Conway. I said that's quite a complement that you mistook me for a well know actor. Her response was something about dancing/shuffling, like an old man. I said I am old and she told me not to dance with the dog when anybody was around. I wonder why she said that.

Since Lilly does not have other dogs to play with some friends recommended that we enroll her in Puppy School. I did not know that Puppy School existed. Surprisingly she was accepted and so far she is doing well. I guess she's doing well. Attending puppy school with your puppy is an experience. I was surprised that she had homework. Actually she did not have the home work, I did. Lilly was just a participant. I do not think she is taking puppy school seriously, she just wants to play. However if you observe the other puppies I don't think they are taking it seriously either. I looked around and wondered if the puppies think the owners are the ones being trained.

At the beginning of each puppy class they let all puppies off leash and they have a free-for-all, running, jumping on each other and barking. The puppy school principal tells the owners, "just let your dog go, he will be alright." It is obvious that some owners are very concerned since they migrate toward their dog. Some owners leave their chair and are almost on the floor, with very concerned faces. My wife has only had to tell me twice, "sit down, she will be alright." When you think about it - the puppies just meet each other and they play very well together. Maybe Congress should go to puppy school.

"My Goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dong already thinks I am."

It is amazing how much a puppy can affect your life. Since bringing her home it seems that my wife and I are often consumed with her health, her diet, trips to the vet, trips to the hay field for potty training, and walks in the woods. Just like our former Lab, Lilly eats everything. In no time at all she found a way under the fence into the garden and she loves tomatoes. She eats hickory nuts, acorns, and grasshoppers. Anything that moves is fair game - then again it does not have to move. Anything feed in the barn, horse feed, chicken feed and cat food, she is sure it is going to be for her.

My wife created a song for the dog and if you sing the tune the dog runs to her food bowl. You don't even have to sing, if you just hum the tune she thinks it's dinner time. We do feed her on a schedule and if you forget she sits by her bowl. I would not say that she is dishonest but sometimes she goes to her bowl in between meals. The other day I was singing to Lilly and my wife came running out with her rifle. She looked and me and said "what are you doing?" I responded that I was singing to Lilly. Then she accused me of calling in predators. I am concerned about my wife's hearing.

It does not matter if I come home tired, in a bad mood or if I'm thinking of work, the great economy we have and/or the Congress looking out for us. Lilly makes me smile. I know that Lilly greats everyone with the same enthusiasm - but she makes each person feel special. When she meets anyone, someone she knows or stranger, her tail wags at very high speed. When she gets bigger we will have to avoid her tail. Lilly, my lovely wife and I have a lot of walks to take and that's a good thing.

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer

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