Puppy Love

It's no secret to anyone who is close to me, and especially at the time, that when I became pregnant with my youngest son, I was less than happy. 3 bottles of gin less than happy. Tears for Africa, less than happy. I found out I was pregnant the same week my daughter started school. My plans that had involved retraining, returning to the workforce and getting out of my house were shattered with the unexpected news that I was pregnant. I spent almost the entire pregancy depressed and *horrible*, though I was well, and delivered a healthy baby boy in May of 1991.

And from the moment I saw that boy, I fell in love. He looked different from my other children - dark to their light, straight to their curly, quiet to their noisiness. He had big green eyes and long dark eyelashes. He hardly fussed, not even weeks later when gravely ill he was rushed to hospital and lived in an oxygen tent for 10 days. He just lay there, weakly, letting them prod and poke him. He would burrow against my chest when I cuddled him and spent a lot of his time as a baby sleeping on me. Once he was better life resumed and he was content and happy and loved and let me drag him all around town and to meetings and all sorts of long trips in the car and hardly ever fussed and I enjoyed his company *so* much.

When he first started making sounds, they were animal sounds. He didn't talk til late - mostly because he couldn't get a word in edgewise - and one of the very first sentences he ever uttered was "I want a dog". Through the years that changed at times to "I want a baby brother" but that's a different story.

There are some children in this world that just *have* to have a dog. David was one of these kids - almost seemed incomplete without one. And we never had one. Cats were our thing and David loved those and they him. He could talk to cats and they'd seek him out, but so would other animals - he had a knack. Friends and relations loved when David came to visit because their dogs loved David and they would play and play and run about and snuggle together on the floor and be best buddies for the entire visit.

For the last few years I've been trying to convince Greg that David *needs* a dog. There are always excuses that seem so valid - the fence needs fixing, its the wrong time of the year, we just got a cat, no one is at home during the day. And of course i don't live there anymore so it's not like I can just *show up* one day with a dog for a household I no longer live in (though I was on the verge of doing just that not so long ago).

For a while mid 2003, there was a lot of talk and flurry with Greg's parents about getting a dog for David. I think in part my exmother-in-law knew how much I wanted a dog for David, and she wanted to be the one to get it for him - her personal hobby is upturning any and all of my applecarts. So, as the story goes, they went out to get a puppy one weekend only to come back with a bird. I'm still not so sure how that happened but I think it had something to do with my exfather-in-law wanting one and you know how that sort of thing goes. Well the bird turned out to be a fantastic pet - really intelligent and David loved it dearly and was heartbroken one day soon after Christmas when it flew out the door never to be seen again. He was miserable the entire summer holidays and quite withdrawn and sullen.

Last year, Greg's parents took David to the SPCA to pick a puppy. I was so pleased thinking Dave would finally get his heart-felt wish. But because my ex-inlaws are the weirdest people on_the_planet, they would arrive at the SPCA and get David to pick a dog, then bring David home *without* the dog. Returning the following weekend to find the dog he'd picked had gone (oh BIG surprise) and have him pick another, only to repeat the process of not getting a dog 3 or 4 times. why? i have no idea.. they are *freaks*. So he was getting quite depressed and disillusioned and just said he'd like to stop going to the SPCA please.

All this time, David has been quietly and patiently longing for a dog and believing he'll only ever have a dog once he left home where he was planning on having 3 golden retrievers and his own house.

Until today when I went to the pet store to buy a kitten.

They were cute kittens too - I really liked the black one. But in the cage next door to the domestic kittens (as opposed to the $990 ragdoll kittens) were 3 very lively Jack Russell terriers. I'd been told they were hard to get, and expensive and here were three reasonably priced (considering they were pure breds) puppies leaping about like crazygonuts on caffinated drinks. I just loved the face on the little brown and white terrier and wanted to scoop him up and take him home to David. But, of course, I don't live there so being a *good* exwife I phoned Greg who, strangely enough, was in the Glen Innis area.

He didn't sound so keen on the idea of buying a dog on this overheated Wednesday but was worn down by my phone whinning and came to see the puppy anyway. And he wavered too, was making all the signs he was going to say "lets think about it some more" or "I know where I can get a cheaper one" or the old chestnut "once i fix the fence" right up until I put the puppy into his arms and it burrowed its wet little nose into his neck. Thank goodness the puppies had worn themselves out leaping around like lunatics the 30 minutes before Greg got there and now this wee pup was knackered. And Greg melted, and said yes. So we bought the pup and took it home.

Unusually, David was lying on the couch watching television - normally he is on his computer playing games or watching episodes of his favourite shows one after the other. I have a sneaky suspicion he likes "Home and Away" but he keeps it on the downlow. I had a bag of puppy chow so I asked if he'd had dinner and when he said he hadn't I gave him the bag of dog food. He scoffed and thought it was cat food for Trixie. Then he looked at the label and said "hey, this is dog food, she won't eat this" and I said "i know, it's not for Trixie"

Just then, Greg came in and put the cardboard box containing the puppy next to David. He was just asking what it was as the lid opened as the puppy pushed it's nose out and looked at David. He was so excited, exclaimed how cute the puppy was and asked who it belonged to, not thinking it was for him. The look on his face when he realised it was his dog was priceless. Absolute joy.

Later David told me that when he saw the dog his heart jumped into his throat he was so happy.

Today was a good day, I think we made a memory for David he'll never forget.

David and his new puppy