When you get a Dog

My first dog, circa 1962. Name, "Unknown,"

When you get a dog

You’ll smell like a dog

You’ll think you can jog

Then sleep like a log

When you get a dog

You’ll eat like a dog

You’ll leap like a frog

When you play with your dog

You’ll start up a blog

Reliving your jog

Like hair of the dog

In your xmas egg nog

You’ll write of your dog

Like that time in the fog

A cave guy name Trog

You’ll find your way home

Led by your dog

My first dog, circa 1962. Name,
My first dog, circa 1963. Name, “Unknown,”

After just a few months of marriage, my wife and I are ready to take that next logical step, and yes, start a family. So, we’re getting a puppy. Two actually. When I was maybe three-years old, my parents brought home a sweet little Beagle. I ran like, well, a literal big baby–since that’s exactly what I was–afraid of it. Seems I’d seen one-too-many Wolf Man movies under the care of my older brother. There was also the time a year prior, when he held me up before the barred teeth of a barking black lab. Its chain was stretched tight, our noses an inch away from touching. Of course, I thought dogs enjoyed devouring children, so, little Sparky (or whatever his name was) had to go.

When I turned five, Mom had to walk me the four-blocks to Kindergarten because a Shitzu lived on block two, and on any given morning, it might run out to sniff my sneakers, and or, eat my face off. It took me a long time to get over my fear of dogs. It wasn’t until my early 30’s before I decided to get my own dog as a pet. I was newly married and she was an animal lover beyond most sensibilities.

Before it was over, we had 5 dogs, 12 cats, 4 horses and a proverbial partridge in a pear tree.

Well, let’s just say, the door was always open to inclusion of animal life forms. Today, I only fear their inevitable loss. Even before getting our new puppies, I’m already preparing for the heartache should they run into the street, get hit, lost, dog-napped, you name it. But I miss the joy of having an animal to love and care for, more than any selfish feelings that really affect only me. I don’t know what awaits us on the road ahead, but I know that it will be an indelible trip to remember, to feel, to laugh about, and sure, cry over.