Saturday, February 4, 2012

A mad case of puppy love

Call it puppy love, puppy fever or just plain old insanity – whatever you call it, George and I have it. Zoe entered our lives more than a week ago when a friend who visits here regularly (and has five dogs at home in the States), decided to rescue her from the noisy, crowded vet store in Loreto.

Meet Zoe!

Her intention was to bring the little miniature schnauzer (a breed noted for being steadfast, loyal, affectionate and obedient – think dog version of a Boy Scout) home with her as the newest addition to her dog menagerie. But the morning she stopped by our house with the adorable puppy (formerly known as Frannie), her plan changed. Maybe it was my stupefied reaction at seeing her standing on my doorstep holding what looked like a baby Ewok (you’ll remember those tree-living cuties from the old Star Wars’ movies). Maybe it was the way I swooned when I held the fluffy little critter. Whatever it was, she suddenly seemed determined to gift us with the little bundle of joy.

She and our friend Tracy had tried in the past to persuade George to become a puppy daddy. They’d plied him with enough booze to stock a good-sized liquor cabinet, but to no avail. My occasional whining about wanting a pet didn’t move him one bit! He’d just pat my knee in a comforting way and smile sweetly - talk about infuriating! Yes, George stood firm in his resolve to remain pet-free in the face of all that pleading (mine), whining (mine) and alcohol (the two Tracys).

It took the sight of that furry little puppy to weaken his resolve. Suddenly, he was talking about the possibility by bringing up how much our lives would change if we took her. No more picking up at a moment’s notice for a quick trip to La Paz or to town. And what about the boat, he asked. How would we take overnight trips with a dog? (Zoe has been on Poco Loco with us twice now and has been good as gold!) He argued we’d no longer be free to do anything if we had a puppy. Oh, woe was he!

Zoe with Bradley and Shiloh

In spite of all those concerns it only took a few sessions of puppy sitting for him to cave. I can’t say he was as enthused as I, but he gave the go-ahead and now she’s ours. And, boy, have things changed around here! Our living room is a jumble of dog toys and puppy chews. Our time is taken up chasing her around the house, reading dog books, taking her for hourly walks in the hopes that potty-training will be a short-lived misery for all of us, grabbing naps when we can and laughing at her antics as she bounces and bounds around the house. In short, she’s made this place a lot more lively and fun. And George has gone from being puppy shy to puppy crazy. If you’d seen him at the store reading the ingredient’s lists on bags of puppy food, you’d laugh.

Zoe and her best buddy Monti

And to say she’s a hit here in this dog-centric community in which we live would be an understatement. Everywhere we go she’s besieged by admirers and she shows her appreciation with plenty of dog kisses for all. Just a few nights ago, she went with me to watch George and the other members of Los Beach Dogs (how nice that her dad is dog, too!) play an informal gig at the Wine Cellar here in Loreto Bay. I hate to say it, but she took a lot of attention away from those guitar-strumming dogs that evening. In fact, she stole the show!

Not to say it’s all sunshine and lollipops around here, though. Zoe is only 9 weeks old, so she’s into chewing everything in sight. We’ve had to hide all the scatter rugs we had out and we have to watch her like a hawk to keep her from taking off with our shoes and anything else that looks tasty. And let’s not forget the little “accidents” that keep me busy with papers towels and the mop.

We’re very lucky, though, that we have great neighbors and friends to go to for advice on how to train her, especially since neither one of us has been around a puppy in many years. She’s also got some great dog mentors in the neighborhood who happily play with her and teach her how to be a good dog. Thanks Monti and Shiloh!

This has really been a year of changes for us: Walkways, landscaping, Poco Loco, home improvements and now Zoe. Our roots here are really starting to take hold, just like Zoe has taken hold of our hearts…

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