Well, they are stories, actually. But I figure that if Blurt can win you over with her tales of the kitties, I’ll bet I can at least get some attention with my own memories of some wonderful puppies. Three wonderful puppies, to be exact. And we all know that three is the magic number.
The first of these puppy-pals was short-lived (an unfortunately poignant pun). Muffin arrived from heaven (I assume because I don’t remember where we got him) when I was still a very young boy living with the family in a rented house in the downtown (literally at the bottom of a hill) portion of our little midwestern village. Muffin, a beagle, pre-dated Ebony (if memory serves, which it often doesn’t) in our family as the first live-in-the-house pet. Muffin was a golden puppy and my very best friend, the first living creature I probably connected with in any meaningful sense, despite the fact that he only lived with us for a matter of weeks.
Because space was tight in our little rented house, Muffin was sentenced to live in the “utility” room in the rear of the house, the same room with washer/dryer and a door that lead out to the backyard. This was fine because he had his food and water dishes, and brown tile that I’m sure he may have peed upon if there was nowhere else to go. Muffin was the ideal puppy, bouncy and beautiful, with a face that not only a mother, but literally everyone in the world, could love.
Muffin’s mortal enemy was none other than our landlord who decreed from on high that we were not to have dogs in the house. Even in the back room. And despite my tears Muffin had to leave. So, he left, after only arriving a few weeks beforehand. My parents took him to the pound. Or, the “animal shelter,” as they called it, a place (they promised their sad, young son) that would help Muffin find a home and family to live with and be free.
Now did I mention that Muffin was the posterchild for all the pretty puppies in the world? Well, he was. In fact, the pound saw fit to place an ad in the paper with someone holding Muffin up for the world to see and love and come and adopt. And because I no longer had a Muffin to walk on the leash, I had to cut this picture out and tape it to the now-empty collar and drag it down the street. (True story, ask my parents or my Blurt if you don’t believe me.)
Now, one can only spend so much time walking around a newspaper cutout, he eventually has to comfort himself with the truth of the world that all good puppies will live long and happy lives. So I called the pound daily to make sure that Muffin had been adopted. The first thirteen days I called they always told me, the boy who loved him, that he was still waiting. And although they never mentioned it, I know that he also missed me as I missed him. Well, all of this was to change on the fourteenth and final day I made my call: “Oh, we only house animals here for two weeks, and then we put them to sleep if they aren’t adopted.” Did I mention I was six years old and loved my Muffin so much I walked around a picture of him taped to his old leash and that I was happily calling to check on the status of my beautiful friend and his happiness? Well, all of this was the case when the idiot on the phone talking to me thought it appropriate to explain that it was pound policy to murder my dog.
Well, my resourceful parents decided to console me with a gift. Ironically, this gift was a Pound Puppy named Muffin. The sad-faced stuffed animal wore a red hooded sweatshirt just like the one I always wore and could sleep in my bed and never had to leave. And it should be noted that he has never left. Ever. In fact, he’s there right now, take a look: