Dogs Rule

« I won’t have another dog in this house, » I told my spouse firmly. « They’re too much work. » My lower lip jutted out determinedly, just to let him know I meant business. Our last dog lived a long, full, doggy life, and truly speaking, I didn’t feel like going through it all over again.

« But this one’s sooo cute, » he insisted, tempting me with the cuddly, black mass of puppy he was holding, « on loan » from one of his buddies at work.

I peeked over at the tiny chin propped nobly over my spouse’s arm, and the big, innocent brown eyes, almost pleading with me. That was a mistake.

« I said no, » I repeated, trying to sound firm.

« Okay, then, » he said sadly, while gently stroking the dog’s ears. « But we’ll have to keep him overnight–just for tonight. I told Art we’d bring ‘Gizmo’ back tomorrow if you didn’t want him. »

Great. The puppy already had a name.

He set Gizmo on the floor, but I continued to ignore our temporary guest. Oddly, everywhere I went, Gizmo went too.

« He’s following you like a magnet, » my spouse said with a chuckle.

After supper, we set up a box with an old blanket tucked inside for the dog. Strangely enough, he went right to it, curled up, and was asleep in minutes.

« He likes it here, » my husband remarked, grinning. I ignored him.

In the middle of the night, I rolled over and heard the puppy whimpering. I pulled the covers over my ears. After a moment, it got quiet. Too quiet. I began tossing around in bed wondering, What if he’s sick? What if he’s hurt? What if he’s dead!

I couldn’t stand it a minute longer and jumped out of bed to check on him. When I turned on the light, the dog was sitting up in the box, gazing pitifully at me.

« Oh, don’t give me those eyes, » I muttered, weakening.

Poor thing, I thought; he looks so sad. He probably misses his brothers and sisters—or his mother. I turned out the light but couldn’t go back to bed.

Next morning, my husband stepped into the family room and stopped in his tracks. « What’s this? » he said, when he saw me curled up in a rocking chair with a blanket—and the puppy.

« I couldn’t help it, » I said defensively. « He misses his mother. »

And that’s how Gizmo came to be a permanent member of our family.

Unlike cats, who let you use the house now and then, dogs become a part of your social life. One-on-one attention, that’s all they ask for.

I’m a sucker for dogs, I know. But if and when my spouse ever wants another one, I will put my foot down with much more authority. Absolutely nothing will sway me from my resolution: no more dogs!