Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Puppydom

As I mentioned in my last post, things around the farm have been busy. One of those “things” that is keeping us so darn busy these days is a our latest addition, a new cocker spaniel puppy that I named Maybelle, or as Cowboy likes to call her, Squirt.  We needed a puppy like you need a heater on a hot Texas summer day in August.  That is to say, it’s completely not necessary and may just send you past the breaking point.

The truth is we were thinking that we would just let the doggy population here at Wild Horse Valley naturally shrink over time.  But my heart is often bigger than my brain, and so it goes that Maybelle is smack dab in the middle of it all.

You see, when I graduated from college I used my graduation money to buy the sweetest little blonde cocker spaniel named Madison.  We had that crazy girl for 13 years, and while we loved her to pieces, Cowboy said absolutely no more cocker spaniels.  While they rank high on the adorable scale they rate in the stratosphere on the high maintenance scale.  Madison costs us thousands of dollars with ear issues, eye issues, and just plain issues, but we loved her just the same.  Back in August of 2011, we lost our sweet Madison due to complications of old age.  That was a terribly hard day filled with tears from both Cowboy and me.  It’s never easy saying goodbye to a dear friend, but somehow they gently tell you when it’s time, and you muster all the strength and courage you have in your body to do what is best for them.

Fast forward to a March weekend this year, and Cowboy and I innocently decided to get out of the house on a Saturday afternoon. Considering what happened next, it is amazing Cowboy still lets me out of the house at all.  Anyway, we wound up at a flea market.  Well low and behold we met a family there with a litter of puppies.  They were a sweet family who said their cocker spaniels had one litter a year, and these cute squirmy things were the outcomes.  (Now before anyone gets upset, I do not condone or suggest buying from flea markets, this was purely a moment of heart and memories overloading brain. In general, I am a pound puppy type of gal.)

I reached down into the fur pile and pulled out Maybelle.  The littlest one, red in color, and one of only two little girls.  I could see Cowboy cringe and start to step away as I heard him very clearly say, “No!”  But memories of my sweet Madison kicked in as Maybelle cuddled up to my chin and I was done for.  Because they had no papers, they were very reasonable, and I happened to have just enough cash.  Sold!

Then puppydom kicked into full gear.  I think the brain has some sort of protective mechanism, because if we had ever remembered how much pure work a puppy is, well let’s just say we’d still just have three dogs. Holy smokes … potty training, crying in the middle of the night, chewing (oh the chewing).  If for one minute I was even thinking that two-legged children might be nice, puppydom  knocked it out of me in two seconds flat.

Puppydom has given me a whole new respect for my mommy friends.  The new favorite word at our house is “no,” as in “No, don’t eat that, ” or “No, leave the cats alone,” or “No, you really have to go outside again?” It’s 1/10 humor with 9/10 persistence and a whole bunch of puppy kisses, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love puppy breath?  Quite frankly, it’s a good thing puppies are cute, because otherwise … well let’s just leave it at that!

The good news is that I really think Maybelle needed to come live on a farm.  She is absolutely fascinated with the horses.  She’ll sit in our front yard and just watch the horses in sheer fascination.  If you hold her up to our big fellow, Smokey, she’ll put her floppy paw on his big nose and cover him in puppy kisses.  She loves nothing more than to be outside chasing butterflies, stalking grasshoppers, and tormenting my garden.  But she is our Squirt, and we adore her!

Dog Photo - Maybelle as a puppy
Maybelle on her first day home – already spoiled with love and toys.

Cowboy’s got photos of me passed out on the couch with a worn out Maybelle on my chest, both of us exhausted from puppydom, but someday I’ll look back and smile at those moments as my dear old Maybelle sits in my lap content to just be petted. How long do you think I’ll have to wait for that?

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