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Several times in my life I've experienced the hectic months-long madness of comming home each day, bone-tired from work, only to engage in a losing fight to contain the destruction and the poop that an entire litter of marauding puppies can dispense with such unbelievable gusto...  And then, a mere 8 weeks after it began, I've slogged through the heartbrake of seeing the little demons go to new owners... one by one... until suddenly I come home one night and the floors are pee-free, the furniture's insides are still surrounded by the furniture's outsides, and my home is... silent.**

The last time I went through this, I wrote a little "Ode to a puppy, leaving".  It is perhaps, a bit sappy, but I like it.  As far as I know, I only shared it with my then girlfriend (now wife).  Now I share it with the rest of yus.  Enjoy...

To a puppy, leaving -

I  little doubt you will always carry your mother's smell in your heart (or she yours).  But I hope you also remember mine.  And the girl's.  It would be a fine thing to meet on a trail some afternoon.  And to sniff good memories (or chase fat squirrels) together.

But here is your new family.  Nervous.  Careful.  Happy.

It is silly to say: Love them.  You will.  They are yours now.

Already you warm them and make them more human as they raise you to their faces and you stare back unafraid; then wag, and smile, and stretch to lick their cold noses.

Good boy (girl)!

Already, maybe, you save them.  But it may not always be as easy as that.  So be ever vigilant.  Grow healthy and strong and fast.  Make your bark honest, and loud, and fierce.  And learn to bite true.  For these people are now yours to protect.

** The bit a about silent, urine-free, furniture safe home is true, but only in a very relative sense.  The three canine marauders that currently claim territorial sovereignty over our house and all nearby streets have ensured the furniture, floors, and neighbors, remain on edge.

P.S. If this dog thing resonates with you, you may like this Rudyard Kipling poem... I have a hard time getting through it without tearing up...  Then again, I am - admitedly - a wuz.



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