Why Getting a Puppy is Both an Act of Faith...and of Denial...

OK, we have a new puppy. Don’t ask, it’s a long story. Let it suffice to say this was not in the plan...at least not right now. But it happened. And we are having the time of our lives.


Here she is, Pearl (aka the girl) is a 19 week old apricot standard poodle. She already weighs 31 pounds so its likely that she will be pretty big. What were we thinking? Well it doesn’t matter now because we are in love.

Things are different at this time of life. Once you get beyond the magic age where you can take IRA distributions without penalty or even start drawing on Social Security, long term commitments take on a new meaning. You start thinking things like “how old will I be when...?”  Or at least you should. I certainly know a few guys with younger wives who did not consider what it might be like to have a teenager when they were in their 70s!

A puppy actually falls into a similar class of life commitments. You are making a leap of faith about what the future will hold, what your health might be like and where your interests will lie.  Gulp.

I think leaps are good. Since Pearl came into our lives Michael and I have discussed a number of times how crazy this is, yet how life affirming. There are moments - like getting up early to let a whining puppy out to do her business - where age is telling.  Achy knees on walks are just the tip of the iceberg. But there is nothing better for wrinkling skin that the gales of laughter provoked by crazy puppy antics.

Getting a puppy is a form of denial too, but I think it is a healthy one. Because we are at the point in life where it is fashionable to think about bucket lists and life expectancy charts, many things begin to take on an aura of last chance. “Do it now while you can” becomes the mantra. Plans are made with specific timelines in mind. We all do it, and I admit to being an avid practitioner of the art of careful lifetime planning.

Well, not this time! Once you are face to face with the furry reality, the “while you can”  piece fades into obscurity. It is only “do it now!”  Who cares what timelines and life expectancy charts might say? You know - because your puppy is telling you - that the real imperative is just the now. Nobody, I mean nobody, knows how to live in the moment and enjoy everyday better than a puppy.  Yippee!

Thank you Pearl for coming into our lives. That is, until very early tomorrow morning......