Maeve was excited when we picked up Elsie’s new birthday puppy. ‘I’m not getting a puppy, am I?’ she double-checked as we drove into the breeder’s gate.
On the way, we’d shown them a photo of the pup that we were going to pick up. Elsie held the phone, looking at the photo the breeder had sent, smiling.
‘I know what I’m going to call him,’ she said. ‘Blackie.’
‘Maybe you’d like to wait til we get him and you can have a think about a name?’ I suggested.
‘No. I’m going to call him Blackie,’ And she looked at the photo for the rest of the trip.
As we drove off from the breeder with the pup sitting on Elsie’s knee, Maeve looked over longingly from her carseat and said that when she got a puppy it was going to be called Brownie.
Blackie’s lovely. But he’s a pup. Sometimes excited pups jump up. Sometimes they nip. Sometimes they grab onto your pants and don’t let go. Sometimes they run off with your Barbie doll.
We brought Blackie inside a few times when we first got him home.
A couple of days later, when Blackie came running in to the lounge as fast as little legs can carry you when your front paws land at the same time, Maeve jumped up to safety on the couch and offered that she didn’t really think that she’d wanted to get a puppy after all.
The next day I came in from outside with the puppy trailing behind me. Quicker than Elsa could create an ice staircase, Maeve was up on the bench.
‘I think I’m actually allergic to puppies,’ she panicked. And rather than calm and reassure her, I took my phone out of my pocket and snapped this photo:
I, on the other hand, am not allergic. Sometimes I even let Elsie pat him while I’m holding him. If there was such a thing as a Baby Bjorn carrier for pups, I’d have him strapped to my chest; I’d be able to smell that smell and hear those little squeaky noises all day.