Somehow it all worked out February 25 2018

For years our sons asked for a dog. My advice was that they should get a dog when they were grown and had their own places.

When my oldest son was five, we were at a mall the day before Christmas where he sat on Santa’s knee. I asked him what he told Santa he wanted. He replied "a puppy". I said, “What did Santa say?” “He said, OK.”

After taking my son home, I rushed to the pet store before it closed for the holiday and sat on the floor looking at the small animals, debating which I could stand to pick up if I had to. I came home with a long-haired guinea pig. Shirley was cute and furry. My son could hold and pet him (Yes, Shirley was a male). The perfect replacement for a puppy.

Shirley died of heat stroke after we created a lovely spa-like enclosure on the deck so he could enjoy the sun. Homey, our second guinea pig, came down with scurvy requiring me to force feed him blended greens through an eye dropper. 

We had a rabbit, Peter, who chewed through the phone and electrical cords, shredded my son’s bed, and growled like a dog when we tried to stop him from destroying our house. 

We had three hamsters over time (Teddy, Geoffrey and Geoffrey 2). One died of natural causes. One escaped his cage, found his way into the duct work and got trapped in our old gas furnace. We found him two days later, alive and covered in soot. The third died of pneumonia. 

Goldfish seemed like a simple choice. We purchased three (Fred, Clock and Alf). As each died we replaced it (Fred 2, 2 o'clock and Alf 2 - then Fred 3, 3 o’clock and Alf 3 and so on), until we finally admitted we were unable to keep fish alive. Besides, as my youngest son said, “You can’t pets a fish” – although we did lose some to attempted hugs.

One night we wandered into a pet store with our youngest son just to look at the animals. The cutest little ball of white fur looked at me with big black eyes. The clerk asked if we wanted to hold him.

I said “ No thanks. ” My son pleaded: “Just for a minute?”

We left with a puppy.

I had asked the clerk if that breed sheds. The clerk said no, “a little in the spring, but not much at all.” She lied.

In the store, Misha seemed like a cuddly, quiet little puppy. He wasn’t. He was just lethargic from getting his needles that day. 

We were not great dog owners. We taught him to hug, dance and box. We neglected to teach him to sit, stay or heel. But, we loved him. 

Misha often seemed smarter than us. One day our teenage son was in our family room watching TV and eating pizza. Misha went to the desk, grabbed a sheet of paper in his mouth, returned to stand in front of my son and started shredding the paper. 

“No. Give.” my son commanded. 

Misha shook the paper again and when my son rose to take it from him, Misha scooted around the pool table with my son in pursuit. When they got to the other side of the table, Misha dropped the paper, doubled back, grabbed the pizza off the undefended plate and ran upstairs.

Our kids wanted a dog, I wanted to please them and the dog wanted pizza. Somehow it all worked out.

You can see my "Puppy paws" sushi plate here.

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