Puppy power

Sherri Gardner HowellFarragut, Kitchen Table Talk

Life with a puppy isn’t exactly like life with a toddler, but it’s dang close.

The main difference is that you can leave a puppy alone for more than two seconds. There are still consequences, of course, but you can do it.

Princess Sassafras, aka, Sassy

Princess Sassafras, aka, Sassy, is now 13 weeks old. She part Chihuahua, part who knows, and she is a bundle of energy. She has hit her chewing phase full throttle and is especially fond of paper and my husband’s bedroom shoes. She likes all of her chew toys, but if they aren’t convenient, any good magazine, book, towel, pillow, string, chair leg, etc. will do just fine.

Sassy is a bundle of puppy energy. Her short legs can take her to unbelievable speeds, especially when she is chasing grandson King. Outside, she runs in circles around my feet, just for the joy of running.

She is a very sweet puppy with all indications of growing up to be a sweet, lovable dog. At first, we thought we might have to be happy with her just being sweet, but she has shown a little more understanding of things lately. And, like a toddler, just because she doesn’t DO what we say doesn’t mean she didn’t understand the command! She hasn’t quite figured out that she is that puppy in the reflection in the doors to the deck at night, and she wants so desperately for that reflection puppy to come out and play.

The best trait she has, so far, is her utter puppy joy whenever someone comes to the house to visit, especially if those visitors are less than three feet tall. She loves children and is convinced that the only reason anyone comes to the door is because they want to hold and play with her!

The blanket doesn’t stand a chance once Sassy’s puppy teeth go to work.

She isn’t wrong in some of those assumptions. We have become quite popular in the neighborhood with neighbors’ children and grandchildren stopping by to ask if Sassy can come out and play.

We always say, “Yes,” because sometimes I think, as she finishes chasing her tail or running random loops around the den, she looks at us with an inquisitive expression that seems to say, “How did I get stuck with these old people?”

But, like a toddler, she finds great comfort and joy in those afternoon snoozes and cuddles at night.

I think we will all be just fine.

Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons.


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