When it comes to pets, people often talk about whether they are more of a dog person or a cat person. I’m definitely a dog person. Phineas was actually already a year and a half when I got him, so I didn’t have any baby photos of his to use and sketched another pup. In truth, though I’ve had several dogs in my lifetime, I’ve never had a puppy before. I’ve always thought it would be kind of cool and then thought more about the incredible amount of work that would be involved. But, I think that some day we’ll try it. Sometimes, I look at the photos of the dogs at our local shelter that are currently up for adoption. Then, I immediately have to stop as I just want to rescue them all. I’ve often wondered what Phineas was like as a puppy. Probably a little terror, but with a level of charm that somehow made it all okay. He was pretty like that when I got him, so that’s not too difficult to imagine. The energy level he had back then was both exhausting and enviable. I’m not sure I ever had that much energy. But when he finally curled up in a little ball to sleep, I couldn’t help but smile. He was and still is, my little baby.
When I was a kid, my first dog was named Misty, a lovely border collie that was always standing near my stroller. I don’t have many memories from that long ago, but I still remember her. She was my very first best friend. It’s impossible to forget something like that, no matter how young you are at the time. Just before Phineas, I had a dog named Simon who was such an amazing dog. He was so loving and always seemed to be smiling all of the time. His good humor was infectious and no matter what was happening in my day, I had to concede and just be happy along with him. I think this is the gift that pets can bring to our lives. They don’t have any concept of all the crazy stresses that our human lives can bring. For them, it’s just about food and love. But, they can sense when we are stressing about those human trifles and pull closer, trying to reassure us that we’re actually being quite silly and everything is simply going to be fine. Perhaps we just need a bit more food and love. To them, it’s really just that simple in the end.
As the years go by, I know that Phineas won’t be with us forever. We’ll have another dog at some point and he’ll only be a beautiful memory. But today, as he’s curled up at my feet, I always stop for a moment and enjoy the time we have together. I don’t want to take any of these little moments for granted. My life is short and his is far shorter. Each moment we have together is a treasure that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my time here. I still remember that day at the shelter when he leapt into my lap and landed on his back, staring up at me with hopeful eyes. I fell in love that day. And I made a promise. Not simply to take him home with me, but that we would take care of each other from that moment forward. No matter what happened next in life, we’d weather it together. As we both grow older now, I know that I can’t change whatever the future will bring. But I can enjoy each and every moment that’s happening right now. And no matter how old we get, the bond that will share will only grow. And being older will never change the fact that it’s all still just puppy love.
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Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Phthalocyanine Blue, Indian Yellow, Phthalo. Green Pale, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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