No, I'm not bein' presumptuous, though he is kinda adorable don't cha think? More on this in a minute...
I knew it would happen. My husband pushed and prodded for me to agree to take on the puppy when he was found abandoned in a cardboard box in the WalMart parking lot, left only with a little handwritten sign taped to the side that said, "Take Me."
"I'll help with him," my husband said, "promise."
I have a soft place for animals, but it had been a long time since I had actually dealt with a tiny puppy - yet I had no problem with remembering the work that is involved. And this one was only about 5 weeks old. I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I knew it would be me doing all of it. On the other side of age 50, did I really want to take on this task?
Well, as soon as I saw him of course, my heart melted. And I have gotten so attached to him, and he to me. But, I was right. I have done it all. From stumbling through the dark in the middle of the night to take him outside, to getting up early every morning for his first feeding, to living my life around his schedule, and having to tiptoe and keep quiet while the 'baby' napped.
The rambunctiousness, the nips from his sharp teeth. The equally knife-like claws that have scratched me literally everywhere. The feedings. The play times. The multiple trips outside hoping this time he'll go to the bathroom. Followed by the inevitable accidents on the kitchen floor. It has been an experience that has left me exhausted for sure.
But it is in certain other special moments, that I understand why I have fallen so in love with this new four-legged man in my life. When a loud and unexpected noise, or a large dog barking nearby, sends him quickly running to my arms for protection. Or those moments when he is beginning to tire and nuzzles his face into the crook of my neck. The look of anticipation toward the corner where he knows the puppy treats are kept. The exuberance he expresses when he comes out of a nap to see only my face. Such sweet innocence, such dependence on me, his surrogate mom. I do not only love him. I am in love with him.
If you have a special canine that has captured your heart (and I know that some of you do) why not enter your special four legged love into the America's Most Adorable Dog contest, sponsored by All You Magazine. Just send in a photo and an essay about why you love your dog so much.
Contest ends May 17, 2009
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of your dog and tell them why you love your dog so much. Include your name, age, address, phone number, and email address.
For a complete list of rules and how to enter, see page 152 of All You Magazine, Issue 4 April 17, 2009.
All entries will be judged by All You editors based on the following criteria:
a) Overall Charm and Appeal of Photo and Essay explaining why you love your dog (25%)
b) Composition and Quality of Photo (25%)
c) Photogenic Qualities (25%)
d) Appropriateness to Contest Theme (25%)
Winners and runners-up will be notified by telephone or email.
Open to legal residents 19 or older at time of entry.
One winner will receive either a gift card or pet care products. Approximate retail value - up to $600.00
Five runners-up will receive either a gift card or pet care products. Approximate retail value- up to $100.00
TAXES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER
Entrant warrants that the entry is original and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party, that the picture has not been published in any medium and has not won an award.
To enter via postal mail instead, send a photo and your essay to:
All You Magazine
135 W. 50th Street
New York, NY 10020