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Puppy parable

February 11, 2010

Our first puppy was the floppy, happy, dumb sort. I was given to know that we needed some sort of puppy, and this one was available. We were not exactly living at the time in the puppy capital of the world, and the world is a difficult place to navigate without a puppy.

The floppy, happy puppy was kind of endearing, but a little stunted. After a while, we left him as we found him, in loving hands, and moved on. We needed a competent puppy, a vigilant one who could withstand a complex journey.

The next puppy was strong, and while somewhat lame, he seemed good for the journey. But he, too, turned out to be somewhat stunted. He was unable to grow, and we did hope for a puppy who would grow rather large.

We searched for another puppy, one who would become immense and lovable and loving and always be with us. At one point, I thought I had found one. He definitely had the genes for immensity, and he was a very loving puppy. I adored him at once. I knew he wanted to keep me, and I knew I wanted to keep him. It seemed the perfect match.

But the puppy was not a purebred, and it was determined that we should have a purebred. While the puppy I adored seemed to have all the right qualities, he did not have the right pedigree, and so I could not keep him.

After some time, we felt well favored to find a purebred puppy. This one was strong and protective. His ears pricked straight up and never seemed to wiggle. His personality was a little quirky, and he was not awfully affectionate, but he was so clever that I tried to overlook the fact that I did not feel the same snug bond with this puppy that I had felt with the puppy I had really wanted. I got along well enough with the new puppy, though it often seemed the bond was one more of endurance than love. Sometimes the puppy would be snappish with me, and even leave teeth marks, but I attributed this to the fact that I am high strung myself, and he was probably sensing something in my mood.

Time passed, and I always missed the other puppy, the one I found and was not allowed to keep. I always called him my first puppy. I was able to visit my first puppy, and was able to watch him grow. I saw my first puppy’s puppies, and watched them grow, too. It brought me so much joy to see them.

My first puppy never forgot me. He always seemed happy to see me, and we enjoyed wonderful visits together. Then I would go home to my purebred puppy, and he would be glad to see me too, in his own reserved sort of way. And I’m glad to see him, too. He can never be my first choice, but he’s our puppy and our companion for the journey.


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