We are not “pet people.” Besides the fact that Rich is allergic to pretty much everything that is alive, we just don’t have the desire to add any extra chaos to our five-child home. The idea of having to be home to let the dog out, worrying about what to do with a pet while we are on vacation, or one more body to clean up after just doesn’t work for me at this stage of life. I tell the kids, “You don’t need a pet, you have a baby brother!”

But as a little girl, I desperately wanted a dog. We had a cat (who lived in our garage and outside because my dad is allergic), but I really wanted a dog. In fifth grade, I was having a difficult year socially and felt that I didn’t have any friends. I thought that a cute puppy could be my friend and fill some of the sadness I was feeling in dealing with the mean girls every day.

So after much begging and saving my money, my parents finally allowed me to get a puppy. His name was Skippy, because he was the color of peanut butter. And he had a cute little way of skipping his back feet while he walked if he was especially happy. His mom was a miniature apricot poodle and his dad was a toy apricot poodle, so he was small, curly, and soft. He had a cute brown nose and a smart, cheerful disposition.

Every day when I came home from school, I was happy to see Skippy. He would curl up on my lap while I read, lay under the piano bench while I practiced, and sleep next to me under the covers all night. He was a great little friend when I really needed one. And I was (mostly) true to my word. I saved up my money to pay for his vet bills and I woke up early on Saturday mornings to take him out. Although I hated that part! A couple of times, my younger brother gave me a book of coupons good for taking Skippy outside on Saturday mornings. Those were some of my favorite Christmas presents!

Skippy was a good boy, and lived a long life. When he died, he was sixteen years old. He still had a sweet personality and loved to be with his family. I’m glad my parents gave in to my incessant begging and let me get that puppy!




This post was inspired by Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man a memoir by Brian McGrory. When Brian left his bachelor life to move to suburbia and join his girlfriend with her two young daughters, he had no idea he needed to win over their rooster too. Join From Left to Write on November 21 as we discuss Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


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