So here’s a question: how do you get Imperial cheese out of the carpet?
You know the stuff. Sharp. Orange. Spreadable. Comes in a red tub and is meant for Christmas entertaining.
Mr WI64 gave it a sneaky test taste this morning, left the plastic tub on the counter and now the tub has tooth punctures and the contents are deep in the carpet.
Yesterday it was underwear.
I emerged from the shower to find unmentionables strewn across the living room, a black bra dangling from MrWI64’s index finger.
Cost me three treats to retrieve this, he said.
In a moment of spontaneous madness this past August, I turned to MrWI64 and, to my surprise, asked Do you want a puppy?
To my greater surprise, he didn’t miss a beat. Yes.
So there we were. In the later years of our lives, suddenly on a quest for a new family member we hadn’t realized we’d been missing.
We’ve had dogs in the past. Mutts mostly that just showed up on our doorstep like we were meant for each other. And we were.
This newest pet would be planned; carefully selected so we’d know what we were in for as we age.
A calm, medium size dog that would be a lovely companion. That was the plan.
A labradoodle was suggested and anyone who knows these dogs has an inkling about their energy level. We had no clue. But there were these scrumptious puppy faces on a breeder’s website. Our senses left us and we were goners. There was a visit in which we sat under a squirming pile of puppies and one seemed to choose us.
The following week he was ours.
We’ve had a puppy before. A puppy and a life.
I edited magazines, MrWI64 had a busy consulting practice, kids were in school, we went out for dinner, took in the odd show and I can’t recall ever thinking what about the puppy? Stanley (named before gender confirmation), our shepherd cross, fit into our lives and we all survived.
So here we are, 25 years later, and we’re at risk of being those potty dog owners whose lives revolve around their pet. Honest to god, if you ever hear me use the term ‘fur baby’, unfriend me.
Herbert is an Australian labradoodle (I blame the Aussies for his high energy level. You won’t wear him out, said the vet. Oh, fine.) He’ll likely grow to 40 pounds and is not calm in the least.
He’s handsome. A charmer and a chewer. I have precisely two socks remaining without holes. I save them for good.
I’m told Herbert will be at the beauty salon more frequently than me. You can see how that’s working out.
This is Herbert at noon, fresh from the groomers.
This is Herbert four hours later, fresh from digging up the back yard.
Still, Herbert is a passport in the community I’ve lived in for 27 years. For all of those years, I’ve walked almost daily, nodding and greeting people I passed, but conversations were rare.
Herbert, bounding and prancing on our walks, has introduced me to the dog walking community. They all know Herbert. Is he in training? He is. Raw food or kibble? Kibble. They track how he’s growing and offer kind and generous tips. Labradoodle owners are abundant and their advice is especially welcome.
So that’s life at the WI64s. Striving to regain and retain a balance and besotted with a high energy young looker.