Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Puppy Journals: Day 1

We spent last night in MA, four hours from home, so we could pick up the newest addition to our family this morning. We've been obsessing over French Bulldogs for at least five years now, and last weekend we decided to make the jump. Within hours we were in touch with a breeder, and the next day we Skyped with a puppy. Five puppies, actually. They were docile, sweet-faced animals who simply sat and watched their owner scoot her laptop around on the floor so we could see them. They weren't jumpy. They weren't shy. They were perfect.

Meteorology is not perfect. After a late start and a long visit at the breeder's house, surrounded by snorting, grunting, happy Frenchies, it was time to hit the road and get our rental back before its 3 PM deadline. We had about 30 minutes of wiggle room in our timeline, and we knew the living-evidence-of-climate-change-late-October-freak-nor'easter wasn't going to blow in until the evening, so we felt OK. A little worried, but OK. Amy sat in the back of our odd little Nissan Cube (seriously Japan?) and held Omar in her lap.

As it happens, that nor'easter blew in about four hours early and ten inches heavier than expected, and our lovely country jaunt through New England turned into a nightmare race against time and the elements to get this stupid purple box on wheels back to Budget in time. I was constantly doing math. "At this rate, for a few hours, I'll be x minutes faster than Google Map's estimate. We're in good shape." Our wheels skated along the slowly building slush. Semis would splash by, wiping out my visibility for a sphincter-wrenching three seconds. But all I had to do was turn back and see Omar's face, serenely looking back as if to say "you got this, strange man who I now love with all my being."

We hit the last traffic jam just outside Manhattan at 2:53. I knew we were done for. But this puppy hadn't made a sound all day. He was perfect. We parked the car and ate the charges for a second day, and spent the rest of the day with our dog. He spent his time flinging himself from one lap to another to the corner of the couch. Sure, he peed on the floor a few times, and sure, when we tried taking him outside he just shivered in the LATE OCTOBER SNOW and looked at us as if to ask, "What did I do wrong?" But he never whined. He never barked. He never chewed anything.

We read the books. We knew the problems ahead. But clearly, we had chosen wisely, because our puppy is in no uncertain terms a genius.

Colin Fisher is a lot of things to a lot of people, but mostly he's just an actor and writer.

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