Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pistol and the Princess.

After my family's sweet dog Tractor died around this time last year, I mentally hemmed and hawed about what to do about getting my daddy another puppy. I mean, that solved the issue last time, right? So that's what he needed to get past this tragic loss: something else to focus on and love.

Until I realized that if I gave my parents a puppy, I was just giving them something that required a LOT of work, and that they might not quite be ready for yet.

So I waited.

My mom would report for a few months that she didn't think Daddy was ready. (Since my parents' dogs are always outside, and she's not really an animal person, our dogs are mainly his.) Then she started letting us know that maybe he was getting there -- they would occasionally go by the animal shelter, he wouldn't fall in love with one, but he would go back another time, etc.

One day this past spring, I checked in with my mom through email and she said my daddy was on his way to central Mississippi to pick a puppy out of a litter. I was shocked. I was thrilled! I called him and asked what were apparently too many questions about how he made the choice, because he admitted he couldn't make a decision, so he brought home two puppies with the thought he'd decide once he got to know them. He concluded with this statement while clearing his throat, "But don't tell your mother. I -- ahem -- wanted it to be a surprise."

I knew she'd be surprised, all right, but I didn't give it away.

When I met the puppies, I noticed that while they had fun playing together, there was a distinct difference. One puppy (who was black with tan markings) never stopped. In fact, when I tried to take solo pictures of her, they were all blurs. Too cute! The black and white puppy was a different story. She always wanted to be petted -- always. She loved the world stopping on a dime just for her, and she was all about being in the spotlight.

The black and white puppy had similar markings to our longtime dog Tractor, but her personality was also very...royal. Which is why I started calling her "Princess."

My daddy had been referring to the tan and black puppy as "Pistol," which was completely suitable, too. :-)

He finally decided to keep Pistol and found Princess a great home in Georgia, where she apparently lives inside, has baby gates, and wears pink tiaras. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, if it's your thing. It's just never been something I've been used to, and definitely isn't something my daddy would consider.)

So Pistol has been at my parents' since the spring now, and is, well, a pistol. :-) She is a mess, and "retrieves" things for them all the time -- including prizes from my mother's flowerbed and a solar light they'd embedded in the ground by the walkway 10 years ago.

She is a sweet puppy, even if she is a little ADD. Which, of course, I lobby that no one should be faulted for. Shiny objects are shiny objects, after all. :-)

I'm sure it's more frustrating to live with her than to just occasionally visit, since she is fond of digging, retrieving (things my dad forgot were ever in the yard), scratching, and jumping. But she's preciously sweet, and has definitely earned the nickname "Marley" (given by my daddy) with her antics!

And, as my mom says, "I've learned you either have flowerbeds or puppies. Right now we have a puppy."

So, meet Miss Pistol!

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