Puppy love is a wonderful thing

February 16, 2014

My latest adventure is training 3-month-old Gracie how to walk on a leash. The suggested training book recommends a short leash and a pocket packed with treats. If she walks a straight line and doesn’t pull, I reward her with praise and a treat. I am the alpha, I repeat. I am the alpha in love with my first puppy!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! Time to share stories about love. I am recalling my fifth-grade class and our sourpuss teacher, Mrs. Root. My best friend Beth is wearing a new red dress with smocking and patent leather shoes. I am envious because she gets a new dress every year while I wear only hand-me-downs from my older identical twin sisters, which means I have twice as many as most people. Our shoe boxes are covered with construction paper and sit neatly on our desks. Suddenly chaos erupts as 30 crazed children are given the go-ahead to pass out valentines. We scurry from desk to desk, glancing over our shoulders to see who is beside our own desks. I watch in wonder as the handsome Peter Weatherbee tries to fit a large envelope into my decorated box. The slit is way too small. His valentine is store-bought for me, not like the others. He decides to try to remove the lid but I have taped it shut on all four sides like the teacher said to do. He tries to wedge it in and suddenly other kids are watching him and his cheeks begin to brighten red like the hearts on the box because now everyone knows that he likes me! He loves me!

As we age, the memory is a wonderful thing, when it works. I am thinking now about school-age children on field trips who wear name badges around their necks so if they get lost, they will find the correct bus to return to their school. We retirees could all wear name badges in the Safeway or on the boardwalk. We could greet one another by name. Hello, I am Eric from Long Neck. I can’t remember why I came in here, but the cupcakes look good. Hello, Eric. According to my badge, I am Sarah from Rehoboth Beach.

Speaking of Safeway, I am most appreciative of Amanda, who works in the floral department. Last week I asked her to help pick out roses and greens from the array of bunches and she told me which ones were freshest. Then she cut the stems and tied the bouquet while I bought my oranges and avocados. I told the manager when I left what wonderful service she gave me. Our state motto should be Downright Helpful in Delaware!

Two people wrote to me last week. A new record! Beth wrote to say she also enjoys volunteering for Read Aloud Delaware, and Michelle wanted to know if I knew anywhere to find a new puppy for her family. Sorry I can’t help you. We got lucky with our Gracie as her mother Lucy, also a rescue, was pregnant when she was adopted. Lucy gave birth to Gracie in her owner Margie’s closet. If anyone can help Michelle find a small dog, write in, please.

Tell me about your latest adventures, whether they are puppies or love or something else altogether!

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