“No no no no no NO!” I hear myself say as the newest member of our family escapes into our bedroom with mom’s slipper. He’s fast and he knows I’m old. I corner him.

“Sam! Grandma’s slipper is NOT a toy!” I pry it loose from razor sharp teeth. I look into soft brown eyes and melt. I love my 15-pound, black standard poodle puppy.

Initially, when I considered a new puppy I had a vague recollection of how much work it was. But that was over 13 years ago. My daughter was 10 and son, Micah, 7. My life was busier then. I just didn’t know it. It’s how it was. I remembered puppies chewed and had accidents, but what I didn’t remember was you lose your life for a few months.

Sam is up during the night one time. He wakes early and has no need for coffee to be energetic. He barks, bites, licks, runs, and generally is 100% cute even at 5am. In the B. S. years (before Sam), I’d sit in my postered rice-bed, sip coffee, contemplate my day, and do Bible study as morning rays filtered across my sage green comforter.

Now, I’m in and out of my back door, squinting into the darkness, waiting for a black puppy to do his business. He’s hard to see. Micah carries his cell phone with him to illuminate Sam. (How else do you know if you should say, “Good boy.”)

Last night, Tom and I escaped to Carrabba’s for dinner. We put Sam in his crate and told him that we needed some ‘alone time.’

During dinner, We spotted an older couple making ‘ga ga’ over a baby. They couldn’t take their eyes off of him.

“Must be grandparents.” I took another bite.

Tom turned back around. “Reminds me of a new puppy.”

We smiled. Time passed.

“I think grandchildren will be better,” I offered.

“Yea. You spoil them, play with them, and then you send them home. Let’s go.”

And then we went home. To Sam.

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