Adventures in Puppyland, Part Three


We're about to become puppy parents for the third time.

I grew up with dogs, so I always knew someday, when I had my own family, we would have a dog. Of course, I never anticipated we would have a dog, a chinchilla, a bearded dragon, 500 crickets and four goldfish named Larry at the same time. But there are a lot of things about motherhood no one ever tells you about in the first place.

Riley was our first dog with the kids. He was a sweet, lovable goofball who was the equivalent of a furry wrecking ball in our home. Lots of people come up with nicknames for their pets besides the one the dog is actually called. We nicknamed Riley "Dogzilla." That should tell you everything you need to know about him.

We had Riley until the kids were 15 and 17, and then Monty came into our lives. Monty was just as sweet and lovable as Riley was, but where Riley would plunge, Monty would tiptoe, except when it came to finding dead things in the backyard and rolling in them. Monty was afraid of umbrellas, dry cleaning and helium balloons, but he was a fearless fetch player and turned into an incredible therapy dog when I decided the two of us should volunteer together. Ostensibly we got Monty for the kids, but he really became my dog and my best friend during COVID-19. He may have just been into me for all the banana bread I made during that time, but I like to think he liked me for me and not just the food I dropped on the floor.

We lost Monty last September. I was bereft for months and couldn't even begin to entertain the idea of getting another dog. And now that my husband and I were empty nesters, we wondered if it even made sense to get another dog. Suddenly we had the freedom to go out and stay someplace overnight, or travel, and not worry about finding coverage for two kids and a dog, a chinchilla, a bearded dragon, 500 crickets and four goldfish named Larry (may they rest in peace). Did we really want to go back to that kind of responsibility just when we had finally cut all the cords? But I missed having a wet nose nuzzle my legs under the dinner table. And a companion for my walks. And someone to laugh at my bad jokes, or at least not roll their eyes at me. I missed tripping over a dog on the floor, and snuggling a dog while I watched TV, and hugging a dog when I felt down. There seemed to be a lot more checks in the pro column versus the con, and when it came down to it, we just felt in our hearts that we were ready to fall in love with a dog one more time.


So, I want to introduce you all to our new puppy. His name is Bowie... yes, after the great David Bowie, not because the dog is such a great singer but because he makes us feel over the moon in love with him. He is a golden retriever/ cocker spaniel mix who can't quite fit a tennis ball in his mouth yet, but we know will someday be a world class fetch player like his predecessors. But even if he fails at fetch, and is afraid of umbrellas like Monty, and shreds our underwear like Riley, we will still be thrilled, but with less underwear, because we have a dog in our home and our hearts once again.


Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller "Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble," available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at

Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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