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Our first Willowy December

The most recent addition to our family, our not-so-little-anymore, 60-pound Golden Retriever pup, Willow, has not only stolen our hearts, but she’s also stolen numerous sandwiches, crab rangoon, socks, slippers and as of a few nights ago, my right tennis shoe which we still haven’t found.

At seven months old, she is a beautiful yet gangly whelp with the attention span of a fruit fly and the energy of a three-ring circus.

She has gnawed at the corners of the woodwork and furniture, left muddy footprints on my sofa, removed the stuffing and squeakers from any and all soft toys in our house and is the equivalent of an “annoying little sister” to Belle the Bloodhound.

Belle would prefer to spend most of her time tucked away in our bedroom, sheltered from any activities that may involve loud noises or sudden movements. Mick and I know better than to watch any sporting event that may find us yelling at the television, the referees or even each other when Belle is in the vicinity. We made that mistake once and practically had to pull a quivering Belle down off the ceiling fan. However, somehow Willow’s exuberance has rubbed off on Belle ... in a good way. Willow and Belle will play and rough-house, rolling around on the floor, limbs entangled and noses wrinkled. It’s a comical sight.

So far I’ve caught Willow gnawing only one decoration from our Christmas tree. As I pried it from her jowls, I cringed when I saw the hook still attached to the bulb. I’ve basically given up on keeping a skirt around the base of the tree because she absolutely refuses to understand it belongs there. We haven’t set any gifts out yet and most likely will wait until Christmas Eve to do so, theorizing she may take a fancy to the bows.

We have a difficult time keeping the firewood in the basket near the fireplace. Although we have more than what should be considered an abundant amount of toys for our brood, she seems more interested in searching through the basket for the perfect log with more than enough bark to make a huge mess on the floor.

If we were better about unloading our clean clothes from the basket upstairs in our laundry room, we probably wouldn’t find our sweats, shirts and pajamas laying around in the dining room, kitchen or on the stairs, or wherever else she decides to drag them. I can only assume she likes the scent of the Snuggle dryer sheets.

In short, she can, at times, be exhausting. But like all youngsters, she’s usually quiet around strangers and when she’s sleeping, she’s adorable.

So anyway ...

We recently had Willow spayed and the other day I had to take her back to the veterinary’s office to have her stitches removed. That appointment was in the early afternoon, so I decided I’d just take her to work with me in the morning since I would need to return to the office after her quick procedure. I thought surely I could keep her at my desk in my office without much distraction to any of my coworkers.

Mind you, I love my little fur-girl and, for the most part, enjoy her goofy puppy antics. However, I was on pins and needles as we walked into the office that morning, not knowing exactly how she’d react to this new environment.

Not completely to my surprise, she was a jewel. She was friendly, obedient, quiet and patient. She cuddled up under my desk, peaking her nose out to watch passersby. She shared my lunch, would sneak in a little kiss from time to time and lead me to the back entrance when she needed outside. When I told her it was time to go home for the day, she carried her leash as if to remind me we were off the clock. I wouldn’t say all my fur-girls are suited for office hours, but Willow was clearly up to the challenge.

I think Santa will be good to my girls at Christmas. And if nothing else, at least the soft toys Willow may find in her stocking will provide us a glimmer of a white Christmas as she litters the living room with the stuffing from them.

On a side note — the Newton Daily News needs an office dog!

Contact Dana King at

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