A Letter To My Midlife Canine

IMG_0274“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” – Nora Ephron

Dear Harry,

I’m starting with a confession: I didn’t want you. I know I’ve denied it but you have to understand where I was coming from.

I was just getting over an 11 year relationship with a 90 pound golden retriever named Oliver who ate: a kitchen floor, Christmas lights, mail, shoes and every important paper I owned. He made Marley look like one of Cesar Milan’s dogs!

It was three years after Oliver’s passing and my obsession with vacuums was subsiding and so was my eye twitch. I didn’t blame Oliver. We were bad parents; we worked during the day. No one was home to walk and play with him. When I became a stay-at-home mom it was a little late for rehab – although I did research canine lobotomies.

I went to the shelter under the premise we were just looking. After owning a purebred we thought we would rescue a mutt. Oliver was likely a product of bad breeding practices, since he experienced a range of health issues.

We almost left without you – we were walking away after checking out the dogs available for adoption. I could see evil in every one of their eyes. Visions of chewed shoes danced in my head.

Then after prompting from my son, we went back in. I’ll admit you were cute and happy.

My husband said, “We’ll take him!”

Before you know it, we were driving home with you, pet bowls, food and buyer’s remorse (mine).

I set up a crate and prayed. That night, I didn’t sleep. We had just renovated our home and I couldn’t do it again.

I woke up and said, “We have to get rid of him.”

I know it’s hard to hear those words but you won me over. You are not perfect but apparently neither am I; I’m a cold heartless soul who kicks puppies to the curb!

Despite, the hair you deposit everywhere, you won me over. You arrived just as the teenage cretins who live in this house have asserted their independence. The hormone tsunami has hit and during this storm you’ve become a ray of light.

I love you because:

  • You are always happy. Here in hormone hell, happiness is measured on a Richter scale!
  • You always love me. I know I feed and walk you but I’ve messed up a couple of times. The cretins don’t always love me!
  • You never ask me for money. Teens and money, need I say more!
  • You never complain about dinner or your life! Teens do that a lot!
  • You are a constant in world that is perpetually changing. The trials and tribulations of watching my kids grow up have intersected with my own changes. We are all moving in different orbs and sometimes it is frightening – and there you are a steadfast companion, a creature of habit who thinks I’m ravishing and misses me if I’m gone for five minutes.

What’s not to love? Okay, maybe the hair!











  1. Oh how I can so relate. After adopting an adorable labradoodle named Bailey, 4 years ago, I asked my husband what the return policy was for dogs! Needless to say, she was just too darn cute and we forged ahead. As my teens are also high maintenance at times, I have informed that them that Bailey is now my favorite child!

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