Do puppies have a spiritual life?! I sincerely doubt it! They are, however, extremely cute.
The German Shepherd puppy to the left is a new addition to our family.
I have been saying for a number of years that we would not add any more dogs to our "pack". We were down to three, and that seemed quite enough. My husband, however, has been wanting another German Shepherd ever since our previous one died about 5 years ago.
And so, out of the blue, it occurred to me that for my husband's birthday, I could make him (which is actually tomorrow) really happy by surprising him with the puppy of his dreams. So I began a search...these dogs are not readily available in our area, so I knew some travel would be involved. In addition, I found out how expensive they have become!
My husband hits the big 7-0 tomorrow, and I figured there's nothing like a puppy to make you feel young again. Or tired...as the case may be. But really, it was the thought of just how thrilled he would be that made me carry through with the plan. I knew how much it would mean to him.
I found a puppy, then prevailed upon my husband's three adult sons to help pay for it, and then enlisted my daughter to accompany me on the 5-hour one-way drive to pick him up. Then it was 5 hours back, with a 9-week-old puppy who'd never been in a car... He lost his lunch - and everything else! - in the first 20 minutes or so, and continued to wretch pitifully for much of the trip. But we made it!
That was last Wednesday. My husband was teaching a class for the reserve officer police academy of which he is the director, and we planned to surprise him with the puppy at the beginning of the class. The puppy was introduced as "your new recruit", and my husband was appropriately and satisfyingly surprised and overwhelmed.
For myself, this was an incredibly rewarding experience. I've never enjoyed giving a gift as much as I enjoyed giving this one. I knew he would want the puppy, and I knew he would enjoy receiving the gift in the presence of his reserve officer students. I gave this gift freely, knowing that, even though I enjoy puppies, it would be a sacrifice for me because I would have to do most of the work for the time being. It was truly a gift of love - the mature love that comes with years of marriage, and which means you really understand your spouse. There are times when we drive each other crazy, but in the end, we know we are together for the long haul, and we each do what we can to make the other happy. Sometimes we hit the jackpot!
The other three dogs are taking it in stride, and everyone seems to be getting along fine.
Our puppy probably doesn't have a spiritual life, but he's had an impact on mine - for better (as in helping me to realize how much my husband means to me), and for worse, as sometimes the hours of the Divine Office have gone by the wayside due to the necessities of caring for a puppy. But this too shall pass, and very quickly. Things will be back to normal soon.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.