Annie is my husband’s English Setter puppy. When she came home with us at 6 weeks old, she could almost fit in one hand. At a mere 6 months old, she is now 40 pounds of feet and slobber. The idea that she will continue to grow in the coming months scares me somewhat.
We have had dogs throughout our entire marriage – boxers, beagles, a doxie, dogs of unknown heritage large and small – but Annie has been my biggest personal challenge. I didn’t know on that early spring day she entered our home, our entire lives would be drastically changed. Yes, I know that she is just a puppy, and all puppies need consistent behavior training, but I’m starting to think Annie is special. My son refers to her as a big bag of bones and stupid, attached to huge feet. Many days her only saving grace is nap time – she is so beautiful when she is sleeping, the only time she remains still long enough to let you actually look at her, and her tongue remains in her mouth long enough to get close to her without getting a shower.
Annie is learning her boundaries quickly in some areas, not so quickly in others. She is ready to please us, her early training as a bird hunter is going well, but her energy level is much higher than any other animal or human in our home. Long walks, runs around the yard, indoor play only results in exhausted owners and an overly thirsty puppy, which leads to the slobber issue.
I know Annie will soon be the beautiful, well-behaved dog she is meant to be. I will even learn to love her for who she is. For now, I do love her because I love my husband, and he loves her unconditionally.