Over the weekend, Mr. Taleteller and I found ourselves out running errands, much like most people do, I suppose. We had a few non pet friendly stores to go into, and it was hot, so the dogs were left at home. However, one of the stores we needed to go into was PetSmart.
Normally, going into PetSmart for me without a dog is a bit of a torturous experience, especially when I see other people in the store with their dogs. I always feel a little pang of envy when my dogs are at home and other people are in the store shopping with their dogs. This time, however, I was a little glad that I didn’t have a dog of my own to pay close attention to, because there was a man and his young son and their young puppy.
As we were walking through the store looking for our own items, we kept passing the man and the boy. The man carried the puppy in one arm and the boy was carrying a shopping basket with items they were buying for the puppy. Each time we passed them, I overheard endearing little snippets of conversation. At one point, they were trying to decide on a toy the puppy might like and the boy spoke up in the authoritative manner that only a young child who is an expert on toys can. He told his dad “I think we should get two toys because toys are important.”
Another time we overheard a woman ask the boy what his puppy’s name was. The boy and his dad revealed that they’d just picked the puppy up and they hadn’t decided on a name yet because they wanted to get to know her first. It was just such a sweet an innocent exchange, and the boy and his dad were both clearly excited about the puppy.
In the news lately, there has been an overwhelming barrage of bad news about people being cruel to other people. There seems to be no end to the suffering we can inflict on each other. And yet, the universe also gives us sweet moments like the one with the boy and his dad taking home their new puppy. The aww factor involved in seeing them was incredibly sweet and it sort of made up for some of the ugliness in the world for a little while.
Seeing them took me back to times in my life when I was a new dog owner, both as a child and as an adult. I remember going to a farm and bringing home Snoopy, the first dog I loved as a child growing up on our own farm. Years later, as a teen dealing with a lot of issues, we brought home an Australian Shepherd puppy we named Speck, who was probably a life saver for me at that time. After Mr. Taleteller and I bought our house, we soon brought home our first Greyhound named Treat. Every one of those memories are like little diamonds in my pocket that I take out every once in a while, hold up to the sun and still get a little awestruck by the beauty of it.
For all of the sad things that we see happen in the news, every day, someone is also having their own quiet little moment of joy. It doesn’t make news the way other things do, but it’s still important to reflect on it and cherish it for what it is. And for those who are really lucky, it might involve bringing home a puppy. There’s nothing that quite trumps the aww factor of puppy breath.