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Posted January 4, 2010 by Tim Wells in Family

Soft Puppy, Warm Puppy


Don’t let the cute faces fool you. They are all destroyers of worlds.

Another Monday morning, another interrupted night of sleep. This time, it was our golden retriever puppy, Lily. Since the little monster sweetheart is on my mind, I thought I’d introduce Lily, blog style.

Dawn and I had been promising our kids, for several years, that when we finally bought a house, we would get a dog. It just so happened that, just at the same time we found our new home, our realtor had a friend with a fresh litter of golden retriever puppies.

I wanted a faithful dog companion, but I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of getting a puppy. I’ve seen Marley and Me. It is to puppy cautionary tales what Jaws is to swimming in open water – and you won’t see me doing that any time soon, either. Dawn and the kids had their hearts set on a puppy, however, and I couldn’t really argue with the wisdom of having the dog grow up with the kids and be trained the way we wanted.

To prepare for our new family member, we bought a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raising a Puppy. We read through the section about how to go about picking out the right puppy for your family’s lifestyle, based on a number of temperament and activity level traits. Armed with our new-found expertise, we arrived at the breeder prepared to initiate our battery of proper puppy tests. After being greeted by the little bundles of golden fur, we abandoned our original strategy in favor of a far more scientific approach: pick the puppy that gave the best kisses. The result was Lily.

We gated off the kitchen, which would act as Lily’s hardwood home during house training, and placed Lily’s bed, toys, crate, and food dish in their places. One of Lily’s first decorating acts was chewing the trim at the base of one of the walls (nope, I didn’t just make it up because it rhymed) . Not long after her initial remodel, some form of puppy OCD must have kicked in, because Lily apparently felt the need to make the kitchen symmetrical by chewing the trim on the opposite wall, as well. By the time she was done, it looked like a family of beavers had taken up residence in our kitchen.

In appreciation of Lily’s contributions, I altered the lyrics of Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty from The Big Bang Theory to more accurately portray our little architect:

Soft puppy, warm puppy
Little ball of fluff
Stupid puppy, naughty puppy
Ruff, ruff, ruff

For anyone not familiar with Sheldon’s lullaby, here’s the original:

Although the chewing can be annoying, it wasn’t completely unexpected and doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the 3:30 a.m. pleas to go outside. I made the mistake of ignoring Lily’s whines one night. I won’t do that again. The result was… unpleasant.

Last night, Lily graced me with one of her middle-of-the-night wake-up calls. As I stood in the kitchen, freezing and waiting for her to finish her ill-timed business, I wondered why I seem to be the only one in our family of six who is awakened by Lily’s whining. Just lucky, I guess.

I will take some satisfaction, however, in sending the kids out to clean up the cause of my insomnia, once the snow melts. I fully expect a yard full of puppy landmines that will rival the Gaza Strip.

Another puppy behavior that I’m looking forward to getting past is the “excited piddling” that sometimes occurs when Lily is happy to see someone. For example, our friends Scott and Megan visited on New Year’s Eve and Lily greeted them by peeing on the floor.

Don’t get me wrong – Scott and Megan are lovely people. I just think that wetting oneself should be reserved for things like the Mariners winning the world series or a visit from the pizza delivery guy.

So that’s Lily, in a nutshell. Like any other puppy, she’s a furry waste factory with teeth and a short attention span. Fortunately for her, she does give good kisses.

Tim Wells

Dad, husband, gamer, blogger, geek. Not necessarily in that order.