Puppy Therapy

ZaneLast week our daughter came over for the day. Her intent was not so much to see us but to enjoy our air conditioning. Being pregnant and midway through her third trimester, she had added reason to seek relief from the heat.

She didn’t come alone, however, bringing with her Zane, an adorable bundle of energy and delight. Zane, our kids tell us, is our grandpuppy.

In three plus decades of marriage, my wife and I have never had a dog. She is allergic and so is our daughter. Zane, however, is a mix of hypoallergenic breeds (I didn’t know there was such a thing), so it’s all good.

When they arrived, I hugged my daughter and played a bit with Zane. Then I went back to work. Awhile later, Zane showed up in my office, carrying his favorite toy. He wanted to play. I didn’t need much convincing. Puppy love is so much more inviting than article editing.

At eight pounds, the pup carries a lot of spunk. We soon engaged in a robust game of tug. Eventually he wearied of the sport and trotted off. Did I mention how cute he is?

He repeated this throughout the day, providing a welcome interruption to my toil. Sometimes he showed up with a new plaything, other times just to be petted, and once or twice for me to merely acknowledge his existence.

Now I understand why animal lovers like to have their dogs at work, especially when their office is at home. Although Zane is too rambunctious to curl up at my feet, I do envision him doing so when he grows older.

I also had a talk with him, explaining that in a few months, I wouldn’t be paying him as much attention, instead focusing on his new baby brother. Though I’ve mentioned this before, I’m not sure he comprehends it.

I didn’t accomplish as much work as I wanted, but it was a good day – a really good day. Puppy therapy can do that.

[This is from the July 2013 issue of Peter DeHaan’s newsletter. Sign up to receive the complete newsletter each month via email.]

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