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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Puppy Lust

Why volunteer to raise a Future Leader Dog (FLD) puppy from 7 weeks to one year?  Why take on the most time consuming and important phase of dog ownership when you're not even going to own the dog when you're done?

I call it "puppy lust."

Puppy breath, puppy kisses, puppy snuggles, puppy wobbles, soft puppy fur.  All the "awwwwwws" that flow around you as you walk your FLD-bandana-ed puppy through a crowd; the smiles pulled from cell phone talkers, pre-occupied worriers, day-dreamers.

Puppy lust is the joy you feel when your puppy first "sits" on command and looks up at you as if saying, "Did I get it right?"  At that moment there seems to be something more than instinct working behind those sweet little eyes, and you know that one day this animal will develop into an extraordinary companion.

And yes, puppy lust includes the trials of training your puppy that "parking" in the house is not allowed.  ("Park" is the Leader Dog command given when the dog needs to poop or pee.)  In the instant when your puppy whines, runs to the back door, and scratches against it in desperation, you realize that your consistency, your attentiveness is paying off and that furry little creature is LEARNING.

It is for these reasons, and more, that I volunteer to raise Future Leader Dog puppies.  Of course, the proverbial icing-on-the-cake is knowing that the result of my effort may one day enrich another person's life in ways that I can't imagine.