Puppy love is the best kind

Published 7:45 am Sunday, November 16, 2008

There’s nothing quite like puppy love.

C’mon … you know what I mean. Cute, adorable furry little puppies, stumbling around on paws that are still too big for their coordination levels. Sweet brown puppy dog eyes that look so innocently at you, even after those teeth have chewed into the computer power supply cord.

Soft wimpers from a sleeping ball of fur.

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Yep, it’s nearly impossible to resist. And right now, it seems like The Messenger’s staff has a bad case of puppy love.

It all started with Steve Schmidt, who adoped Murphee from a Pike Animal Shelter Coalition event earlier this year. Murphee, a Boykin Spaniel, is quite simply the second-cutest dog. Ever.

We laughed at Steve, who sruggled through the first few weeks of life with Murphee. Mornings were tough – Steve often greeted us gruffly with tales of late nights without sleep; stepping in “surprises” while taking Murphy out for the last walk of the morning; and learning to cope with chewing and dog hairs.

Adrienne McKenzie and Wendy Ward succumbed next, losing their hearts to two little Jack Russell Terrier puppies – Chloe and Popcorn. Even as we all warned that Jack Russells are hyper – even spastic – dogs, who could resist those sweet eyes and friendly little faces?

Popcorn is doing well these days, nursing a hurt paw but benefiting from the special prayers of a 4-year-old with the heart of an old soul. And Chloe, well, even Matt Nascone is smitten, and Adrienne adores their new pup.

We’ve had some downs along the way – Sandy Boutwell’s Fifi narrowly escaped death after being hit by a car on the Elba Highway. It seems she had escaped the backyard and wandered all the way to the road; thankfully, though, two good Samaritans stepped in and probably saved her life. Now, Fifi is on the long, slow road to recovery, pampered and nursed by a loving family.

Even those of us with old dogs are falling prey to those sweet eyes.

On Halloween, a friend came into the office with the third cutest puppy. Ever. The sweet little Springer Spaniel was just a month old and cuddled just like a living Beanie Baby. Big brown eyes. Soft brown and white fur. Barely-there whiskers.

Why, within two hours her brother had found a home at our house, getting his first bath in the guest bathroom’s sink.

Sport, as he’s known around our parts, is quite simply The Cutest Dog. Ever.

Yes, that’s prejudiced. And our older dog, a black lab named Courage, still hasn’t decided if he’s worth keeping around or not, but Sport is undeniably adorable.

Even as he wimpers from his kennel at 2 a.m.

Even as he nibbles, with increasingly sharp teeth, on my fingers, and my arm, and my ankles.

Even as he struggles to learn just what “house training” means.

I’m smitten.

Truth is, puppy love is different for each of us. And there are dozens of pups of all ages who need good homes right here in Pike County.

The shelther, such as it is, houses many who need a good home, from house-trained older dogs to pups who need a nurturing home.

The Pike Animal Coalition needs our financial help, as does the Humane Society which for years has overseen the spay and neuter clinics in the county.

After all, there are hundreds of puppies and dogs just waiting to be loved out there.

And we can’t adopt them all at the Messenger.

Stacy G. Graning is publisher of the The Messenger. She can be reached at stacy.graning@troymessenger.com.