Simon’s 11th birthday

It started right after Christmas with Simon, this sudden and deep desire of his to own a puppy. He spent hours begging for a puppy and would often show us screenshots of available puppies from various Google searches. It didn’t matter to him if the litter was in Texas and were show-dog quality. A litter of puppies was available!

In my head, this yearning for a puppy feels like the beginning of the end of his childhood and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that this is my last-ditch effort to keep him young. He’s 11 years old now and it won’t be long before puppy love has been replaced by real love. A love of friends, of soccer, of running and iPhones, of (gasp) girls will all be more important than anything I have to offer at home.

So with these thoughts in mind and his birthday looming closer and closer, I began the reluctant search for a puppy. We wanted something that would be interested in running, but not any bigger than our 70 lb. Labrador. I also wanted something that doesn’t shed, as I spend enough time vacuuming the floor. We also didn’t want anything ridiculously expensive.

Simon, meanwhile, was none the wiser to our secret searches.

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On the day of his birthday, we had him sit on the porch and wait while Matt and I ran to Great-Grandma’s to retrieve the box. Roan and Rowdy had almost ruined the surprise by telling Simon that they bought him puppy treats for his birthday. We tried to deflect by pointing out that there was no puppy (Do you see a puppy, Simon?) and that he was going to be VERY disappointed when he opened the box. We also mentioned that although Lizzy girl is an older dog, she would probably appreciate some new treats.

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Our one great mistake is that we didn’t get a video recording of him opening his present. It doesn’t matter because I don’t think Matt and I will ever forget him exclaiming, “IT’S A PUPPY! IT’S A PUPPY!” while quickly wiping away tears.

When he opened the box and saw this little sweet German Shorthair Pointer, I believe that he was completely and utterly shocked.

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He named her Kit-Kat, like the candy bar, which is ironic as Simon doesn’t like candy bars at all. I really wanted to name her Little Ann from the story, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” which is about a boy who desperately wants a puppy. I was vetoed, however, which is fine because she’s not my puppy.

If it were up to me, we wouldn’t even have a puppy. I was perfectly fine with our (neglected) fish tank, hamster, cat, and geriatric dog.

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But like so much in life, this puppy isn’t really about me. It’s more about a boy and the desires of his heart. Who am I to say no to that? Yes, Kit-Kat will be responsibility and lots of work. Yes, she will potty on the floor and dig in the garden. Yes, she will probably run all over the neighborhood.

My hope, however, lies in the fact that one blond-headed, gapped tooth, freckled face kid is chasing after this green-eyed little beauty. It won’t be long before Simon’s eyes find something else pretty to chase, I just know it. So for now, he’s deeply in the trenches of puppy love and I couldn’t be happier.

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Happy 11th birthday, Simon Pool.

Your Dad and I love you more than you even know.



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