I’ve never considered myself to be in possession of a whole whack of feminine wiles, but I’ll tell you, I dug deep and employed every measly one I had a few weeks ago in my attempt to convince my lovely husband William that we needed a new puppy.
It all started when a picture of a litter of six pups popped up on my Facebook feed. They were from the same breeder that birthed our brilliant, beautiful and bouncy boy Fitzgerald one year and five months ago.
This picture showed six little Boston babies in various stages of being milk-drunk, laying fast asleep with their little pink tongues hanging out, their paws splayed out from underneath them, looking perfectly, absolutely, and empirically adorable.
William and I had decided (or, rather, I had decided and pleaded with William to agree with me) that it would be a good idea to get Fitz a sibling at some point. After some research, we discovered that a two-year difference would be ideal, since Fitzi’s puppyhood would be about over and he’d be more than ready to play Big Brother. I had contacted the breeder and told them we wanted a puppy around December, 2018.
I stared at this photo, sent it to William and my mom, and looked especially forward to December. But then I received an email from the breeder, which had been sent to everyone on the waiting list. Five little girls and one chubby little boy made up this litter. She then told us that we were fourth on the waiting list, though there was a note saying, “Probably waiting until December” beside our names.
I looked at the photo again. There were only six people on the waiting list, including us, and six puppies. But, I forced myself to email her back and tell her that we indeed intended on waiting until Christmas.
A day later, the waiting list had been updated. We were now third on the list (again with the December note beside our names). And there were now only four people total on the list. That meant two things:
- If we chose from this litter, we’d have third pick.
- If we waited until December, there could potentially be three pups from this litter without a home.
I’ve long felt guilty that we didn’t go the animal shelter route and rescue a puppy. I rationalized that we got Fitz only because he was unclaimed in his litter, so he was rescued by us in a sense. I then looked at that photo again and imagined three of those little adora-dogs without homes. And my heart wept.
Plus, I mean, a girl. A girl! Imagine the outfits.
And so, I called my mom, as every good daughter should do in times of quandary. I told her the situation, and Pauline Lord squealed out a platoon of exclamation marks.
“You’ve got to do it,” she said.
“But what about William?” I asked.
“He’ll warm to the idea,” she said finally.
Now, William Baker, as I’m sure you’ve by now gathered, is nobody’s fool. He can smell manipulation coming from a mile away, and, honey, he is not having it. He is also one who sticks firmly to policy and procedure. Suggesting that we get a dog now and not in December, after we had agreed a two-year difference was ideal, would be, in a word, sticky.
But I had two things going for me:
- Potty training is easier in the summer.
- Gabrielle would get a chance to bond with the pup before she goes to college.
And so, I made William a martini when he got home from work and waited until it was mostly drained. Then I introduced my pitch. We changed the subject and then, a day later, I completed my argument.
I’m proud to say that I refrained from fluttering my eyelashes, giggling, tossing my hair and putting my hand dramatically on his arm — mostly because I’m pretty much a hopeless failure at all of it.
I may have put on some lipstick though. I will admit to that.
William told me later he knew we were getting a puppy as soon as I showed him the milk-drunk photo, which is amazing because even I hadn’t known that.
Or had I?