Several hours ago, Tilly Baker, puppy extraordinaire, attacked the vacuum hose. To be fair, it had it coming. Simply for being so sneaky-slithery, for one.
Same for the brick front steps. I’m not exactly sure what they did wrong, but I’m sure they needed to be put in their place, and I’m glad Tilly was the one to do it. After bounding up five steps — a feat her bro Fitz wasn’t able to accomplish until he was quite a bit older than baby sis — she tried to take a big bite out of the top one.
Same for the water hose, patch of phlox in the garden, and, for that matter, the bark nugget mulch. Makes for some good eating, she’s here to tell you.
And so this has been our lives ever since our baby Boston terrier arrived Friday.
I picked up Tilly that day at 5, a 6-pound wonder who immediately fell fast asleep in her crate in the back of the car. Her nap continued until we got home from Danville, where William was waiting with our dog Fitzi on a leash.
I’d read quite a bit about how to introduce a puppy to the resident dog and learned that the intro was, a), pivotal, and, b), could go very wrong. I was told to expect jealousy and potential violence and that, for several weeks, the puppy should not go unsupervised while with the other dog.
Given that Fitzi is otherwise known as Fitzi the Feisty, I wasn’t sure how it would go.
So, on Friday, they met on the lawn and, as expected, Fitzi immediately lunged at her. William tugged him away a few times and then that 6-pound giant lunged at him and let him know she was not going to be pushed around. From then on, it’s been pretty harmonious playtime at the Kaprowy-Baker house, which means that Tilly has batted, swatted, snarled at, jumped on and barked at Fitzi and he, bless him, has taken it. At one point, she was nearly hanging off his jowl by her teeth and he just looked at me as if to say, “Are you going to step in here, mother?”
William was on call, so it’s been the Tara Kaprowy Show over here all weekend. The feature of that show was when I dropped Tilly on the first night after she squirmed out of my arms. It was like the commercial with the wine spilling in slow-mo on the white carpet, with the woman trying in vain to catch it.
Poor Tilly landed with a sickening thud and all of my worst fears, the ones that always make me decline to hold a baby unless I’m firmly planted on a couch, were realized.
I scooped her up and she looked at me and then she decided she wanted to go to sleep. I lay down beside her sure she had a brain hemorrhage, a pack of broken ribs, as well as a few broken legs, but whenever I checked on her (and, umm, yes, I poked her), she just lifted and cocked her head, cool as a cucumber. I was sleepless until daybreak, when she woke up and started running around with Fitz, as good as new.
Pretty sure I burned a few Karma sticks on that lucky break.
Despite my failures, I guess the long and the short of it is: Tilly is perfect and the past few days, as sleepless as they’ve been, have been pretty magical. Having a dose of adorable in your life every few minutes is good for the soul. And tomorrow, my mom and Peter arrive to visit so they’ll be able to share in this time.
And so ends another column about our dogs. I apologize in advance for what are sure to be more.