It appears that global pandemics cause people to behave in a crazy fashion.  There are endless examples, of which I will not recall for you; they are much less important than how this pandemic caused our family to behave strangely.  Being a clever person (and seeing the picture) I am sure you can tell where this is going.

Two of our adult children have returned home due to the shutdown of the world.  I imagine this is no picnic for them, and in a moment of weakness, they pitched the idea of getting a dog. My wife, and partner for 32 years, bubbled up the words, “We can at least look.”  What kind of heartless person goes to “look” at puppies and walks away empty handed?

You must understand that our kids have been asking for a dog for 25 years.  I have bad allergies and Joan grew up with a dog and knows how much work they are.  Thus far we have been united in our conviction that we would not get a dog.  I need to highlight the word “united,” meaning we were on the same page.  The kids immediately saw the chink in the united front and worked to exploit it. They sequestered themselves to an away place and began working diligently on their presentation.  They have lived with us long enough to know that I am no pushover (says the guy that features the picture of his new dog).  Regardless, they worked doing the research on hypo-allergenic breeds and making their case as to why we should expand our family once again.

I have to admit, it was heartwarming to watch them collaborate as well as they did.  They chose Mother’s Day as the day to go through the 15 slide PowerPoint presentation to make their case.  They addressed all of our possible objections, showed adorable photos of the breeds that would be best suited for my allergies, and highlighted the care and keeping schedule for the puppy.

Today, in this writing, we officially celebrate the one-week anniversary of welcoming little Finley into our family (his nickname is Finley Beans).  Never in all of puppyhood has there been a puppy who knew his role and how to play it better than this little fella.  From the first moment of entering our home he has showered love abundantly (and seemingly equally) to each and every one of us.  It has been remarkable.  I was convinced that this puppy would make us work for his affection, and I have never been happier to be proved wrong.

I have a habit of waking up early on weekends and enjoying a cup of coffee with a good book for an hour or so before anyone else wakes up.  The first weekend of puppy ownership I saw my routine slipping quickly away from me.  You may already know this, but puppies wake up early and want to play.  Of course, I felt a little selfish, but darn it I love my morning ritual, even though he is completely adorable, I love a good cup of coffee and a quiet read in the morning.  I played with him for a few minutes and pulled him up on my lap naively thinking that I could keep my routine.  And would you believe it?  He looked up at me with knowing eyes and put his head gently down on my lap to give me all the time I needed to read and enjoy my delicious cup of coffee.  No wonder dogs are considered man’s best friend.

I love dogs and have always wanted my own dog but never thought it would/could happen.  I like the idea of dogs; how empathetic they are and how unconditionally they love.  Who would not want that?  It took my children spying the chink in the armor of our resistance, exploiting that chink, and presenting a well-reasoned petition for me to finally enjoy the love of a dog.

So, yeah, pandemics make people do crazy things, not all the unintended consequences of this one is negative.  If you need proof, then you have to meet Finley Beans Ursu.