Puppy Love

Okay, I have to confess to feeling a bit ambivalent about getting a little puppy. I know that Tak would be the one to take care of her, but still… I kept thinking puppies are cute, but can be so annoying. Even when they’re kept outside. Barking, chewing on things… I have to say the prospect of walks with a dog does appeal to me. So, this weekend Tak started seriously talking about getting a dog. I thought okay, but I wasn’t overly excited about it. I was more excited about the fact that the kids were so excited about getting a puppy.

On Saturday morning, Tak made a call about a dog that was pictured in the newspaper, but it was already taken home by another family. Gaku just about had a meltdown. So then Tak called the guy they had gotten Maru from years ago. Maru was Tak’s beloved beagle, a really cute, friendly dog, but a bit excitable and not too bright. He said they had a litter back in July and had one female puppy left who was 3 months old. His grand daughter was taking care of the puppy so he would call back when he could set up the time for us to come and pick it up. He called back in the evening and said we could pick it up at 10 this morning.

Last  night the kids and I thought about names for the puppy. Tak’s only caveat was make sure it’s something that Mi-chan and Masa-jiji can actually say. Ha, ha, ha. So we went through a whole list of names that one kid liked but the other didn’t. Finally, everyone agreed on Nami. Nami means “wave”, and more importantly as far as the kids are concerned, is the name of one of the main characters in One Piece, the kids’ favorite comic book/animation.

Tak and Mi-chan took Gaku and Hana to pick up Nami this morning. I hung around the house with Tsubaki for a bit and then we went to the park by bicycle (a wicked return ride due to the wind). When we got home, I didn’t see the puppy at first. I called out, thinking I would hear a dog bark. Nothing. Huh. I wondered if Tak had gone against his rules and let her in the house. And there she was, the cutest little beagle puppy, tied up to the post next to the front door. She didn’t bark at all. I went up to her and she came over to give me sniffs and licks, pretty calmly. She didn’t try to mouth and bite, like most puppies.

Everyone else came out. Tsubaki and Hodaka are the funniest. Tsubaki will go up kind of close to her on the sly, but freaks out as soon as Nami turns to look at her. Tsubaki is excited to touch Nami, but doesn’t want Nami to lick her. Hodaka just cries if Nami comes too close. Nami is basically completely unfazed by any of this.

The neighbors across the street had their grandkids visiting. They’re all close in age to Gaku and Hana, so we all started running around and playing in the rice field across the street. I’ve come to really like that about fall. In the spring and summer, there isn’t really anywhere for the kids to play outside without going by car to a park. But in the fall, after the rice is harvested and the field has dried out just a bit, the rice field is a great place to run around. The kids were playing frisbee. So I grabbed Nami’s leash and went over. We ran all around the rice field. She was having a great time.

Nami is not very big at 3 months and her paws aren’t really big either, so I don’t think she’s going to nearly as big a dog as Maru was. I also have the sense that she is quite a bit smarter than Maru was. After a good couple of hours of playing with her, I have to say that I’m actually quite happy that we have her. And I still haven’t heard her bark.

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