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Yep, it is definitely puppy love

By Jamie Baker-Nantz


There’s a new man in my life. For more than 20 years, living with one man was tough enough but I’ll have to admit that I’ve fallen for a new guy.
Call me a cradle robber because he’s younger than me. Call me crazy because we really don’t share many of the same hobbies. He’s a little on the messy side, but he’s got these beautiful brown eyes that melt my heart.
I didn’t want love him. Heck, I didn’t even want to let him in my house the first time I met him, but there he was – wiggling and jiggling. His backend going 90 miles a minute.
The new man in my life is an 80-pound Boxer named Hank.
He came to us when his previous owners said they no longer wanted him because he had shown signs of aggressive behavior. They planned to take him out on Saturday morning and shoot him.
My husband, who is not generally a sentimental man, called me and told me about Hank’s plight. He said Hank was a young puppy and we’d just be taking him in until we found him a good home.
At the time Hank joined our family, my dog, Smokey was ill. For the last couple of years, I just knew she wouldn’t make it through the winter because she’d gotten to where she could hardly walk in cold weather.
We got her when my daughter was 4 years old. My husband said it would teach her responsibility, but you can quickly figure out who became responsible for the dog and that was good ole mom.
The last time I had Smokey to the vet for her shots and check up, he warned me that age had caught up to her so I wasn’t too surprised when I woke up one morning and she couldn’t breathe.
I gently lifted her into my car and held her as I drove her to the vet’s office. I knew I wouldn’t bring her back home alive so I held her while the vet gave her the shots that set her free from her pain.
Hank had joined us about two weeks prior to Smokey’s death. I wasn’t mad at him nor did I blame him that she was gone. Actually, he was a source of comfort as he’d come up and look at me with those big soulful eyes.
I’ve never owned an inside dog so it’s taken some getting used to, but I’ve come to realize that an inside animal gives you much more interaction with your dog or cat.
Hank was a little aggressive at least at first. He nipped a little and thought he was the boss.
After a six-week obedience class, though, he’s a completely different animal.
Actually he’s smart and funny and he’s wormed his way into our hearts.
The other day, we were doing our version of a group hug and guess who was right in the middle of the pile. Yep, it was Hank.
When we first got him, if he got out the door, he was gone and I mean gone. The first time he got loose, he must have run five miles in about 20 minutes with me lagging way behind chasing him. I’m sure the neighbors wondered who was jogging through their back yards on a Sunday morning looking like a crazy woman.
I finally went and got the car and that’s when I discovered how much he loves to ride in a vehicle.
Now if he gets out, he usually just runs to the car and stands waiting for you to open the door.
I never thought in a million years that I’d own a dog, bigger than a small pony, who would live inside my house.
But it’s official. I came to work the other day and noticed these short, golden-colored hairs on my shirt.
My mom always said a little dirt wouldn’t hurt you, so I guess a little dog hair won’t either.

(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or by e-mail at jbakernantz@grantky.com)