Here I am just a couple of weeks from turning another early 60’s digit in age and I am tackling something new, and I mean a new adventure with lots of question marks leading into it.

For the first time ever in my life, my wife and I have a new family companion – a puppy named Frosty.

Now some 29 years ago I did have for a short time a cute little rescue dog I named Peanut, whom I picked up to keep me company while I was going through the short period of driving a truck. Unfortunately, less than two months after I got Peanut, he chased two of our daughters (both were like 9 years old at the time) out from underneath a porch canopy gutter as a large pipe type object came rolling off the roof. Peanut chased the girls out of the way and took the brunt of the landing from the pipe type object which in turn broke his back and he died within a couple of hours. Yep it was heartbreaking to me at the time, but I also realized I had a whole lot to learn about having a dog, on top of the fact that I had always been told I was allergic to dogs and cats, plus most animals that had dander or shed. But I loved that little cockapoo dog for that short time and eventually I knew I would have to try having the experience again.

Within a year after I had my major heart attack in November of 2012, and then was diagnosed just four months later with late Stage III COPD, my wonderful wife suggested we should get a puppy to keep me company since I was home alone a lot due to my disabilities.

It took me nearly another four years before I took the idea to heart and said let’s give it a shot, knowing full well that with my allergies the only type of dog I could possibly get would be something like a Maltese or Poodle.

0528181317a  So, some six weeks ago we drove four-and-a-half hours to a reputable kennel in northeastern Oklahoma to pick up a pure breed Maltese that was just 11 weeks old. It’s been a love fest ever since – almost.

Maybe we just did not think about or realize how much raising a puppy can be like raising a toddler with things like getting into things they aren’t supposed to, chewing on items that he wasn’t supposed to get to and the potty thing, which a whole another story in itself almost.

Most mornings, my wife will get up when Frosty begins to let us know he is ready to get up and go. She then faithfully takes him outside with the purpose of doing his personal business, though many mornings we can have him out there for an hour, he doesn’t do anything, so we bring him in and within 10 minutes he has disappeared once or twice and done his thing somewhere in the house.

While that is frustrating, what is not is the one who next comes out of the bedroom those mornings and gets greeted with a very excitable, very happy, very active puppy who will give you lots of kisses (tongue lickings) and exuberance to show how excited he is to see you. In other words, I am finally seeing and feeling that unconditional love and support that folks always talk about from a dog they may have had – it is real, and I am loving every minute of it.

You know those allergies everyone (especially family members) was worried about – so far, knock on wood, they have stayed in check. To make sure I took a generic Clairton tablet nearly daily for the first couple of weeks before I decided to experiment and did not take one, and for the last 10 days, I have not had any allergy meds in my system.

Nothing better than playing tug-of-war with Frosty using an old t-shirt of mine or maybe one of those several rope toys, and trust me he has plenty of toys, we have bought him.

Nothing better than him letting me play chase with him around the house as he goes full speed through the rooms, sometimes bouncing off a cabinet or wall – especially on the linoleum floor of the kitchen as he loses his grip with his paws and claws.

Nothing better than seeing the excitement on Frosty’s face when ‘Papa’ just accidentally drops a small piece of chicken or turkey when making a sandwich.

Nothing better than having Frosty curl up over the toes of my feet while I am watching some television and he is taking a rest.

Nothing better than Frosty sneaking into the bathroom just to make sure I am alright when I may be doing my own personal business.

Nothing better than watching Frosty float across the backyard at full speed when he may see a new dog friend going by from down the street.

Nothing better than having Frosty curl up in my arms and letting me gently scratch underneath his jaw, along with his neck and tummy, between his ears and along his back – as he rests his eyes.

Nothing better than those Frosty kisses in the morning, during the day and just before calling it a night.

Nothing better than having a companion in the house who keeps us on our toes, lets us know when something may be wrong, or someone may be at the door, and follows us around like his world depended on our every move.

Nothing better than knowing how many more times Frosty will give me ideas and reflections to share as Grumpy Gramps.

With that – hugs & happy thoughts from Grumpy Gramps

(Copyright@2018, CrossDove Writer – no part of this may be printed, copied or used without written permission by CrossDove Writers and Grumpy Gramps.)