Opinion: Call it (tough) puppy love

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I am not a pet person, but as the mother of four children and one man-child, all of whom are animal lovers, I’ve had to tolerate the presence of many “creatures” through the years. Rats, fish, geckos, a cat (may God rest your aloof soul, Ginger!), they’ve all graced our house at some point. We currently only have a Labrador retriever named Libby, who turned 10 in September but acts like a hyperactive puppy. And even though I never wanted a dog, I have become her primary caregiver now that the kids are gone. My husband Doo does pitch-in, but it’s really me doing the lion’s share.

The other night, though, we both dropped the canine-parenting rubber ball. We had just returned from a four-hour St. Elmo jaunt downtown when we heard Libby barking at the door. Huh? We looked at each other and quickly realized that she’d been outside the entire time, left not only to navigate the terrifying horror show that is my front yard (yes, my Halloween stuff is still up), but also without access to her dinner. Needless to say, she was manic.

Fast forward to 3 a.m. After I let Libby back inside from doing her business, she raced upstairs into our bedroom, clearly determined to sleep with us. For two solid minutes I tried to quietly remove her, but she resisted my every move. Eventually, Libby rolled on her back, paws skyward, as if I wouldn’t dare drag her to the hallway like a dead body. Joke’s on you, Libby.

So now my sole remaining pet responsibility is an aging Lab with abandonment issues.

Peace out.

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