Puppy Love

Caitlin with her dogWhen I was 8 years old, my mom promised me that she would get me a puppy when I turned 12. Now, when you are 8 years old, this is a pretty big promise and something that you look forward to every day for the next few years. It was also a big deal because she didn’t just say she would get me a puppy—she promised, something that neither of us ever forgot.

If you can’t tell where the story is headed, let me just fill you in.

I didn’t get the puppy when I was 12. My mom decided that she couldn’t handle having a puppy in the house, and she didn’t trust a 12 year old to take full responsibility of a puppy (looking back, I don’t blame her). I was definitely disappointed, but I was a pretty understanding 12 year old, and I quickly let it go…kind of. From then on, I just reminded her of her promise to get me a puppy and told her that she owed me a puppy.

I didn’t really think that she cared until this summer.

Somehow, this summer I convinced my mom to get me a puppy. I have no idea how I did it. Maybe it was that I played the “you promised me a puppy” card, but she gave in much more easily than I anticipated. My only thought is that she secretly wanted a puppy in the house, too, so who better to get it for than the veterinary student.

So, on June 2, we drove about an hour and a half from our house, and we picked up Piper, the Golden Retriever puppy. She is the cutest little lady that I have seen, and I love her a lot. This summer, a lot of time was spent watching her sleep and playing with her. It was so fun to have her in the house, and my mom really enjoyed having her, too. She even told me that if my roommates didn’t like Piper that she would take Piper for me for the semester (which is never going to happen).

Piper SnoozesI am now starting my second year of vet school, and getting a puppy this summer was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. She gives me a lot of joy when I get to go home and see her and pet her soft head, and she helps me remember that I can take a break every once in a while. She has also given me a lot of empathy for puppy owners because having and training a puppy is not a walk in the park.

Seeing the joy that Piper gives me reminds me every day of my reason for entering this profession. When I graduate, I will get to spend my days with people who care a lot about their animals, and that is a special bond to experience. I can only hope to serve them well.