“You know that trope: guy hates dogs, then guy falls in love with dog?” said my older son, Joey, who’s 23 and lives in and works from our home. “Not gonna happen here.”
I got it. My husband Rich and I never wanted a dog either. We didn’t have them as children, and our children never wanted them as children. Dogs had bad breath, they never cleaned up after themselves, and we all had strong feelings about where they put their noses and what they did when we weren’t looking. Twelve years ago, while looking after my sister’s shaggy Havanese, Mojito, he ran away, ate a bird and then threw it up on our rug.
“We are never getting a dog,” I told Rich afterward.
But in the early days of the pandemic, doggies were everywhere and, unlike people, we could cuddle them. Dachshunds were our favourite. Rich found Glennie on Kijiji in March—half Chinese crested powderpuff, half dachshund. Translation: the mother was a long-haired beauty and the father was a scrappy escape artist.
We brought our darling, barely a kilogram, home to meet Joey. “She seems nice,” he said, giving her a cursory pat on the head, “but I don’t want a dog.”
He would come around. How could he not come around? We came around! He didn’t come around. He refused to have anything to do with her, even though she climbed all over him while we watched Jeopardy! and licked his feet and played with his socks.
We respected his boundaries, but one night, four months after Glennie had taken up residence in our Toronto home, Rich and I had dinner plans and Joey was getting picked up by three friends to go to a cottage. That meant there would be a one-hour window in which Glennie would have to be left at home alone. In preparation, Joey took her for a walk, picked up after her (progress!), then told her it was time for him to go.
When he opened the door to meet his friends outside, Glennie escaped. Joey took off after her, afraid she’d run into the street, and immediately tripped on the porch, ripping his chin open. Glennie ran back and jumped on his head. We rushed home and waited with Joey’s friends while he went to the hospital to get his chin examined.
Sitting in the living room, we looked curiously at the full laundry basket in the middle of the floor.
“Joey wanted to show off how Glennie chases her leash around the basket,” his friend explained. “He thinks she’s pretty cute.”
Probably not anymore, I thought. Joey came home, thankfully okay, his chin glued back together. No doubt it would take more than glue to get him and Glennie back together, though. He picked up his bag for the cottage and slung it over his shoulder.
“Let’s try this again, guys,” he said to his friends.
Glennie’s nails ticked shyly across the floor. Joey paused.
“Oh,” he said. “It’s you.”
Glennie licked his socks, trying to apologize.
“I’m okay,” he said to her, bending down and rubbing—not just patting—her head. “I really am. See you Monday, Glennie.”
Trope, meet true love? Maybe once Glennie learns how to do his laundry. Starting with his socks.
Next, read the heartwarming story of how a new puppy helped this family through the pandemic.