Newest family addition

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Well, we did it.
Cindy and I recently followed suit from Richard & Justise and Dani & Ryan here at the office, adopting our own version of a “COVID baby,” arriving just a week and a half ago. Needless to say, our lives once again changed direction.
Like all babies, she takes extra care and lots of extra attention. She sometimes gets us up during the middle of the night, and wakes us up before the sun rises, raring to go.
She is our eight-week-old golden retriever, Piper.
Did you know it starts getting light out at 5:30 in the morning?
So far she’s been a joy, but boy oh boy does she have sharp teeth. It’s amazing, but pretty much the whole time she’s not sleeping, she’s either biting on something, or someone, or trying to find something to bite.
That’s just what puppies do.
To her credit, she’s house-trained pretty well, keeping her confined to the kitchen, whining when she needs to go out, barking when she really needs to go.
She loves playing ball, loves her stuffed lion and loves people.
And of course everything is new to her. Every weed, every flower, every ball, every stick and everyone.
It’s just part of the process.
Initially, I tried keeping the puppy a secret from Cindy, even as I sat back a couple weekends ago and listened to her and our kids decide around the dining room table that yes, it was indeed time for us to get a puppy. I nearly caved but I held firm, keeping my mouth shut because I was waiting to hear back if a golden was still available.
In the back of my mind, I thought getting a dog could also teach our grandkids to respect and appreciate animals, and how to take care of them, too.
A win-win.
Later that weekend, after we had a random conversation with someone who was getting a pup from that same litter, I basically had no choice but to come clean, to tell Cindy that I was waiting to hear back on a possible new addition to the “fam.”
“We might be getting a dog!”
To be honest, dogs provide humans with much-needed companionship, and it’s a known fact that they can lower blood pressure and ease stress, something we’ve all had plenty of lately. Dogs also help people stay connected, getting us out and about for walks, a chance to talk to some who we haven’t seen since the coronavirus hit way back in early March.
On the down side, we haven’t had the time (or the energy) to exercise like we were, but a 2017 study did estimate that dog owners walked on average of 22 minutes more per day than those who didn’t own a pup.
Training a dog is always a challenge and patience is obviously a virtue, but our goal is to have her become the best dog she can be, to respect people, to respect other animals and to just have lots of fun.
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
Cindy and I may need an entire town.
DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at


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