My husband laughingly joked that “Bullet” was the “king” of the household, and he was the “prince.” OK, I admit that I spoiled our dog, buying him an upscale miniature sofa to sleep on and a tent, since he liked to be inside and under things: tables, blankets, sheets, and chairs. All I had to do was hold up a towel, and Bullet would race to go under it – he liked being enclosed and covered up: a terrier-trait lesson learned from his mother.
Of course, Bullet had lots of dog treats, chew sticks, and numerous squeaky toys (alright, lots!). I let him pick out a toy each time we went to Pet Smart, where he went up and down the aisles sniffing, choosing something, then dropping it to choose something else: a small soccer ball and basketball were among his favorites. Holding the chosen toy in his mouth at the checkout counter, the sales clerks were always amused and impressed when Bullet opened the toy by himself, determined to get it out by efficiently and quickly standing on the package and pulling the plastic wrapping with his teeth. How proud I was of him – such a smart boy! He would then prance proudly (and loudly) with it, as we walked to the car. Cute as all this was, the downside was that we listened to the squeaking of each toy for a while, at least until the novelty of it wore off! In desperation, one time I tried to hide a new toy in the closet, but this didn’t work – Bullet sat and stared at the closet door, knowing/smelling it was in there; his concentration was impressive – he was absolutely obsessed with each new toy!
As Bullet’s first birthday approached, I was excited and felt that, since he had been a wedding present to us, we should give him a present in return. Yes, we treated him like he was our child, and in a way, he was – ‘king’ of our hearts, ‘commanding’ our love!
Having noticed how truly and totally in love I was (really quite obvious that I was head-over-heels), my friends phoned me to ask if they could give us a somewhat unusual wedding gift. They had decided not to add to their household population, and so, were asking me if we wanted their three-month old puppy – the one at their pool that day when I was visiting – YES, Bullet! Quelle surprise – it only took me a nanosecond to answer OUI, absolutely! Avec plaisir and with tears of joy!
Yet, being an empty-nester (my daughter was in college), I didn’t want to be one of those women with their dogs – mon Dieu! That being said, I did like the idea of hearing the pitter-patter of little paws around the house and of taking care of and spoiling our new arrival – and boy, did I ever!
Bullet soon became our (or should I say, my) raison d’être – buying all kinds of toys, coats, and even a chic, miniature sofa bed for him – oui, even my animal-loving husband was charmed by him. Bullet was, bien sûr, un chien vraiment bien aimé, et indeed, I was a woman gaga over my dog!
One summer day in 1995 while living in the States, I was invited to a friend’s house to go swimming. However, I chose to stay poolside, since I don’t really like the water. All of a sudden, there appeared a scruffy-faced, tiny puppy with a (large for his size) tennis ball in his mouth, which he immediately dropped at my feet and looked at me with eyes that questioned — Well, aren’t you going to throw it for me? How could I resist, and how fast he could run – like lightning – he even managed to get me to jump into the pool, after he dropped the ball onto the water and stood wavering at the edge as if he were about to fall in going after it!
As it turned out, my friends owned his mother, a Jack Russell named “Mischief”, who (as I later learned) enjoyed burrowing, in usual terrier fashion, herself and her offspring under blankets and towels placed in her bed, before going to sleep. Little did I know just how much this behavior would turn out to be so important and beneficial! (stay tuned)
I also learned that the puppy was named “Bullet” – but not only because of his speed in retrieving tennis balls – oh no, this little puppy was indeed special! The sire’s registered name was “Son of a gun” and so, “Mischief” gave birth to a litter of one – the result of a single ‘bullet,’ so to speak!