My Christmas present just peed on the floor

By: Paul Cambra, Gold Country News Service
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It’s been two years, three months and a handful of days since the last puppy column ran on our editorial page. I thought it was high time for another, so I ran out and found myself a puppy. Well, that’s not exactly how it happened. After years of consideration and months of research, my wife and I thought the time was right for a family dog. We narrowed it down to a breed (labradoodle) and found one available in time for Christmas, which, by the way, came a month early this year. Not wanting my kids to miss out on four weeks of puppiness, I left the day after Thanksgiving for Tualatin, Ore., to pick up Pambo. Came home with Charley as well. After all, if one puppy is so cute and cuddly, you can imagine the cuteness and cuddliness that comes with two puppies. And I’ll tell you about it as soon as I finish cleaning a little of Pambo’s cute and a puddle of Charley’s cuddle off the kitchen floor. So maybe two at once wasn’t such a good idea. Sure, they entertain each other with their rough and tumble wrestling and playful ear biting. And they keep each other company during the day while we’re at work. Plus, I figured, I survived twins, how hard can two dogs be? Well, for one, babies wear diapers. Then again, you can’t lock an infant in a crate for two hours while you run errands. And while my kids could turn the house upside down in a matter of minutes, none of them could uproot shrubbery like a pair of puppies. They run, they jump, they chase, they wrestle, they poop. So much so that I’ve taken to calling them labradoo-doodles. And while babies tend to play with their food, these two take their kibble pretty seriously. The water bowl is another story. Doggie-dish floor hockey is their second-favorite sport, right after nude mud wrestling, which is socially acceptable if you’re a dog. But chewing on furniture and digging gardens are things that will go away with some obedience training. Going potty in the house will test the patience, but that too will pass. What won’t go away is the pure enthusiasm they show for you when you walk through the door. It’s unconditional love at its most primal level. They don’t care where you’ve been, only that you’re home. They don’t care who you’ve been with – even another dog – as long as they’re allowed a little sniff. They eagerly grasp the mantle of man’s best friend, and in return, all they ask is a little food and a whole lot of belly rubbing. For them, the perfect day involves endless chewing on their brother’s ear. But some things have changed in the 30-plus years since I last owned a dog. Rolled up newspapers are out, GPS locators are in. Putting their nose in their own puddle of pee is out, spritzing them with lavender cologne is in. So enlighten me, you denizens of doting dog devotees out there, to the latest and greatest doggie accessories. You can find me on the side of my house, anytime between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. I’ll be the one saying “go potty” … “go potty” …“go potty” …“go potty…”