How to hug a Puppy

Around here we are reeling from an overload of sad events. If you’ve been following along for a while you’ll know what I mean. If you’re new to these scribblings and want to catch up — I’m sorry, can’t bear to link to all the sad posts — read forward from my 21st May entry, up to today and you’ll see how it’s been.

The problem we’ve faced recently is how to honour sadness without drowning? Well, there are as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it, but for those of us camped out at the farmlet over the last couple of weeks it’s been obvious. Go and hug a puppy.

Specifically, this puppy. She’s named after Miss Simone.

Black and white puppy

Nina — a labrador / cattle dog / border collie cross. Ex- Whangarei SPCA.

She’s the little tyke who has re-imagined our carpet, instigating the nature-inspired forest-floor theme I showed you here. She’s also contributed a few damp patches from time to time (fortunately our living room carpet was already well past its prime when we moved in, and I’ve pulled up all the nice rugs until puppy achieves reliable continence).

Floor with twigs

I hear natural materials are very in this year (makes me wonder why we spent all that money on a chipper).


At least while she’s chewing sticks she’s not munching Forbearing Husband’s socks / my bra / chair legs.

When you have a warm wriggling puppy in your arms, it’s almost impossible not to re-engage with the joy and life still to be found in the universe. Go on pick her up — she’ll want to lick you — avoid her tongue if you are squeamish about puppy spit (we mostly are not). Notice how she relaxes into your arms. She’s so trusting; nothing bad has ever happened to her, and we hope nothing ever will. Put your head on her chest, listen to her heartbeat and breathe in the intoxicating scent of baby animal. There now, don’t you feel better? I know I do.

Nothing fixes this kind of sadness, but puppies sure as heck help.



    • Please watch out for sharp stick fragments while ROFL. Cowboy Boots and Broken Fingers accepts no liability for carpet related injuries.

  1. Your kindness in ensuring Maisie not left lonely made for perfect timing in grief therapy equipment. Looking forward to hugging Nina:)
    Loved the poem on 21st. Good memories are woven into the very fabric of your home.

  2. I saw one of the photos on the DM fb pge…I was wondering if there was going to be another dog. We have the answer.

    • Yes. No dog can ever replace Ella, but we’re a two dog family and somehow for us there’s no going back from that. Hope to see you in the Northern regions soon dear friend.

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