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A Boys Best Friend


We held off on having any pet while our family was still growing. I had enough to deal with. At one point we did get a beautiful and very active puppy but shortly after learned I was pregnant again. After finding it a good home for the pup, we did our best to convince the kids it would be more fun to have another brother or sister in the house.

Once we had our sixth child, Joe, and he began walking, we decided on a whim to get a puppy Basset hound. They are incredibly cute. Now I had two babies to deal with but thankfully this one didn’t need diapers. Sir Huckleberry Longfellow became a loved and somewhat challenging member of our now completed family. Joe was the only one of my kids who preferred his pacifier over his thumb or fingers. I kept his pacifier leash clipped to the top corner of his shirt, in hopes of keeping it off the floor. The thing about being fourteen months old and walking is the pacifier dangled right at nose level with Huckleberry. It was a constant temptation. Most of the time Joe didn’t put up a fuss when Huckleberry would snatch it off his shirt. I was the one chasing the dog to get it before he destroyed it. After washing it, I’d clip it back on his shirt. Joe would toddle over to Huckleberry’s raw hide and chew on that. I guess he figured it was a fair trade. This ended one day as I sat at the table home schooling my older children. Joe ran to my side trying to keep the dog, who was pursuing him, out of reach of his precious pacifier. Before I could intervene, Huck had snatched it off of Joe and faster than a flash of light. Joe grunted as he grabbed Huckleberry’s nose and squeezed as hard as he could till his little body shook. He squeezed while Huck stood still and whined. I was sure the dog was going to bite him but he remained calm and released the pacifier at my prompting. Sadly, Huckleberry had punctured the pacifier in multiple places and it was the only one I had left. I didn’t have time to get another before nap-time. What was I to do? I washed it and Joe just held it in his mouth, unable to suck on it while he slept. That was his last pacifier and Huckleberry’s too.

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