Ann Cannon: Life lessons from our new puppy

First Published      Last Updated Jan 02 2017 01:27 pm

My husband and I are currently the foster parents (another story for another day) of a 5-month-old field spaniel, which means I've been thumbing through books about dogs recently, including a new one called "Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me" by Cynthia Copeland.

Lessons the author has learned include the following: "Be patient with the ones you love," "stay close to the people who matter the most," "leap higher than you have to," "don't feel obligated to act your age," "every meal is the best meal ever," "shake it off," "never pretend to understand if you really don't," "keep digging until you find what you're looking for," and "greet loved ones with enthusiasm whether they've been gone ten minutes or ten months."

It's a good-natured little book, full of charming photos of happy dogs, and it has inspired me to write a book specifically about puppies, who (as it turns out) spend a LOT of time trying to get your attention, which is why I'll call my book, "How to Get Someone's Attention: Life Lessons I Learned from Our New Puppy." Here are a few suggestions:

1. Wait until someone tells you NOT to leap onto the bed. Then leap onto the bed.

2. Dash into the nearest open closet and re-emerge with a shoe. In your mouth.

3. Tackle people's shoelaces as they attempt to walk from room to room. Expect to be praised for your efforts.

4. Get into a fight with the mop when somebody is mopping the kitchen floor. Dude. That mop needs to know who's boss.

5. Locate the morning paper before anybody else does. And shred it to bits.

6. Devour a book. Literally!

7. Chew up a computer cord. Because chewing up an actual chew toy is such a cliche.

8. Actually, why not just chew up everything in sight?

9. Eat all the cat's food. Then chase the cat.

10. Eat all the other cat's food. Then chase the other cat.

11. Aren't you glad you live at a house where there are two cats?

12. Also, there's an older dog who lives in the house, too. Climb on top of her head and bite her ears.

13. Howl like your heart is broken whenever someone puts you in a crate. Every. Single. Time.

14. Find a roll of toilet paper. Then festoon the house with it. Party on, people!

15. Jump up on people when they walk through the front door. Give yourself extra points for getting tangled up in their legs and tripping them.

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‘Harlow & Sage (and Indiana)’

And speaking of dog books, local author Brittni Vega will be signing her new book “Harlow & Sage (and Indiana): a True Story About Best Friends” at The King’s English (1511 S. 1500 East) on Oct. 4 at 11 a.m.. Internet sensations Harlow and Indi will be in attendance.