A New Beginning


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Mickey arrived in early June. He weighed in at a solid 5.8 lbs. and came with a full body of white hair. His first meal at home was a little moist chicken. He is already sleeping through the night.

Mickey, of course, is a puppy. As you may have read in this space last month, I had to put down my previous dog, a Westie named Cooper, in early May. And, as I stated, I was unsure whether to get a new dog at this point in my life, for a number of reasons, most of them having to do with lifestyle choices.

Well that hesitation lasted almost exactly four weeks. Under pressure from the kids and getting tired and, frankly, sad of seeing other dogs and dog owners merrily walking around the neighborhood, I decided to dive right back into the fray. The result is Mickey, another Westie. Of course, he is named after my childhood hero, Mickey Mantle.

But it has not been an easy road thus far. Mickey came home accompanied by a pretty bad case of kennel cough. He also has been a reluctant eater in general, showing little interest in anything but meat in his bowl. I am not even going to start talking about how his housetraining is going.

Yet, there is a lot of good news. Besides bringing joy to the household, Mickey is  a testament to the amount of money consumers will spend on their new pets. Already—and yes, I am keeping track—we have spent more than $300 on Mickey, and this is only in regards to several chew toys, bones, a pet bed and a crate for training purposes.

Food, of course, is a completely different and ongoing issue. Puppies, as you know, need a special diet, and that means throwing out whatever was left over from the last dog and starting all over again. You can just hear those cash registers ringing.

In the end, though, we are all very happy with Mickey, and the money we are spending on him is trivial when we take into account what we are getting in return. The goal is to have a happy, healthy pet that quickly becomes a big part of the family.

I hope there is a lesson here for all of us.

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