Dog Blog by Mark Kelly

Pippa is a Westie

There's a new addition in my little apartment - a new puppy named Pippa. Little Pippa's a West Highland White Terrier, or "Westie." She was a Christmas gift for my girlfriend and man has she added so much joy to our lives.

It's hard for dog-lovers to imagine, but I never had a dog - or any pet for that matter - growing up. So I did a ton of homework before Pippa - read websites, magazines, podcasts - to make sure I knew how to care for a puppy. [Sidenote: As I'm writing this, Pippa fell asleep next to me and I think she's having a bad dream because she sounds like she's crying. Some gentle petting seems to stop her little whine]. But I've found learning on the job is the best.

Little Pippa has so many wonderful traits. For example, when you put out your hands for her to jump in to your arms, sometimes she does a funny walk where she inches paw by paw, closer and closer, as if she's preparing to pounce - but never does. It's real cute. It usually ends with her licking my hand.

A few more cute Pippa moments: When I take a nap on the couch, Pippa will snuggle up and fall asleep on my shoulder; when I'm done showering and pull back the curtain, she's clawing at the tub, eager for me to get out; and when we give her a bath of her own and she's sopping wet, she looks more like a baby polar bear than a puppy.

Oh, one more funny puppy story: The few times a week we have to leave Pippa home alone for a few hours, we put her in the bathroom and set a baby safety gate in the door frame so she can't get out. Well, that worked when she was a few weeks old. But now she's almost three months, and this weekend we came home to find little Pippa bulldozed through the baby safety gate and had the whole apartment to herself. I think she liked having free reign around the place, but she certainly looked like she missed us.