Puppy kisses are fleeting

Each hospitalization forces me to ramp up the fun and happy moments when I’m not in captivity. The clock is ticking. And I’m doing my best to fill our days with activities and concerts and you name it. If it sounds fun, we do it. I cracked open the piggy bank and put the cash collecting almost zero interest to good use.

And our most recent purchase was our best. We are now proud owners of a black lab puppy named California, or Cali for short. Or Cali California for long.

Play, play

We wanted to adopt a mutt, but we needed a dog this time we knew would be predictable, fit in well, and make life easy on my wife when I’m in the hospital. And I’ve wanted another black lab for a long time. So, I put away the guilt of not adopting, and the jealousy of not having cool, hip dogs like Dr. Nanos and Jessica’s, and found a local Labrador breeder.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my wife and I wanted an older dog to fit in immediately with limited work. My daughter wanted a puppy. So the universe guided us to a 15-week-old black lab – older with a larger bladder and less nipping. And she is perfect for us. A little on the shy side, but mellow, curious, well-socialized, and subservient to our yellow lab.

We feel so lucky to own two Labrador retrievers; a dream fulfilled.

The arrival of the pup this weekend gave us many laughs and “ah” moments and reminded me why I put up with daily treatments, IVs, hemoptysis and the hellish moments and stress of CF to gain another day.

Because when that day is like the one we had when we brought the puppy home, and the puppy kisses we got, and the smiles on our faces, and the fun of buying pet supplies and dreaming about the future of the new dog, and the sheer joy of living in a moment where nothing stressful exists, well, it makes the experience of cystic fibrosis bearable.

I thank the universe for dogs.

22 thoughts on “Puppy kisses are fleeting

  1. Glad you went with the lab… so cute! And I also like the name. Cali California. Reminds me of a dog my husband once had named Annie for short, Anheuser Budweiser for long. 🙂

  2. There is absolutely NOTHING better than getting a new puppy! She looks adorable. My 10 month-old black lab/pointer wants to play with her.

  3. Congrats on your new furbaby – she’s adorable! Also love the name. Your post came at the perfect time, as I was having serious a “why do I do this to myself?!” moment with Coop and his, um, hypervigilant home defense alerts this morning.

    Then your post reminded me of how he’s laid low with me through IVs and tummy troubles, and is probably the only dog in at least my zip code that is perfectly content to stay in bed as long as *I* want to in the morning – and often gives me a look that says, “yeah, you enjoy that shower of yours, I’ll just stay right here if it’s all the same” when I do get up.

    So thanks, Congrats, and good luck with your newly completed furfamily.

    Hooooraaaaayyy, dogs (in the red stripe commercial voice).

  4. Thanks UC –
    Lately I’ve been in a bad spot in my head …today driving to work I couldn’t think of anything that makes me “happy” these days…your posts always make me laugh and you so easily described a perfect day in your last 2 paragraphs. Thanks for sharing 🙂 I feel much better!

    • Lisa,

      Argh. Sorry to hear about the bad spot in your head and unhappiness. It’s tough to break out of those ways of thinking. I’m glad my post played a part in helping break the spell, if only briefly. And I appreciate you sharing that with me, as your happiness spread to me with your comment. I hope you feel better for a long time.


  5. There’s nothing more adorable than a lab puppy!! Congratulations to the UC family and to Cali. Sounds like she found the perfect home. 🙂

    • Mal,

      Thanks. I hope she’s found the perfect home too. She’s getting a lot of attention. My wife worked from home today. When I went in the kitchen, she was lying down and had the pup on her chest and stomach. Life is good.


  6. Welcome Cali! So happy for you guys that you have made such an adorable addition to your family. Been thinking about you.

    And extra happy that it resulted in one of those magical days where all the crap of CF disappears in the joy of dreams and puppy licks. Those days can be rare, but I’m so so glad they appear when they do.

    • Liz,

      She is a little honey. We have some work to do. She’s a bit skittish. We’re going to have to socialize her like crazy to save her. I may write a post about it.

      You’re right. Good days are rare. I’ll take them when I can get them. I appreciate every one of them.

      All my best,


    • Dr. Nanos,

      I’ve enjoyed your vacation posts. It’s a vacation I would like to duplicate with my wife. Glad you’re back. If you lived near us, I’d send Cali over to your house for doggy day care with your pack.


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