Dogs are family, too


The last couple of months have been filled with triumphs like last week’s ceremony at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum in Washington, D.C. (see article on page 1), and the pits: Jason’s mother passing away.

If you’re married, this could pull you closer to each other, or the opposite. For everything that is tossed our way, whether good or bad, Jason and I become closer.

Guess we’re lucky to have found each other. And there always seems to be a twist that delights us. So with all that is swirling about in our lives, who would have thought that we would finally decided to adopt a puppy? We did this about three months ago before the latest round of ups and downs.

She’s a little French bulldog we brought home when she was 12 weeks old. She’s black with a little brindle and a white strip between her eyes down to the tip of her nose.  

The first thing you do when adopting a puppy is name her. Jason insisted on the name Veronica. To this day, I have no idea why. In my experience, it was too long a name, with four syllables for a dog to get to know as hers. Jason’s mother kept rooting for the name Zola — her reasoning being that since both Jason and I are writers, and the dog is French … Why not name her after the French writer Emile Zola?

For a few days we attempted to call her Veronica. She seemed to recoil when we used that name, as in, “Hey, I don’t like it.”  

Did I tell you she has attitude? So after a week, Jason’s mother had her way, and she was re-christened Zola, which she took to instantly — a miracle. Soon after we told Jason’s mom that she won the naming war, she passed away. That’s the sad part of the story.

For me, the cheerful part is that each time I call Zola and hear her running across the floor, I get to think of Mika, Jason’s mom, which always brings a smile. And there are lots of smiles, since she’s a very funny puppy.

She likes to run across the floor and suddenly stop — so she’ll slide. When she wants attention, she’ll nudge you with her nose by plowing into you. When she’s angry, or just wants to be noticed, she zooms around the room.

But the funniest thing for Jason and me is that she’s more stubborn than I am. She makes our family complete.