golden retriever puppy

Letters to a Young Puppy
By Amy Jordan Smith
Click here to order Amy’s book, Life is Short. Eat Biscuits!

Letter 1
My dear puppy,
I have nothing to teach you, save a few basics
like sit, stay and heel, all meant to protect you
from the occasional folly of a careless man.
You, on the other hand, by nature are the very embodiment
of essential happiness and unconditional love.
Let me open my heart and embrace your instincts.
Teach me dog.

Letter 2
I am puppy. I bark with glee
and without hesitation,
without self-censorship.

I do not know the word no.

Look at me –
I can lift my leg and pee,
shake your paw for a biscuit,
fetch you a lizard,
lick myself!

I can make you smile
with a wag of my tail
and one sloppy kiss.

I am puppy.
I am not afraid
to say pick me up,
rub my belly, love me.

Letter 3
Is the water bowl half empty or half full?
This is an excellent question, puppy.
Of course, you know the answer already.
When you were thirsty and lowered your head,
did not a cool drink welcome your lips
and your tongue and even the tips of your ears,
and judging by the mess left behind on the floor,
did not your bowl runneth over in abundance?

Letter 4
Is a biscuit more than just a snack?
Indeed it is, so much more.
It is all good things.
Puppy breath.
Giggling babies.
Sweet corn.

Your tail wags
because I come from work,
because I pet your head,
because we are going for a walk.

I say in a happy voice biscuit,
and you hear the winning lotto numbers!

Basically, if it makes your tail wag
it is, more than likely, a biscuit,
although it could be just an itch.

Letter 5
Yes, some accuse me of anthropomorphism, attributing human characteristics to dogs. How silly! I firmly advocate without reservation that people take on dog characteristics. I myself strive each day as I get older to be just a little more puppy in spirit. In his absence I faithfully await my love’s arrival – tail wagging in anticipation, ears alert to his footsteps, nose awakened to his scent. I am not disappointed. One kiss, one pat, one biscuit, as it were, and I am assured my universe is exactly as it should be.

Letter 6
The Dog Ethicist
Question: If a dog sneaks a biscuit in the middle of the night and no one hears the box open, does it make him a bad dog?
Answer: It depends. Did you step on the cat on your way to the pantry?