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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, January 23, 2005

Selective memory can lead to dog house

By Ka'ohua Lucas

About two months ago, we adopted two male puppies.

My husband thought it was time to find our 5-year-old poi dog a playmate. She had lost her sister to cancer several months earlier.

I struggled with the idea of having two rottweiller mixed pups. Who would feed, bathe, walk and basically malama (care for) them?

I knew my husband wouldn't.

"That's OK, honey," he chortled. "I'll help, and so will the boys!"

Who was he fooling?

Just the thought of caring for puppies put me in an overwhelm mode. All I could imagine was when my sons were infants. They were cute and cuddly up until three or four months old. Then, they became mobile.

At six months, they would find grated cheese and bread crumbs that had fallen to the kitchen floor and pop the delectable treats into their mouths. The so-called childproof safety latches my husband had attached to the lower kitchen cabinets weren't childproof at all.

At 8 months, my eldest son would cram his meaty hand between the cabinet door and its frame. He'd give it a quick yank and snap! The cabinet door would fly open.

No matter how many precautionary measures we took to manage our baby boys' safety, it was a challenge. I was vigilant in their care for fear they would injure themselves.

So when my husband announced that we should adopt the puppies, I was duly reluctant.

"Look at these faces," he said, cradling the larger of the two in his arms. "How can you resist?"

I couldn't.

So we brought the pups home.

As with children, puppies need regular checkups. In the past two months since we've had them, they have seen their veterinarian three times. Their most recent visit was on Monday.

My husband had made arrangements for all three of the dogs to be dipped for fleas and ticks. He loaded the three animals into his van, planning to drop them off on his way to work.

Unfortunately, the dogs' appointment was for the following day. But my husband was late for his meeting.

I received the call about 7:30 a.m.

"Well you're not going to believe this," he barked on the other end of his cellular.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"The boys have already taken a bathroom stop in the van and have thrown up all over the seat," he said. "Can you meet me somewhere so that I can pass them off to you?"

A smile crossed my face.

I remember when the puppies had just arrived, and they were untrained.

They frequently defecated on the asphalt floor of our garage.

I would complain about the additional burden of removing dog feces from the carport.

My husband would chuckle over the phone and remind me that "soon this will be just another chapter in your memory."

I certainly did not want to hear that.

"Hey, honey," he asked. "Are you there?"

"Yes, I am, dear," I paused dramatically. "I want you to remember that soon this will be just another chapter in your memory."

Reach Ka'ohua Lucas at Family Matters, 'Ohana section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802; fax 525-8055; or at ohana@honoluluadvertiser.com.