I grew up in an apartment in Flushing, a part of New York City. We were not allowed to have a dog or cat. So my first pet was a turtle named Chopper because he ate chopped hamburger meat. When he died, the funeral consisted of being placed in my father’s Parliament cigarette box and being unceremoniously thrown down the incinerator chute. I screamed, so my father lit another cigarette. Aside from my first dog, Winston, my dogs have all been from Humane Societies and rescue groups. Molly, my ten-year old Newfoundland was given away in the wake of the Gulf Coast Hurricanes. Dog evacuees faced bureaucratic hoops, too. Continental Airlines would give transport discounts to dogs from Hurricane Katrina but not from Hurricane Rita. The Houston Humane Society actually had to fax proof so Molly could receive the whopping $75 shipping discount. This time I did something different and decided to buy a puppy. I found Nutmeg’s breeder in the Catskills. This was actually quite ironic as the Catskills where where some families in my neighborhood would go in the summer if the family had enough money. We didn’t. But my dog comes from the area where Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers and Jerry Lewis told jokes. I hope she’ll have a sense of humor.
I met her and her nine littermates when she was 46 days old. They say a dog selects you and, in my case, it was true. The little girl had sweet, intelligent eyes and proceeded to putter around wherever I walked. Not only that, but she came with a dozen eggs! Fran, the wonderful breeder who has Nutmeg's mom raises chickens and ducks, too. "If you get the dog, I'll throw in a dozen eggs." How could I pass that up? Great eggs; even better dog.She’s already won the hearts of my neighbors and friends, and of her big sister Molly. President Harry Truman once said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” I live in the Washington suburbs and now I have two.