I went to visit Mary Shelley on my lunch hour. She and her brothers Stephen King and R.L. Stine were hiding under their cot in the back of the pen at the Humane Society. I should’ve taken the first clue after learning they’d been named after horror writers.

I was led into a small room and a minute later, a woman walked in with all three little beagles, depositing them at my feet. The cuteness factor was o-ver-whelming. I picked up the smallest one, the female, and tried to contain myself until the woman left me alone. “Mary’s” brothers explored the room and settled into a corner, probably as overwhelmed as I was. Fifteen minutes later, I was on my way back to work with distracted thoughts and nagging questions. Was this the right time? There was never going to be a perfect time. However, I was already scheduled for vacation the next week and so that part lay out perfectly. I told myself I’d think about it, pray about it and sleep on it.

I looked on the website later that evening and she was gone – meaning that she’d been adopted that afternoon. Still, feeling determined I went back the next day having decided to get her brother, Stephen King. I snuggled with the little guy for a few minutes and started filling out the paperwork. Moments before I was to walk out with him, they scanned his microchip to make sure everything matched up. It didn’t. The woman scanned again and again, looking back and forth between the scanner, the paperwork and her computer screen.

It reminded me of the times I struggled to get the self-scanner at the grocery store to read the bar code on my box of cereal. After the umpteenth swipe, the woman finally said, “This isn’t Stephen King.” It turns out the photos had been switched with his brother so after fixing the paperwork I walked out carrying this little wide-eyed being formerly known as R.L. Stine.

I headed back to work and he lay in a box in my office while I wrapped up a few things before starting vacation. I refreshed the Humane Society website just to see that he was no longer featured, and there she was. Mary Shelley was somehow back. She hadn’t been there when I went to get Stephen-come-R.L. It was as if she had “disappeared” long enough for me to go and get him. I didn’t – and still don’t – understand that, but it makes me smile. He was the one.

That was almost three weeks ago, during which time I’ve repeatedly mumbled, What was I thinking???  (That’s on a good day; Spawn of Satan works well on a bad day.)

I had forgotten (or more likely, repressed) just how much work it is to have a puppy. I was very quickly completely overwhelmed and most days, I’m still there. I’ve had a meltdown or two but I’m keeping my perspective and remembering – he’s just being a puppy. He’s a puppy doing puppy things with a puppy brain.

My house is an absolute disaster because there’s never a moment when I’m not watching him or when he isn’t tethered to me. So things like putting away laundry (or even getting the dirty laundry into a basket) can’t be a priority. The puppy not peeing on the floor is a priority. My getting somewhere in the neighborhood of six hours of sleep a night is a priority. Most of the other stuff will have to wait; for now, my life revolves around all 9.5 pounds of the one who is in control.

Ever since naming My Girl Indi, I’ve been waiting to meet him. His name is Henry.


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