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Dr. John H. JonesOn Friday, July 1, 2011, I made a decision that, hopefully, will impact the lives of my wife and me, our employees, and our pet family as well, for at least the next 15 years.I adopted a puppy.I have another big revelation. Back in April, I watched the royal wedding. Normally, my Welsh blood has given me an inherent genetic disdain for the British monarchy, but I’ve always felt a certain kinship with Prince Charles. We both enjoy agricultural pursuits, we were both spoiled as youngsters, and the way things look now, it is unlikely that either of us will ever be king.So I watched his son marry. What I remember most about the whole affair, though, was a quote that was attributed to William’s grandmother. I’m not sure if the commentator meant the Queen or Diana’s mother. That part is really irrelevant. It is what she told her grandson after the death of his mother that was profound: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”For those who sometimes have trouble following my line of reasoning, and I don’t blame you, that is how the puppy and the royal wedding are related.In January, our beloved Welsh Corgi, Bunny, died from kidney failure. Although it was my idea to adopt her as a puppy, she quickly became Bonnie’s dog.My wife spends way too much time at the office, and Bunny was her constant companion. I know the empty spot by her desk, and the empty spot on her passenger seat pale in comparison to the empty spot in her heart. I know, because I felt the same way after my dog, Chrissy, died in 2001.It was three years before Robbie came into my life. I met her for the first time when she was 4 weeks old, and all it took was one lick on my nose to start the healing process. Three years was too long to wait, but was five months long enough?Of course, everyone was thrilled with my decision. Well, at least the employees were. The rest of the aforementioned family, Bonnie and the pets, not so much.Bonnie knew the puppy that would become our new addition was coming to the office that morning. One of our clients who is a friend of the puppy’s breeder, was bringing her own Corgi for a toenail trim and offered to bring the puppy for us to see.I begged and pleaded with Bonnie. If you don’t want the puppy, tell me “no!” If “no” means “no,” then tell me “no!” She couldn’t tell me “no.” She couldn’t tell me “yes” either. The decision to adopt this puppy would be mine and mine alone.Marriage is a tricky thing. Once the deal was sealed, apparently she could have told me “no.” For most of the rest of the day, I think I would have rather faced the Spanish Inquisition.“You don’t know anything about this puppy! You don’t know the breeder. Were the parents’ hips X-rayed? Were their eyes certified? Were they screened for von Willebrand Disease? Yada, yada, yada.” She didn’t actually say “yada, yada, yada,” but at that point, that’s all I heard.“She licked my nose,” was the only response I could muster.In my defense, however, unless actual genetic testing is performed, most of these screening tests don’t carry much weight. The way recessive genes work, the parents can test fine, and the offspring can still be lemons. Like I said, she licked my nose. She was worth taking a chance.Bonnie didn’t even like the name I chose — Molly. “Everybody names their pet that,” she said. That’s not quite true. A quick computer check revealed that only 91 Mollys have crossed our threshold over the last 10 years. I guess that is quite a few.Another thing I learned that afternoon is how much I forgot about how much work a new puppy is. The little rascal had to pee every 15 minutes. And the poop — that was far more than she ate. How can that be? And the constant monitoring. By 8:30 that evening, I was exhausted and could barely eat my supper.That’s when I was finally shown some mercy. Bonnie took Molly to “potty outside.” They were gone a long time. I’m not sure what all went on, and I even peeked once. But, when they returned, Molly had a new name, Betsy Louise, and Bonnie had the makings of a new best friend.As I write this on the Fourth of July, four days with Betsy have shown us that although grief is a high price to pay, it is still a bargain.Dr. John H. Jones operates a mixed animal practice in Delphos.

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