Dear Isabelle,


You are my darling fluffy troublemaker. You smell like chimney smoke, weeds, and all the little secrets kept in the backyard. You are a stubborn girl (just like me). You pounce and puff, and our house is full of matted toy hedgehogs. Somehow you have me on the lookout for one any time I see a selection of dog toys while shopping. I also love buying you too-small dog beds, and hair bows that you never wear due to your disdain of fashion.

You are fully yourself at every moment. You know what you want and will do everything to get it (even if that is trying to jump out the car window). You are not afraid of anything. You chase deer and wild turkeys, you stand up to Amelia and Cricket and have them convinced that you can keep up as you bare your severely crooked teeth in a pretend snarl. You are not tough, doll, but I will keep that to myself. One of your biggest enemies is the sound of a bouncing basketball the neighbor boys plays with outside–you hate that sound. And you let us know it by barking for an hour or so.

You love your breakfast and crumbs of all sorts. You walk around the house like a feather duster, nose to the floor, picking up dust bunnies along with a bread crumb or two. You look up at me, all curious and puppy-like, only to reveal the new collection of goodies you have on your face. I try to wipe them off but you scurry away or wiggle around like a spoiled child. You are a spoiled child and that is one reason I love you.

I love to watch you puff. You start by wandering through the array of hedgehog toys on the floor until you find just the right one. You lay on your Costco-size pup bed and turn in a circle only to plop down in the same spot, hedgehog in your mouth, and then the puffing begins! You suck on the hedgie and I watch your paws move up and down, over and over, usually until you fall asleep. I don’t know how you can be so cute!

My favorite, I have to say, are your snuggles. You are not an all day snuggler like the other pups–you have things to do, you need your own time. But every day you fit me into your busy schedule for some snuggling. You lay on your side or tummy and I put my head up to yours, scratching your cheeks and tummy, making kissy sounds in your ear and telling you how good you are (even when you aren’t). My favorite is when you start licking your lips while we cuddle. It makes a smoochy sound just like my kisses and I know you are happy.

I worry I am not a good mother to you. You get in trouble. Time-outs in the pink bathroom when you bark, and I raise my voice with you more than with anyone else. You are wild, and I love that, but sometimes I have to tell you “no” and make you follow the rules. I do love you so-so-so much. If I could I would bring you everywhere with me. To the market, Las Vegas, therapy, and to coffee where we would cuddle up and people watch together.

You’re my wonder. I love you sweet pup,


p.s. you snore.

Breed: Shih Tzu


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