This weekend, I went down to Waco to spend Independence Day with my family…Actually, that’s exactly where I am writing right now, but by the time you read this, it’ll all be in the past. Weird. Anyway, I drove down on Friday evening with Toby, my older sister’s dog, after getting off work. The drive didn’t take long. We had a pretty good playlist to listen and sing along to. Yes, you read that correctly—we sang along. And of course, one of the first things we saw when we rolled up into Waco was an incredibly conspicuous Confederate battle flag waving on I-35. Hi, Waco!
When we got to my parents’ house, I couldn’t park in the back because the gate was closed and the driveway was full of everyone else’s cars. When you’re last to the party, you have to park on the curb. Like plebes, Toby and I walked up the stairs and fumbled with the bags, even more so when I tried to unlock the front door. Alexis and Mary were there to greet us, and of course Toby freaked out…. More so than usual. He started squealing and ran towards the back door. I put my bag in my childhood room and went towards the backdoor. Then I looked out the window, it hopping around in front of Patrick, my brother.
“What’s that ugly, little thing?” I asked Alexis playfully before sprinting out the door to meet the newest addition to our family.
The rest of the night was spent playing with the nameless, little dog, introducing her to Toby, and talking about her. My friend Alyssa showed up to help us gawk.
My parents have been in want of a dog since Bridget, our 13-year-old Golden Retriever, died last fall and have taken their time recovering from the loss of one of the best dogs on the planet. But with the added pressure of my entire family being in town, they committed to looking at puppies, which, as you dog lovers probably know, usually turns into owning a puppy.
Patrick took the initiative to look up Golden Retriever puppies for sale and called to set up some bonding time. He was able to set up an appointment with an autonomous community outside of Waco, one not large enough to be considered a religion, so the best word I have for it is a cult. Not a nefarious cult, but one nonetheless. Anyway, the community makes really beautiful and quality furniture, candles, and so on, so why wouldn’t it be any different with dogs?
When my family drove up to this particular community house, two girls in long sleeved smock dresses were sitting in the grass holding two puppies, which was weirdly picturesque. Tiptoeing around cultural differences and focusing on the puppies, my parents were able to pick a pup and whisk her off to a more secular lifestyle.
And as I write this, the nameless, little dog walks all over the couch next to me. We’re in our first 24 hours with her. She’s still just as cute as the first time I saw her despite the middle of the night fits that babies and puppies are prone to have. I love her already, and so does the rest of my family purely because she is adorable. And the best part is that I didn’t know that I would come home to something so cute that it makes my heart hurt.
For how American this whole post sounds (family, Golden Retrievers, Independence Day), I feel obligated to mention that we’re currently watching Wimbledon. The irony is lost on the little, nameless dog.
Leslie Michaels is currently a Level 3 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She spends her spare time riding her bicycle, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or hanging out with her boyfriend, Netflix. She still questions whether she’s a dog person or a cat person.