Our Ninety Pound Puppy

She came to us in March, 2008. Our friend Matt Hales drove his big ol’ manly man red Ford F250 pickup to W. D. Deli early one morning with this little puppy with a bow around her neck. "She needs a home," he said, with raised eyebrows. "She’s from a litter of puppies born out on a farm, and I took her sister, but this one still needs a home." We looked skeptically at the puppy. She had one blue eye and one brown eye. She was tiny, and must have weighed maybe five or six pounds. "She’s half Australian Shepherd and half Catahoula. I don’t think she’ll get very big. She really needs a home. No pressure though." We each picked her up and held her for a little while. And that was that. She was ours from that day. She was about eight weeks old then and we named her Mookie.

She was so small that we took her to work with us everyday. We were able to keep her in a little puppy bed in the office upstairs at the deli for a while. Jackie would gladly take a break from kitchen duty once in a while to walk Mookie out in the green area by Avenue B. Sometimes she hung out on the patio at W. D. Deli playing the role of mascot.

Those days Mookie went everywhere with us. The timing was just right for her to come along with us to most of the Fiesta events we attended. She was an adorable puppy - the perfect fashion accessory. She was always a sweet companion and the belle of the ball whether we were at the King William Fair or a Cornyation Cast Party. She made a particularly memorable appearance at the Alumni Oyster Bake at St. Mary’s University.

As the weeks turned into months, our little puppy began to grow. "They told us she won’t get much bigger," we’d say. Friends would shrug, and laugh a little, and point. "Look at those paws. She’s going to be huge!" Naively, we would repeat Matt’s words from the day he brought her to us: "I don’t think she’ll get very big."

Today she weighs just over 90 pounds. Ninety pounds of sweetness. We’re convinced she’s the sweetest dog we’ve ever had. And she’s so chill. At our house she imitates a throw rug most of the time. She has a really cute snore. She does, however, have a few party tricks up her sleeve. You know: sit, stay, shake. She can also do this thing where you balance a treat on her nose, and then she can move her head and catch the treat in her mouth. Genius.


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