In the span of two days, my chocolate lab Hazel has stolen my dinner, overdosed on a package of contraband doggie treats, dug through the trash and pooped in my living room.

I am extremely tolerant. I am after all, not just a doggie person. I am the quintessential animal lover. Hazy could ravage my garden, clean out my pantry and attack me. I would still find her absolutely adorable.


The problem? It’s Friday. I am tired. Like a momma who has to get up with the baby before her morning coffee, I have my limits.

My Hazel quite unaware of her less than attractive activities hunkers down next to me as I collapse into the couch.

As I mentioned, it is the beginning of the weekend. I do not want to pick up a plush doggie toy torn into a dozen pieces or collect the trash items which now decorate my front lawn. I will save these less than desirable duties until Monday.

Hazel squishes her body next to mine. I have a weak moment of exhaustion which manifests in a disapproving look.

“Hazel,” I say. “For Pete’s sake, you still act like you’re a puppy. When will it stop? Your mommy is exhausted.”

Hazel makes the standard doggie apologetic head turn. Validating she has shamelessly done wrong. Then shifting said head back adorably my way. Thus, leaving irritable me feeling as completely guilty as her aforementioned doggie head shaming stance.


“Okay,” I say as if speaking to a human. “It’s part of your charm. You never grew up. It’s your doggie joie de vivre.

I realize I may be looking at this whole scenario the wrong way.

How lucky am I to have an eight-year-old who still acts like a baby? Poop and all. After all, babies  poop and babies ARE unaccountable for their actions.” 

I mean, come on?! Imagine your toddler never outgrew diapers, mispronunciations, smearing their food all over the table or terrorizing your favored belongings? It would be the proverbial dream come true! The time genie saying you get a do-over. You get to relive the best moments of your life.

For me and Hazel, it won’t be a true do-over because either I was a terrible teacher or my Hazy wasn’t the best student. She only learned what she was interested in learning. What I am attempting to declare is not that I didn’t teach her to grow up but she resisted.

What’s that proverbial parenting expression?

“You aren’t raising children. You are raising adults.”

Well, I’m not in denial. This doggie momma did try and raise a doggie adult. Hazel had other ideas. She chose to remain a carefree child.

If she could jump in the shower with me she would, she dominates my bed and she believes human food is a time dispensed doggie meal.

My Hazy is completely unaware of her shortcomings or should I say adolescent challenges. She’s one big sloppy puppy teenager.

Only today I decided it’s okay with me. I always accepted my girl only now I fully accept her charmingly uncharming ways.

I will continue her poopie pick-ups and her trash-strewn party clean-ups. I will not fret the loaf of bread meant for school lunches. I will not be frightened by the deer bone that left my two-acre property and now resides on one of Oprah’s best doggie bed recommendations.

I will forever be grateful for the puppy who never grew up.

My chocolate furry beast who continues to protect me from an entirely empty nest.

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