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Hope, as defined in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, means, "to cherish a desire with anticipation."
Anyone who has ever had a dog as a family pet will be able to relate to the joy, heartache, and unconditional love that our furry, four-legged friend has brought to our lives. Little did we know that when we got the little pup from the breeder and saw on his papers that his official name was "My Hope Butch," how prophetic that tiny four-letter word would turn out to be. Over the last fourteen years, Butch has taught us more than we could have ever dreamed of learning about the feeling and true meaning of the word "hope."
We had actually planned to pick up Butch on a Sunday, which would have made him eight weeks and six days old, but when we spoke to Maya about this idea, she politely informed us that it was not the full nine weeks and that she could lose her breeding license if she allowed us to take the puppy even one day early. So be it. As it turns out, she had some business to take care of in Bern the next day and wanted to know if we would meet her there, which was quite the blessing because it meant only one hour of driving each way instead of two, and we really wanted to get the little guy home and into our family. Therefore, we agreed to meet at a restaurant parking lot just outside of Bern, right on the highway.
Naturally, we arrived half an hour early, because as I stated before, being late was tantamount to being a convicted felon on the social stigma scale, and sure enough she too was fifteen minutes early, apologizing for keeping us waiting. The Swiss are so polite.
When she went around to the back of her station wagon andopened up the dog crate door, I thought that there'd been some sort of mistake. This wasn't the same dog that we'd seen just four weeks before. This thing was twice the size - a full ten kilos or twenty-two pounds of yellow fur. He was afraid, as I'm sure it was his first car ride, and just wanted to tuck his head under Maya's arm, praying this whole nightmarish experience would come to an end. She told us that he'd been yelping and whining the whole way. He'd just been separated from his parents and all of his siblings, so it was understandable. The world, as our little Butch knew it, had just been drastically altered.
Maya wanted a photo of the two of us with our new puppy, so I took the little guy from her arms as he trembled in fear. I felt so sorry for Butch because there was no way in the world he knew what was going on, and after our farewell to Maya, all he did was whine. When we got him in the car with us, Franzi sat in the back with him, trying to give comfort the best she could. Sadly, just a few miles down the highway the yelping stopped and gave way to vomit, all over the back seat. That was the start of our doggy parenthood.