“Emily became increasingly eager for the next Zoom call of Chris caring for Bubbles. I saw what was happening and took immediate action to head it off at the pass. ‘No!’ I told Emily. ‘We are not adopting a dog!’ Four weeks later, we filled out the adoption paperwork.”—Tim Bayer
Won Over By Reality
By Tim Bayer
FAIRPORT New York—(Weekly Hubris)—1 June 2022—The Zoom call showed a cupped human hand holding a little, black, 15-ounce fur-ball-with-feet; then, a blond, 17-ounce fur-ball-with-feet. The 5-day old puppies did not have a mother, so our son, Chris, and his roommate, Michaela, were fostering them.
There was no back story about how the puppies had become orphans. What was known was that both fur-balls were in tough shape, in need of a vet and round-the-clock care. Chris and Michaela were taking turns pulling 4-hours shifts, night, and day, administering TLC to the siblings.
They named the little blond fellow Omar and the black puppy Bubbles, inspired by characters in the HBO series, “The Wire.” Emily and I would receive videos of the tiny pups being fed and receiving medicine administered through tubes or an eye dropper.
Sad news arrived one morning when we were informed that Omar hadn’t made it through the night. The good news was that Bubbles was doing well and seemed to be getting stronger.
Emily became increasingly eager for the next Zoom call of Chris caring for Bubbles. I saw what was happening and took immediate action to head it off at the pass.
“No!” I told Emily. “We are not adopting a dog!”
Four weeks later, we filled out the adoption paperwork.
The documents indicated that Bubbles was a Husky-German Shepherd mix. A quick internet search revealed that Huskies are “friendly and intelligent but somewhat independent and stubborn.” German Shepherds, on the other hand, are “smart and easily trained, but need ample daily exercise; otherwise, they become mischievous or high-strung.” No worries, I thought. We’ve got this.
Chris arrived with Bubbles about a week before Christmas, and Bubbles immediately revealed her dominant traits: friendly; she liked every human she saw and was eager to meet them—“You’re a human! I love humans! You are so cuuuuute! I have one just like you at home!”—and intelligent; she quickly learned the commands, “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Drop.” She also learned the command, “Come,” but had a tendency to become deaf when she found something interesting, thereby exposing the traits of “independent and stubborn” from that list of the common breed characteristics.
In Bubbles we had seen the traits of friendly, intelligent, independent, and stubborn, but had not yet seen mischievous until we made the mistake of not insuring she’d had enough exercise before we left the house.
To avoid further bringing out the mischievous side of Bubbles, Emily and I walk her morning and evening, and I try to wear her out by taking her with me when I play disc golf. At most courses, I must keep her on a leash but, on Saturday mornings, I take her to Pfrommer Woods in Williamson, New York, a 30-acre wooded course with 27 holes of disc golf, the perfect playground for man and dog.
The protocol on a disc golf course is to remain stationary and silent when players throw. Bubbles is not big on protocol, though, and, recently, just as another golfer in my group was about to throw, Bubbles came running full speed towards us on her way down the fairway.
I warned the player, “Heads up! Bubbles is about to come thundering through!” But this running pass of hers has now recurred often enough that the warning’s been shortened to two words, “Thunder Bubbles!”
Outdoors, Bubbles is an energetic companion. Indoors, Bubbles will vehemently defend the house against the vacuum cleaner and any threatening broom.
Nursed to health by Michaela and Chris, the fur ball with feet has grown up to have a sweet demeanor and loves everybody she meets. She has become Emily’s and my high-energy, vacuum accosting, disc golf mascot, the one and only “Thunder Bubbles.”