Well, I Guess I Have a Dog

Brian Thatcher
3 min readFeb 8, 2022

Several months ago, we had some neighbors move in next door. The family consisted of a husband, a wife, a handful of kids, and two shih tzu dogs. After about a month, the dogs felt comfortable enough to come over and spend most of their day at our house. My kids loved it and my wife and I noticed that the dogs did a good job of calming our autistic son down when he started to get angry. From that point on, we talked off and on about getting a dog, specifically for him. We would check around now and then, but could never find a dog that fit what we were looking for. That all changed in the fall of 2021.

While our neighbor’s dogs are both female, now and then, a friend would bring a male poodle to play/be dog-sat for a bit. Turns out, the poodle wasn’t neutered, neither were the shih tzu’s spaded. Nature took its course and one of the shih tzu’s became pregnant. In time, she gave birth to four puppies- three girls and one boy. After they were a couple of weeks old, we were able to visit and play with them. Eventually, we fell in love with the boy and, when he was eight weeks old, he became ours. We named him Zero.

As you can see by the picture, he’s cute. He’s also fun and loves to be around people. We got him just before Christmas break, so for a couple of weeks, the whole family was home and he got to be around everyone. Then the kids went back to school and my wife went back to work. I work from home, so that left me to watch little Zero. That was fine with me. I like dogs and we had fun and I got to know his personality bit by bit.

But, now we have a problem. As I mentioned before, we got Zero to help our son. However, since I have been home most of the time, he’s gotten used to me. As in, he goes where I go. If I go to the kitchen for a drink, he follows. When I go downstairs to work, he follows. And when I go to the bathroom, he follows and waits by my feet. I’m pretty sure he’s waiting for me to fall in the toilet so he can save me the way Lassie saved Timmy from many a well. Knowing my natural clumsiness, he’ll one day get his wish.

When other people come home, he’ll get excited and run to greet them… so long as I stay within his…

Brian Thatcher

Husband, father, accountant, and article writer.