Puppy love: third grader attempts to get the dog of her dreams

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Julianna Wolff

Toy Maltipoo, Holly, named after Christmas due to Julianna’s sister’s undying love of Christmas

“Hey! Did you know we’re getting a dog?” my sister asked out of the blue. 

This was a huge red flag coming from her because everyone knows the most crucial rule about having an older sibling: never believe them. Alas, I wanted to believe that I could finally get the dog of my dreams after living my entire 8 years of life with cats, so I trusted her.

“Really?” I questioned.

“Yeah!” she shouted back enthusiastically, louder than the yelling in the background.

I glanced at my mother, who was just smiling, pretending to be intrigued by my brother’s loud basketball game. My whole life was just about to change, and she made it look trivial. It didn’t bother me much at the time, as my newfound excitement knew no bounds. My entire life has led up to this, and there was no time to waste.

The game lasted an eternity, and the drive was no better. The lines at Space Mountain in Disneyland were faster than this (we waited 2 hours, and it wasn’t worth it). For the whole ride, my mind was in scrambles while I thought of very important questions. What type of dog would I get? What should we name it? Was I responsible enough? Is this what having kids was like? I didn’t pay attention to what my sister was saying, but I imagined she was just as eager as me. 

My mom pulled the car into the parking lot near the pet store. Looking back, it would have been a better idea to go to a shelter to adopt instead. The specific pet store we went to was far from Austin and located in a shopping center made up of only a few small stores. The center was dull and the gray buildings made it look sketchy. It made me question why we drove out this far just to visit a dinky pet store, but my determination for a dog was stronger . 

My family and I entered the store, and we all could tell something was off. The first half of the store looked like it belonged in a flea market, while the other half was exactly what we were looking for: countless pens of dogs. The walls were painted in bright colors depicting a simple sky. It looked like it was right out of a cartoon.

So many to choose from, how could I choose? They were all so adorable. I had my eye on this precious golden retriever, and sought after my sister and mom to show her. 

“I’m picking the dog because it’s my dog,” my sister said, cutting me off.

I froze, and my thoughts immediately shattered. Her dog? She’s picking the dog? What about me? Tears built up in my eyes, which usually happened to me back then. I wiped them away and went outside of the store to my brother. He was occupied throwing a ball with another kid. How could you play when there were more important matters inside? For about the next hour, I wandered in and out, letting my thoughts drag me around. Until finally, they walk outside. My sister was holding a small brown and white puppy, and my mom was holding various supplies. I wanted a bigger dog, not the hamster that she got. Then again, a dog was a dog, and curiosity struck. 

“What type of dog is that?” I piqued.

“She’s called a Toy Maltipoo,” my mom responded. Of course, I giggled immaturely at the word “poo.” Her floppy ears and button-sized nose wasn’t something on my dog wishlist radar, but they made her adorable. This wasn’t the dog of my dreams but I wouldn’t trade her for the world.