Mom and I had the best conversation yesterday while I cleaned the house. We hadn’t talked in so long, it felt like, and we both had much to share. It worked out great to take turns: I’d mute my microphone while Mom told me something that required exposition so that I could vacuum and she wouldn’t have to hear it, then I’d unmute and do some dusting while I told her something. We talked for over 90 minutes before the cleaning jag and the conversation ended with a discussion of my health status and general disposition. And it was this last matter that led us to a discussion of Philip Larkin.
If anyone out there is tired of me talking about dream dog Philip Larkin, I’m afraid there’s simply nothing I can do about it and — wait a minute, hang on. If you are tired of hearing about a girl’s true love of The Tiny Puppy Of Her Dreams, I am sincerely worried about your general disposition and if you do choose to click away, I hope that you will click to a better place. I’m completely serious! This is serious stuff!
Okay, back to Philip.
“Mom, I think I’m going to do it,” I said.
“Well,” Mom said, “I do think —”
I cut her off, noticing that I did that and feeling bad but not willing to clam up just yet. “But I am not going to do anything rash,” I said. “It’s not like I’ve run off done it already. There are many steps to take to make it happen, most of which involve paperwork. I’d need to get all kinds of things filed — and approved — before I’d get permission. And after that, I have to find a breeder, which could take awhile. Ask me how I know.”
“How do you know?”
“I’ve been emailing breeders, actually, which proves how serious I am, I guess. And I did look in Iowa first.”
My mother and Mark got Scrabble, a miniature Golden Doodle puppy, from a reputable breeder in Iowa about eight years ago. Mom has strongly advised me to “get an Iowa dog!” She’s not wrong about the quality of Iowa stock, not that I’m biased. But, as I went on to tell Mom, none of the Iowa-based Maltipoo breeders raise teacup Maltipoos, which is what Philip must be. (A miniature Maltipoo is a normal-small dog; a teacup Maltipoo is the size of a well-fed hamster.) I’ve looked in Illinois, naturally, but it’s the same thing here. The only places that have teacups are pet stores and I just don’t think this is the best way to acquire my furry best friend. I’ve read terrible things about pet stores being mills and the pups being sick — oh, it’s just awful. If anyone can make the case for the pet store, please make it. I am trying to get this right and hey, if a pet store like the one I visited a few weeks ago is a legit place to pick’a Philip Larkin, that saves me a great deal of footwork and many miles of travel. Yes, at this point, it looks as though I may have to travel a great distance for my dream dog. And I wince to share that, as this opens me up to a great deal of criticism, I realize, from people horrified that I don’t just go over to the animal shelter and get a worthy, needy pet that way. Again, I have my reasons for approaching this big change in my life in the manner in which I’m approaching it and if my life circumstances were different, I suspect my approach would be different, as well. Be gentle with me.
We discussed all this and then Mom had a great idea, which is not an uncommon occurrence.
“You should ask your PaperGirl readers if they know anyone who owns a Philip or breeds teacup Maltipoos. I’m sure you’ll get someone who either has one of their own or could get you in touch with someone, don’t you think?”
And so I ask you, pals: Would you be willing to draw upon your vast resources, your extensive network of professional associations, your thousands and thousands of social media friends and admirers, your high school sweethearts, your very children — yes! your kin! — to help me find my puppy? I just know a pure-hearted teacup Maltipoo breeder is out there and the coolest thing in the whole world would be to find Wee Philip because of a PaperGirl connection! I mean, seriously. Seriously, for real, I keel over with joy and then Philip Larkin would lick me back into consciousness.
In closing, I would like to give a major shout out to Suzanne, who commented on yesterday’s anguished post with something that made my day and is germane to this post in a big way. Get a load of this:
When you first brought up Philip Larkin, I had no idea who this was and went off to Wikipedia. And then some other sites, and then some more and thoroughly enjoyed my voyage. Months later, my book group decided to read Devices and Desires by P. D. James. In the introductory chapters, we learn the main character (Adam Dalgleish) is a renowned poet and appears to hold Philip Larkin in high esteem. I just sat and smiled this little glowy smile — I KNEW who Philip Larkin was. Thank you, Mary. And I’m reading a real, touch-the-pages book.
Thanks, Suzanne, and thank you, everyone, for any help you might be able to provide re: my quest. I think if I do eventually get that pup, I’ll have to start a video blog version of PaperGirl. It would be called PaperGirl: Extreme Philip Larkin Edition and it would feature hours and hours of video of that dog as he canters, cavorts, hops, yips, wriggles, rolls over, fetches, shakes, snorgles, twirls, chases his tail, licks my nose, plays with various items, drinks water, eats small food, and curls up in my arms.