Happiness is a Warm Puppy – Charles Schulz

Okay, yes. The creator of Snoopy knew what he was talking about. There’s nothing better than the warm softness of a week-old puppy nestled in your arms. But puppies are also a ton of work. Do we really love the midnight walks and the crate training and the chewed-up shoes?

I can’t say I miss all that with Max, my eight-year-old German Shepherd.

German-Shepherd-dt-300x300Max is an easy dog now but even easier is the Shepherd statue I bought from St. Francis’ Garden (www.saintfrancisgarden.com) last year. I wanted to accent my yard. And I wanted another dog without getting another dog.

The statue is just over three feet high. It’s a perfect size: big enough to look just like a Shepherd but light enough that I can lift it and move it myself. The figure is made of durable fiberglass and caring for it is simple. There are just two key guidelines:

  • keep it out of direct sunlight
  • keep it away from ice

The sunlight part was not a problem. I found a shady spot in my yard next to my azalea bushes. The statue is perfect there. But because I live in the northeast, I was worried about ice and snow. I did not want to risk overexposing the figure to the harsh elements. So when winter came I carried the statue inside and set it in the corner of my living room. (I considered storing it in the garage, but it’s too beautiful to put away!)

Now it’s a rite of the passage for me. The crocuses come up in the garden in April and my dog statue comes outside. Jack Frost appears on my grass in December and the statue comes in by my bay window.

Max is getting older but my Shepherd statue looks as good as new. There’s no fuss. I’m happy. And I have no desire for a puppy anytime soon.

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