My first husband used to say that World War III could be raging in bold face headlines in the Sunday newspaper, but I would find a cute puppy story in there somewhere. He was probably right. So shoot me.
This photo was taken in the pre-digital era: 1988. Buck and I were living on the Williams Ditch Road in the tiny community of Cottage Hill, within the village of Cantonment, the poor neighbor to the north of Pensacola, Florida.
The momma-dog, Amanda Blackvelvet, had been an present to ourselves when it became clear that we were going to get married and stay at least a dog's life together. I have never seen anything so beautiful as Amanda the day we picked her up from the folks who owned her parents in Montrose, Alabama. They had given her a bath, fluffed her up and put a big red velvet ribbon around her neck. She was about nine weeks old, and sat in my lap all the way home, with that infant smell of longing and promise, and those big liquid amber eyes.
We had a fish pond down a hill from the house. It was too far for the puppies to walk on their first big outing, so Buck scooped them up and plopped them into the wheel-barrow. There was whimpering from the pups and some glowering from Amanda, but in the end, a fine time was had by all.
What a day.