Do puppies lower your blood pressure?

This past weekend, my wife made easy work of one of the most selfless and loving acts I have witnessed.  Yesterday, she became the family hero — again — when we picked up our new puppy at the Richmond airport, which I still prefer to call Byrd Field.  A throwback to an era I never even knew . . . that’s the kind of guy I am.

But back to the point.

A puppy probably caused my wife’s normally-low blood pressure to skyrocket.  You see, she is, to use a litote, not a huge fan of the canine persuasion.  And yet, she handled it like Hubert the Bloodhound, in Best in Show.  She seemed unflappable on the outside.  And she conquered something most people never attack: fear.

PAUSE for some trivia: The dog’s real name was Champion Quiet Creek Stand By Me! NOW back to your original program.

So I just wanted to give major recognition and appreciation to my wife for overcoming a phobia she has held since early childhood: she was simply petrified of dogs of all sorts and sizes.  Oh, she avoided cats and steered away from other dry-land household pets, but she had a special place in her pooper scooper for dogs.  So it was with some credulity that I parked our westbound Toyota Sienna at . . . Byrd Field’s . . . cargo delivery area on June 14, 2009, and picked up a tiny crate full of 10-week-old furball.  So yes, she really did it.

We have added three pounds of furry, jet black Bichon Frise-Poodle puppy to the family because our daughters — particularly an impressively-determined eight-year-old — begged for one for months.

So as I applaud the girls for their stick-to-it-iveness, I also have to be astounded at how difficult it must have been for Teri to respond so lovingly.  She led one of the most exhaustive puppy searches — more than six months and several false starts’ worth — in post-Lassie America; earned most of the money to pay for it through an office Biggest Loser contest and SAVED it in the face of other needs; and then commited to being the pup’s Alpha person.

Seriously, who does that?  Not only will that raise your blood pressure, it could cause resentment in mere mortals.  But not for Teri.  She stepped up her game like Jordan in Game 7.  And I speculate she worked up her nerve because she has always put others before herself.  What she did is the stuff kids will talk about when they’re remembering the best of their childhood.  This was a parenting hall of fame move in my book.

So they say puppies cause your blood pressure to nose-dive?  I would say for her, it had the opposite effect, and yet she never wavered in her commitment to fulfilling this promise to our two girls.  I never thought the day would come.  In fact, I am still waiting on the next plane arriving from Hell so I can find out whether there were flight delays due to icy conditions.  So as I maintain my constant search for inspiration and motivation, I am compelled by her role model.

I learned a ton from watching her selfless act, her initial discomfort, her unflinching commitment to making this happen; and I appreciate her for it.  If motherhood is about those things, and being a giver, she is one amazing mother . . . I will shut my mouth.  I think her blood pressure has returned to normal already.  Now to work on mine.

So where is he?!  I give you . . . . COLA!

Minutes after seeing his new home for the first time.

Minutes after seeing his new home for the first time.

We welcomed him home with an unnecessary bath.

We welcomed him home with an unnecessary bath.


3 responses to “Do puppies lower your blood pressure?

  1. Matt,

    Fantastic story and beautiful tribute to Terri. Speaking from experience, I never wanted a dog, especially not an inside dog. Two years later, I can’t imagine life without Archie. Even as I remember my childhood dog, I don’t remember loving him like this. It’s crazy!

    Of course, I never had the fear of dogs that Terri has struggled with. What an amazing testimony about the power of love and the ability to overcome fear.

    Beautifully written, inspirational and heart-warming. Proud to know you guys!

  2. Hi there

    excellent story about un wavering love in the face of adversity.and I love the photos Cola looks such a sweety and I’m sure will give you many years of love and devotion, however I am confused as I always thought bichons were white, maybe with a little peachy bits but white non the less. Am I maybe not clued up on recent models ha ha…

  3. Thanks so much. Pure bichons are white, but this one is a bichon-poodle mix. We are truly enjoying him more every day. Although I will say we aren’t training him so much as he is training us!

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