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My pockets are full of poop pick-up bags and training treats, I can’t remember whether I brushed my teeth or hair this morning, and my hands bear the scabbed evidence of teaching little Barley the difference between gentle mouthing and Cujo-worthy flesh-tearing. Yes, I have a new puppy. He has won my heart and dominated my days for the last two weeks.

            I intended to write a blog about the joys of new puppy parenthood, but every time I sit down to write, it’s time for a potty break, play session, or intervention between Barley and whatever household object he’s deconstructing. So instead of writing something new, I’m posting something I wrote for the Crested Butte Magazine 15 years ago after we got our first golden retriever puppy, Luke.

            Oops… no, Barley, that’s not a chew toy, that’s the couch….


Luke the puppy guru, reprinted from Crested Butte Magazine 1999


Last year, a friend and I started comparing notes on our "hidden gurus" — the waitresses, mortgage brokers, or teenagers who impart meaningful insights in the course of passing encounters. Recently, I've expanded my realm of secret swamis to include four-legged beings, thanks to my newest hidden guru — Luke, my five-month-old golden retriever puppy.

I know, I know, gurus typically do not stain their students' carpets or eat their students' earphones. What a clever disguise my resident rector boasts.