About El Puppo

Having been raised as an only child of a mostly single mother, my son was sometimes lonely. I worked a full-time job and even when I was home, there were always chores to do. On the last Wednesday in October 2006, I decided to get him a dog. I had not grown up with dogs and had very little firsthand experience. I didn't particularly like dogs, but they have always gravitated to me. Somehow, I just knew that getting my son a dog was the right thing to do.

My ideal dog was twenty pounds or less. I wasn't breed specific, though I figured we'd end up with a mutt. I also figured we'd end up rescuing a dog from a shelter; I didn't have the money for a purebred puppy, and I knew that millions of dogs were languishing in shelters all over the country. Plus, I wanted a slightly older dog, two or three years old. When Saturday rolled around, Jake and I made a couple of stops at adoption fairs in the area. By chance, we ended up near the Westport branch of the Connecticut Humane Society. We walked past all the kennels and came across a little scruffy brownish-grayish jumping dog. He seemed to have springs in his legs! There was no information posted because he was "on hold," but I knew he was our dog. The attendant informed us the dog's hold expired the next day. I said, "We'll be here at 9 a.m. tomorrow."

The next day, Jake and I were there a few minutes before 9 a.m. The attendants allowed us to go outside with them when they took Snuffles out. He never barked. Jake, the dog, and I then spent some time in a meet-and-greet room. Because I had written "two cats at home" on the dog application, an attendant brought in a cat to see how the dog reacted. The dog walked over, sniffed the cat, and walked away. He spent the rest of my cats' lives trying to play with them, while they tried to get away from him!

We paid the adoption fee and took Snuffles home. He followed us around our apartment as we went about our business. He was advertised as being fully housetrained and this turned out to be absolutely true. At the end of that first night, Jake hopped into bed and Snuffles followed, spinning a few times and then curling up into a little ball at the foot of the bed and giving a contented sigh. He was home.

Snuffles was named after Sirius Black's animigus, or spirit animal, in the Harry Potter series. (Sirius is Harry's uncle-ish kind of relative.) But in the magical world of Harry Potter, certain people can actually turn into animals. Sirius can turn into a dog, specifically a large, black, scruffy dog. The adults call him Padfoot, but the kids call him Snuffles. When Jake and I were waiting in the parking lot of the Humane Society on the Sunday that we adopted Snuffles, we were reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix out loud to each other to pass the time until the doors opened. I read that Sirius says to Harry, "I've asked Dumbledore whether I can escort you to your hearing—as Snuffles, obviously—so I can give you a bit of moral suppprt, what d'you think?" (Rowling 2003) I said to Jake, "Who is Snuffles?" Jake, having read all the books, said, "That's what they call Sirius when he's a dog." We looked at each other, and we both knew that would be our new dog's name. Snuffles goes by many terms of endearment, including but not limited to Puppyrus, Puppy, D-O-G, Das Schnuffles Von Der Wigglebottom, Schnuffles Schnauzer Schnoodle, and El Puppo.