In late July 2000, Yalu and I sat down on the living room and have a person to puppy talk. She had been living with Lori and me a good month and considered herself the top dog of her new puppy palace. When it was just Lori and me that worked fine because someone had to be the top dog and it might as well be a Golden Retriever. However, her top dog status was about to change because DiMamma was on her way back to Nashua, NH and Yalu needed to know who really ran the place.
DiMamma taught middle school English and spent her summers providing daycare for a grandchild in Minnesota. The day before she left for the Midwest, DiMamma and I brought Chelsea, our eleven year old Golden Retriever, to the vet for the last time. She had yet to meet Yalu, but plenty of phone calls and e-mails with pictures that kept her updated.
Lori went to Logan Airport to chauffeur DiMamma home. Yalu and I would have gone to Boston, but the tech support job I had at the time required me to be near a pager and a computer in case I had to provide weekend tech support.
When our puppy talk concluded, Yalu and I heard the sound of the garage door chain turning. She already knew someone was coming inside and started squirming. I told Yalu to get ready for the biggest moment of her life.
DiMamma opened the garage door and saw someone very excited to see her. Oh, and Yalu was happy too. The puppy and I stayed at the couch with her sitting up against me, my hands around her tummy. I invited DiMamma to sit next to us and introduced the little brown dog she had heard so much about. Lowering Yalu to the carpet, the pup turned on the charm. I’m pretty sure Yalu didn’t have to use her Jedi mind control powers, I told her they wouldn’t work on DiMamma. Plan B was to make with the cute.
I didn’t expect DiMamma to say, “I don’t like this dog, take her back.” She needed time to mourn Chelsea’s passing. After a month, she had the time and now we had a puppy eager to make a cute impression and Yalu did and offically received the offical stamp of approval from DiMamma. Life was good.