Sometimes you just know when a person has a four-legged family member. A few golden hairs of a jolly Retriever cling to their pant leg. They proudly wear the telltale sign of someone who didn’t leave the house without an exuberantly celebrated goodbye.

In my house we, sadly, do not have a dog yet. But my daughter has been obsessed for a long time in her short life… Her first word was “puppy.” Yes, “puh-pee” before “mama” or “dada.” She still calls her beloved, ragged, seen-way-better-days, Elmo doll, “Momo.” She’s abbreviated the title of her third-favorite person, grandma, to “ma.” But “puppy” has always been a two-syllable word, expertly enunciated. It is important.

“I hold this puppy to my heart…unless Momo is around…”

She clearly wanted us to know that she *really* likes puppies. I had already gotten the hint when she’d grin widely and stick her chubby little baby hand in any ol’ dog’s mouth. Which was shocking because of both the danger aspect and the fact that any human nearby got a scowl at best. No scowls for dogs. No frowns for puh-pees! She loves dogs so much, she offers her own hand as a chew toy. (Stop doing that!)

“Your mouth area with the teeth seems to be riiiight…near here.”

“My hand in your mouth?”

I fully intend to support my daughter’s love of animals…and future as a lion-tamer or one of those people who put their heads inside alligators’ mouths. (Stop doing that!) But until we can get a bigger home and mama has access to all of the allergy medicine ever made, we’ve put a moratorium on adding a four-legged friend to our family.

But luckily, I sew. I’m doing my duty to get my family ready to one day add a furry friend to our fold…

When I take my daughter to our weekly music class and see the pet-hair hop-ons clinging to the sweater sleeve of another caregiver, I nod knowingly, grin, and pull a piece of thread trimmed from my latest project (or the one before that?) off of my daughter’s leggings. We have hop-ons too.