What have I done? the woman wondered with dread.

A black puppy sat in front of her with its head cocked to the side. Shreds of a children’s book were scattered in front of her, wreckage from two unsupervised minutes.

“Penny for your thoughts,” the dog said.

The woman narrowed her eyes at the animal, suspicious of the mind tricks it was playing in her sleep deprived state.  

“Well, when you feel like talking, I’m here.”

The dog trotted off, grabbing a stuffed elephant on its way to the hallway rug.

I’m losing it. The dog was too much. With the kids and the pandemic and now house-breaking a puppy. She listed off the stressors in her life but found that they didn’t seem so bad once she named them.  

She thought of the good things.

The boys, the puppy. The boys and the puppy.

It was all going to be ok.

Right, puppy?

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