The problem with puppies is that we evolved a puppy-shaped hole in our psyche. When we see that wriggling little dog, she hooks into us without us intending to let it happen.
The problem with puppies is that we ought to know better. You know how the story ends, even while she rides home for the first time, happy and wagging between feet on the passenger side.
The problem with puppies is how your life winds around them. She's there when you get up in the morning, hoping for breakfast--so you feed her before you make a cup of coffee. She's there nosing around in the grass while you work in the yard, so you keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't get into a wasp nest like she did that one time. She's there when you make dinner, and you know onions are poison to dogs, so you scoop up fast when your chopping hits the floor. She's there snoring when you go to bed; you complain that you'll never fall asleep with that racket, but you always do (later, it's hard to fall asleep to the silence).
The problem with puppies is that they give us everything they have. Even at the end, when cancer grows insoluble in a paw, she licks pills hidden in peanut butter from your hand with nothing but gratitude. And you feel so guilty when the big tongue slurps up the last specks from your palm, because you know why so many pain killers are hidden in so much treat.
The problem with puppies is that at the end, and even after the end, it's just so damn hard to write about anything at all. Even if you fancy yourself a writer, especially if you fancy yourself a writer. A dog may not be a muse, but she's a powerful totem.
The problem with puppies is that sometimes one fills the dog-shaped hole inside of you so well that you don't feel like you anymore after she's gone.
The problem with puppies is that after you lose one, you swear to every god you know to never face that pain again. Even though you know you will.