A Basket full of Puppies

Busy busy busy! Everyone is timed! Everyone’s units per hour are compared. Go go go. Only so many employees on the floor. Orders coming due. Down to the minute now. 22 available spots for customers to park at any given time. During the rush 22 customers could show up at once with 3 to 6 of us to tend to them. Go. Run. Bag like the wind! Hurry. Busy. Go go go. Stopwatch. Smart phones. Calling you here and there on the intercom. No time to argue. Bananas without spots. Strawberry yogurts…zero on shelf 126 on hand. Run. Back. Back miraculously, 151 units per hour, 10 orders shopped and bagged. Take this cart. Bulk order, 12. 15 minutes. Yes ma’am…

Time stops. A grocery basket full of tiny puppies enters the room. Soft tiny puppies with velvety fur and little pink tongues. The tan ones are sleepy. I lift a brown and black one into my arms and cradle it against my chest. Its little tail wags and it licks my mask and chin repeatedly, showing its precious milk teeth. This tiny soft velvety puppy is wriggling beneath my fingers and i feel the profound majesty of new life. This little being is potential. This little being is the precursor to a dog, but in this moment, it is a soft helpless baby. It is new and precious and untainted…and unpotty trained of course. The girl pushing the basket asks who wants one. I do not raise my hand. Within minutes they have all been claimed. There is no shortage of people smitten with these beautiful yawning bundles of fur. I am still holding mr brown and black with the wiggly tail, trying feverishly to lick my chin through the mask. His ears brush against my skin and i could bust into tears at any moment in response to the sheer innocence of something that wants nothing more in life than to hold your attention. It doesnt want gold, it doesnt want diamonds, it doesn’t want a car. It just wants you to hold it and look at it and rub its ears….and clean up its wee. I placed the puppy back in the basket with its sisters. I stroked its tiny head one more time and then, though it killed me to trade such a creature for a cold metal cart, off i went for a bulk run. Busy busy busy. Everyone is timed. Orders coming due. Hustle hustle hustle.

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