The year of 2019 was one my family would never forget, for better or for worse, but in general worse. That year my Grandfather, who lived a mile away from my family, who we were always so close to, had recently passed. This hit our family very hard. It was early December now, we still knew a piece of us left with him, so we all still felt empty although he had passed 5 months ago. 

It was early December, a couple of days after Thanksgiving, my brothers and I were eating Honey Nut Cheerios at our kitchen counter when our parents walked into the room. In their hand they held a small gift bag, what it contained we didn’t know.

“We have a surprise for you guys!’’ My mom exclaimed with excitement.

She handed us the bag, what was in it we would have never guessed in a million years.

We stopped for a second in surprise. 

It was a dog collar.

We had been asking for a dog for years, since after our last Black Lab had passed, but our parents weren’t in haste to get a new one, saying they didn’t want a replacement for our last one. Even while knowing that, my brothers and I were persistent on the idea of a dog. But since my older brother was allergic to dog fur (but somehow he was never allergic to our black lab), we couldn’t find a dog that was hypoallergenic.

We were filled with joy and excitement, a feeling that had left us no more than 5 months before, bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm, we felt beyond eager to get this dog.

We were going to get a Bernedoodle, a Bernese Mountain dog and Poodle hybrid. 

After a couple hours of anxious anticipation, we finally got in the car and headed for Northern Connecticut. 

When we got there, we ran into the house of dog owners and were welcomed by the two parent dogs, a prestigious poodle and a beautiful Bernese, big and calm. When we were ready, they led us into a room filled with a litter of bernedoodle puppies, some black and brown, some black and white, and 2 some brown and white small dogs.

We caught the attention of 2 of the dogs immediately, one, a tame brown and white dog, and another a hyper black and brown dog.

Both of these dogs had come to us once we came into the room, all of the others would have cared less.
Split between which one to choose, the black dog began to grab my pant leg trying to rip it off. Finally after a minute it finally calmed down and stopped making loud “ruff” noises, we had ruled that out and had chosen a small, calm brown and white dog that had crawled into my brother’s lap.

We named him Wallace Clarence Hauptman. We all liked the name Wallace but Clarence was for our Grandpa. “It’s a Wonderful Life” was always his favorite Christmas movie, and has become one of ours too. SInce we brought home Wallace during the Christmas season, it only seemed right that this new puppy was like a ray of sunshine in our lives, like our own angel looking out for us in our time of sadness. 

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