Definition of Diva: “One who demands that attention be paid to his or her needs.”

And boy does this fit the darling 4-month-old puppy we recently got at the shelter. She is an interesting combination of Doxie, Chihuahua and Yorkie and if she isn’t the cutest thing on four paws!

We had to move her out of the dog kennel area and put her in the lobby because we were concerned that she was so small she could squeeze through the cage bars. Also, she got way too lonely back there and barked practically non-stop.

So we moved her to a cage by the front desk in the lobby, and that was where the spoiling began in earnest! Everybody who passed by talked baby talk to her and wanted to pick her up or have her on their laps. It got so Diva’s feet rarely touched the ground…

Then our manager Sara put her foot down! She told us that these little dogs that are spoiled so badly and not treated at least a little bit like dogs can get snappy. She put a laminated list of how we are not to spoil Diva. For example, #1: “Do not pick her up when she is barking and whining.” But Sara, when she is whining is when we want to pick her up…

So fast forward to a week into Diva’s new regime of being treated more like a dog, and we have to admit it is improving her behavior. But when we do get to pick her up out of necessity (like lifting her down from her kennel) it is still wonderful to hug her and feel her snuggle her warm, wiggly little body against us. Rule #2: Do not carry her around. She can walk on a leash.” Sigh…

Sara is right — treating her more like a dog this past week has paid off. She is much more secure not being the center of attention and is doing much less barking and whining. So we are hoping that whoever adopts this darling pup will follow through with the rules. But come and see her and you will probably admit to yourself that it is oh, so tempting to want to pick her up and cuddle her on your lap.

Of course, all pets need to be close to their humans and feel our loving hands upon them. It’s just when that pet is drop-dead cute that we are tempted to go overboard!

So if you are in the market for a darling pup, come and see Diva. Just be sure not to spoil her too badly. Maybe take the list of rules with you for reference…

We would be very grateful to receive donations of canned cat food. This is a wonderful treat for the cats as they await their forever homes. Thank you for all you have done for the shelter in 2016 and thank you to the kind people who adopted pets. You are the best!

SPCHS Shelter at 330 Second St. NE, Long Beach, WA 98631 (P.O. Box 101) 642-1180. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Website: www.beachpets.com Be sure to follow us on Facebook, too!

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