The Shop Dog Diaries: Puppyhood


Puppyhood. It’s like the cherry blossoms in springtime. It’s like the half a roast beef sandwich someone left on the desk in the back office. It goes so fast. We’ve loved having a puppy in our ranks again, a little fella we could show around. Barnabus may be fancy but he’s not pretentious. He likes his squeaky toys and teething chews, same as we did back when we were puppies. You can just tell, he’s going to grow up to be one heck of a dog.

Lindsay and Barnabus, with Ann and Sparky

Lindsay, though. Well, we’re not going to say anything bad about Lindsay, except that we’re a little disappointed in her. She’s so careful about everything. Either she’s got Barnabus on a leash or she’s got him in a cage under her desk like he’s waiting for someone to post bail. She’s one of these helicopter dog owners, keeping her eye on him every minute. How’s a puppy ever going to learn to be one of the pack when his mommy won’t let him walk around the store for five minutes with his friends?

“He’ll eat the books,” Lindsay says.

Barnabus lies in the grass and looks upward in the sunshine.
Splendor in the grass

We try barking at her but she doesn’t listen. “He’s a puppy,” we tell her. “You’ve got to let him make mistakes. He’s going to pee on some stuff, sure, but that’s why humans invented paper towels. And it’s not like he’s going to eat all the books. He’s only going to eat the ones on the bottom shelves.”

But Lindsay has some ridiculous idea that even puppies need to pee outside, and that it’s not okay to eat any books at all, not even the ones right in front of your face. She thinks that if her puppy rips the store to shreds it could reflect badly on her as an employee. But it won’t. We’re the shop dogs. We’re not going to let anything happen to Lindsay, because clearly, if she goes, she’s taking Barnabus with her. We’ve become very attached to the little guy.

Barnabus and The Barnabus Project.

Lindsay used to work at Parnassus back when she was a puppy herself. We hired her eight years ago as a seasonal employee, and we were so impressed with her gift-wrap skills, we took her on full time. As much as she loved us, she not only wanted to sell books, she wanted to write them, so she went off to Wyoming to get an advanced degree in creativity. After that she wrote a novel, which Barnabus has strongly indicated is delicious. Lindsay came back to Nashville because she’d never be able to have a Caviler King Charles puppy in Wyoming. One strong wind and *poof* there he goes.

Lindsay was always generous with the treats back in the day. She had a way of scratching our ears that made us feel seen. We’re glad she’s back. She just needs to lighten up. Hand over the puppy, sister. We’re the shop dogs. We’ll take it from here.

These are Barnabus’ most chew-able books:

The Barnabus Project Cover ImageThe Barnabus Project

Snuggle Puppy! (Boynton on Board) Cover ImageSnuggle Puppy! (Boynton on Board)

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole Cover ImageSam and Dave Dig a Hole

Big Dog and Little Dog Going for a Walk Cover ImageBig Dog and Little Dog Going for a Walk

Gaston (Gaston and Friends) Cover ImageGaston (Gaston and Friends)

Indestructibles: Baby Animals: Chew Proof · Rip Proof · Nontoxic · 100% Washable (Book for Babies, Newborn Books, Safe to Chew) Cover ImageIndestructibles: Baby Animals: Chew Proof · Rip Proof · Nontoxic · 100% Washable (Book for Babies, Newborn Books, Safe to Chew)

Doggo and Pupper Cover ImageDoggo and Pupper