Shoes. I love them. That’s nothing unusual. A woman who loves shoes. May not be unique, but it’s TRUE! I love shoes. I have like a gazillion pairs of them. I especially love houseshoes…and since I’m a Texas gal, I also adore flip-flops. And I have lots of both. Well, at least I did have…..until about 6 months ago. That’s when my mom bought me a puppy for Easter. His name is Bernie. He is a Shih-poo and he has stolen my heart……and my shoes. I live in a house full of guys, so it’s kind of unusual to have someone in the house who also LOVES shoes. As a matter of fact, it’s downright annoying! His favorite pasttime is getting a hold of ONE of my shoes, chewing and slobbering on it while laying on top of my foot. I have put up with this slight imposition because it’s Bernie. What’s a little slobber on your houseshoe if it makes the puppy I love happy?? That’s when it took a turn….. for the worse. He was no longer satisfied with slobbering on my shoes at my feet. He then started running off and stashing ONE shoe. I guess it’s turned into a game for him. And he’s winning. I now have over 20 shoes that are matchless. I have yet to find his stash. He’s really good at this game. So, I’ve learned to yank up my shoes and put them out of his reach. I’ve even resorted to keeping shoes on my dresser to keep his jaws and paws away. Of course, I’m one of those scattered people. Slightly ADHD. And that’s only slightly admittting to the problem. What does this have to do with my shoes you ask?? Well, that means I’m perpetually leaving my shoes out…forgetting to put them in that safe spot on my dresser. And, I guess Bernie is getting bored with our usual game of hide and seek. I’ve pretty much just given up. He wins. So I guess he wanted to get me back in the game. He now has a new, added extra interest to the game. Not only does he slobber and chew, he now is completely under the spell of the toe strap. He has to chew it…..gnaw on it til it is no more. So now, not only do I have piles of matchless shoes……..but I now have piles of matchless toe-strapless shoes! I told myself last night when he turned one of my favorite pairs of Yellow Box flip-flops into hamburger meat, I was done. It’s over. I’m not messing with him anymore. He is costing me money…….and my fashion! No puppy is gonna totally destroy my shoe collection. My foot would be put down……and hopefully have a shoe on it! He was banished to his pen where he would remain until he realized he better walk away from the shoes. I tossed him into his pen, scolded him severely, and went to bed. This morning I woke to the usual hissy fit he has when he knows I’m up. He goes crazy as I walk toward his pen. This was the moment I had to be strong. I pulled him from the pen and to take him out for his morning business. As he licked my face in excitement over seeing me this morning……just like every other morning, my heart began to soften. He was so excited…didn’t he remember I was mad at him? As his eyes were bouncing at the sight of me, so happy just to be held, my mind emptied of all frustration and filled with love. This is the perfect puppy knows how to perfectly work me. At this moment, he is sitting at my feet, chewing on my flip-flop. But you know, I guess if Ihave to choose between Bernie and my shoes……….It’s bye-bye shoes!!