Many of you knew our Golden Retriever, Willa. I wrote a lot about her. She was a total lover…and was beloved by absolutely everyone who ever met her. Doormen who worked in the buildings up and down East 88th Street all knew her by name and smuggled her “treats” when they thought none of us was looking. When Willa died nearly a year ago, they were as choked up with tears as we were… 
We all put our arms around each other and said “There will never be another dog like Willa. God, she was wonderful…”
Willa was unforgettable.
But now we have a new dog. She’s definitely not Willa, which is probably good because no dog could ever “compete” with Willa’s sensitive, loving personality. 
Our new dog is a rascal of the first order. Her name is “Domino,” named by our daughter, Abigail, who rescued her from a shelter when she was six weeks old. She’s almost seven months old now but still very much a puppy. (Even ‘tho she weighs sixty pounds and counting…) 
Domino’s part German Shepherd, part Black Labrador Retriever and a whole lot of other things. (We had her saliva analyzed…crazy, right?) She’s all black except for a lovely white spot in the shape of a flame on her chest and small white spots of punctuation on the tips of her paws. (Hence, her name, “Domino…”)  
Domino is “wild.” In fact, I call her “Wild Thing” and sing that song to her. 
“Wild thing! You make my heart sing! You make everything…groovy.”
What she likes to do best is grab things that she knows she’s not supposed to have  and run like crazy…Things like Abigail’s favorite shoes (which Domino hides under the bed out of anybody else’s reach), or the  new book I’m reading (which she rips to shreds), or my sun glasses (which she chews just enough to put a crack in them and then loses interest.)
But even at her tender, rambunctious age, Domino “gets it” about people. She knows when they’re “okay” and when they’re not. 
And she always knows when a person needs to have their face licked…and does it thoroughly…and ever so gently. 
No, she’s not Willa whom we’ll never stop loving. But she is Domino. And in her very own crazy, chew-it-up, rascal way, she’s just as wonderful. 
She’s our very own “Wild Thing.” I’m grinning just thinking about her. Actually, I think I need my face licked…
I’ll play her song to get her in the mood… 


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