I and my family recently joined the ranks of the dog rescuers, adopting a smart and handsome pointer mix puppy we have named Percy, for no other reason than his given name was Persimmon and we just weren’t cool with that.

Percy Pointer Puppydog Pruden, in a moment of relaxation.

So Persimmon became Percy and he’s eased into life at Chez Pruden very nicely. Not surprising since, whether he knew it or not, he was scheduled for euthanasia at the high-kill shelter in Greenville, S.C., from which the local group All 4 Paws Animal Rescue acquired him. As I’ve noted to others, Percy and I are now the only two native South Carolinians in our household (although being from Greenville, chances are he’d be a Clemson fan. I just choose not to think about that).

One thing that changed dramatically when Percy joined the family was that we were suddenly thrust back into a situation where managing his … um, elimination and other chores required strict adherence to a routine. Having been a cat daddy for the previous 20 years, it took a little getting used to, but I’ve found that having a fifth family member who requires a little extra attention (and isn’t a human baby) can actually be good for the productivity of a work-at-home writer guy like me.

First, I can honestly tell you I haven’t overslept in nearly all the time since Percy came to live with us. Now that I think about it, I haven’t even needed to use an alarm, because every day between 5:45 and 6:16 a.m., I get the whining “I need to go out” wake-up call from the young pup. While some would see this as a huge burden, for me it’s a much needed kick in the ass, forcing me to jump start my day when I might otherwise be willing to lounge around until the last possible minute.

And in forcing me to be more structured with his needs, I’m realizing that I need to be much more structured in my own. Rather than just easing through a day of work, I’ve become much more vigilant about my to-do lists and getting things checked off. As a result, I’m getting a lot more work done and hopefully generating a lot more work for the future.

So thank you, young Percy, for bringing the joy, exuberance and excitement of the canine into our human household, and here’s to years of love and helping me get things done a little bit better.


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