Cocoa Pup

Today I told a girl on the street that I loved her.
I know that comes as a shock. That I would love anyone, on the street or off. And that I would tell that person of my love? Well, that’s just too crazy to even consider.
But this person, well, she is the “mom” of a puppy named Cocoa, a 12-week mix, whom I met today on West 23rd Street on my way to Pilates (where else?). At first, when I saw Cocoa, ears flap flopping, gamboling on the sidewalk toward a few pigeons, I attributed her bounce to puppy enthusiasm. Which was enough to make my morning.
I caught up to her and the woman walking her and just had to stop and tell both of them how outrageously cute it all was. We chatted for a few minutes about Cocoa’s general adorability. But it wasn’t until I crouched down to pet the pup (with the woman’s permission and encouragement, of course) that I noticed Cocoa was a little different from most four-legged furballs:

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Does she only have three legs?” You can always count on me to be quick on my two feet.
“Yes,” her mom said with a laugh as I continued playing with Cocoa and petting her incredibly soft puppy pate.
“Was she born this way?” I asked.
“She was born with a defective leg, and it couldn’t be saved, so they amputated it. I got her from a shelter.”
“Good for you! That’s the way to go,” I said as I stood up. “Was she like this when you got her?” I asked, bending down to fill my hands with floppy felt-like ears.
“Yes,” her mom said with a huge smile. She looked down at Cocoa and smiled even bigger. “Yes, she was.”
“Well, then I have to love you!” I said, wagging my tail. Cocoa looked up at the two of us and smiled.
I thanked the woman for letting me play with Cocoa and take her photo. “See you later!” she called to me as her puppy bounded down the sidewalk.
I crossed the street, hoping I would see them again, but knowing that as far as today was concerned, my day was made. And all before 8:00!