Dog proves to be the gift that keeps on giving November 20, 2020 — by Kaasha Minocha My maltipoo, Tintin, poses on the couch. Permalink Three years ago, I looked outside my bedroom window and saw a creamy white puppy held by his breeder coming towards my house. I opened my front door, and there was my new dog, Tintin. Although my family and I fell in love with Tintin when he arrived, it was no easy task to convince my family to get a dog. At first, my dad was completely against the idea, believing that my sisters and I wouldn’t be responsible. But when we turned his attention to getting a smaller dog, he realized taking care of it wouldn’t be so hard. After talking to multiple family friends about their experience with owning maltipoos, he felt more relieved and reluctantly agreed. So on New Year’s Eve 2016, my mom contacted my family friend’s dog breeder, and we decided to get a male maltipoo. My sisters and I were super excited, but things didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. Tintin’s breeder had planned to arrive with our dog on Jan. 9. Unfortunately, her car broke down in Fresno, and she and Tintin had to stay in a motel. When he arrived, Tintin was dirty and smelled awful. After we gave him a bath, he immediately took a nap, and my sisters and I waited for my dad to get home. It didn’t take long for my dad’s heart to melt. Within two days of having him, my dad couldn’t stop talking about Tintin. Tintin was truly the best gift my family has ever received. No matter how I’m feeling, I can always count on him to make me laugh and smile. When I cry because of stress or a fight with my family, Tintin will always lick away my tears and listen to my struggles. Taking care of Tintin has taught my sisters and me to be more responsible as we’ve had to juggle taking him for walks, feeding him, playing with him, brushing his hair and teeth and giving him baths. His daily walks also force me to get out of the house, which have helped with the monotonous days of distance learning. Though taking care of Tintin requires extra work, having him around the house is worth it. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I can always count on Tintin to be there for me.