After reading “Puppy” by George Saunders, Marie could be described as an almost overly-loving mother who would do anything for the people she loves. She enjoys bringing animals home to her two kids and husband even though they don’t really have the money for some of the animals. She loves her children more than anything in the world and wants to be able to bond with them. Her son Josh asked for a new game and Marie learned it “over the summer by studying the Noble Baker manual while Josh was asleep” (Saunders 188). On the other end of the spectrum, Callie is more of a survivalist. Her son has extreme behavioral issues and speaks about him saying “when Bo got older, it would be different. Then he’d need his freedom. But now he just needed not to get killed” (Saunders 188). She is less loving than Marie and seems to be more of a people pleaser.
When the women met, there were few words exchanged and I believe Marie didn’t take the puppy because she saw things from her neglectful childhood reflected in Callie’s home. Her children wanted the dog and seemed to be prepared to care for it, but Marie wanted nothing more to get out of the house and leave. Maybe, if she had been thinking with a clear, rational head, she would have seen that the puppy needed a nurturing home and that Callie’s home wasn’t a good fit. However, Callie didn’t do much to persuade her into changing her mind and instead let her leave with a look of disappointment on her face. I do not believe that killing the puppy needed to be the next step, she could have tried harder to find a new home or bringing the dog to a shelter. Callie was only thinking of what her husband would say about extra animals and felt as though it was the only option after only one attempt of trying to give him away. Saying there was a RIGHT thing to do is a stretch, there could have been a BETTER option though. Ideally, Marie would have taken the dog into her loving, safe home and given him a better life so Callie’s problem would have been resolved and the puppy would still be alive.
The Saunders’ videos speak to the story because Marie was not very kind to Callie and didn’t really give her the time of day. His video on kindness could seem to be a reflection of Marie’s emotional trauma because both Marie and his character “Ellen” experienced neglect at a young age and could feel some of the same things as adults.