Talitha was not a dog--at least not just a dog. She was a member of the family. Since I was raised with cats, I wanted a cat, but my wife's experience was dogs. So when it came to a pet for the children we couldn't agree. I guess I got tired of gerbils and hamsters and goldfish, so when Barbara proposed we adopt a poodle she caught me at a weak moment. She said the bulletin board at the supermarket advertised pups of a pedigreed poodle. Since they were offered free, we were very skeptical, and discovered that even though mom was a poodle, the dad was a "traveling man" as the vet put it. Anyway she brought home this little bundle of curly black fur that was so wriggly at both ends that it was difficult to discern head from tail. Of course the kids loved her immediately, and learned to kiss the appropriate end. Barbara and I agreed that it would be her dog, and life continued.
We wanted to give her a name from the Bible, but we didn't want her to have too common a name. "Talitha" is the Aramaic word that is given us in the gospels as what Jesus said to Jairus' daughter. It is translated "little girl". So Talitha was our little girl--the bitch. (I just thought it would be fun to say that word legitimately.)
Well I guess Talitha had ideas of her own about relationships. When she entered a room, she came straight to me. When family members took turns barking orders at her, she invariably obeyed me best. It became evident in due time that by her own choice she was my dog. It was her own fault that we had a theme song between us. I did sing it to her several times. "You made me love you. I didn't wanna do it. I didn't wanna do it."
Talitha grew up with our kids. We had her in the family for 16 years. Yes, there are many tales (tails?) about Talitha, but I'll make you wait for more.