Our pup is nearly 6 months old now — gangly, eager, silly. Still melting my heart with his penchant for curling up on my feet, still willing to chew up nearly anything within reach, still easing the ache of missing the one he replaced. Last week, we took a vacation, and, well, we needed a dog sitter. Conveniently, one of our sons and his lovely wife live exactly on the way to the sun and surf. So, we dropped off Jack, and thought of him occasionally.
We survived nicely, — turns out leaving a dog isn’t quite the trauma of leaving the kids behind, although the agony of the kids’ leaving us behind is a whole other matter…
…Anyway! The return to regular life after vacation life jolts a bit, doesn’t it? I always think I need a vacation to recover from our vacation, but that’s unrealistic. The antics of a puppy eased us back to routine, reminding me of life’s rich pleasures.
Jack loves our yard. It’s big, open, full of familiar smells and room for new ones. It’s a thoroughfare for the tame wildlife of the neighborhood — a breakfasting deer a few weeks ago, a mid-day coyote weeks before that, and this week an irresistible invitation for a romp from an early morning rabbit. Jack lacks all awareness that the rabbit can outrun him. Frankly, I’m not sure he even minds. It’s the chase that counts. Jack is just obtuse enough that he’ll even chase a flock of geese. A flying flock. If only we’d had a camera. His stocky little body charging full-speed ahead, a sharp bark as if to say, ‘this is my turf, honkers!’ — priceless.
The geese aren’t the only winged creatures to catch his eye. (Or is it his hunter’s nose?) It’s the rare outside foray that doesn’t include Jack finding a butterfly or moth flitting through his yard. The minute he spots one he sets, eager to pounce. When his attack fails, as it nearly always does, he lifts his nose high and follows those tender wings with his chocolatey eyes, dancing through the grass chasing butterflies.
For Jack, the world is simple. Kibble, a full water bowl, naps, wildlife adventures in the wide backyard, a moment to dance, the thrill of the chase. When Jack romps through the yard, he finds promise in each wiff of rabbit, each blade of grass, each butterfly’s wing. We watch him tear after rabbits, bound after low flying geese, prance and pounce and stop everything for a satisfying roll, just to cover himself with the earth’s good smells. Ah… it’s a dog’s life.
Oh!!!!!! So that’s what that means…