Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Gertie is one of the three puppies that is new in the neighborhood. I mentioned previously that she and Callie played one morning and looked like they enjoyed meeting someone their own size. The other morning as I was writing, I looked up and watched Erin walk Gertie along the street. Gertie wasn't on a leash. She tottered along a little behind Erin, making sure to keep up. She was very serene, her little lab ears perked and paying full attention to her mom. She didn't stray, didn't stop to check out much, just kind of walked along like a really well behaved little puppy. Then I looked over at Callie:

Callie walks on a leash, or rather grabs it from my hand and carries it herself. She jogs a full two steps ahead of me, drops her leash to grab the nearest stick whose only requirement is that it be a minimum of twice her size and must have three to four extra shoots on it. She could easily be hired by Cirque de Soleil as combination tumbler and clown. The bigger, the dirtier, the smellier the puddle, the better! Routinely she relishes digging a hole in the ground out back and then (I don't know how she does this, truly) dumps her water dish in the middle of it and JUMPS as vigorously as she can. She climbs in the shower with me and steals my washcloth and bolts through the house. The wetter, the faster she runs, the more she shakes and then if my furniture and floors are not wet enough, does it again. On most days during my writing time she disappears. I know where she goes; I can hear her. She goes to the far side of the bed, climbs under it and crawls all the way across on the wood floor on her elbows looking for the cat. Her moods are obvious because of her ears. When they are propped up and flopped to one side, she's interested in the topic, when they are flat against her head, she's ready to bolt away from me or towards something she really isn't supposed to be bolting for. I think she has some greyhound in her. Last night I was talking to my neighbor and Callie was full throttle in circles around the yard. Chasing nothing, just flat out running. She minds me if I have a treat in my hand, otherwise I get a "your joking...right?" look, and then completely ignored.
Callie has come into her own. She has decided she is her own dog and will do what she wants, when she wants, with who she wants, wherever she wants. The puppy has become a toddler.
I'm talking tongue in cheek of course. Callie is a really good dog. She's not as sedate as I'd sometimes like her to be, but she is a puppy. I don't know how Gertie behaves behind closed doors, but I'm guessing she has her moments. What I love about Callie is that she is so full of life and so sure of who she is and what her role in our pack is, but really checking out the world. And she checks out EVERYTHING! She strikes me as a dog that doesn't want to miss a minute of what each day has to offer, and ready to take full advantage. I sometimes worry that she'll be an out of hand dog, but I'm not so sure. She is alert, attentive and does pay attention to me. I don't want to suppress her freedom or her zest for life, I just want her to be safe. As Jim said, because Dogs do what they do when they're puppies, it is amazing they make it through the first year of life. :-) I think Callie will be okay, she's pretty tough.

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