When my aunt Marybeth invited us to stay at their lake cabin for a week, she mentioned that she’d have a litter of eight-week-old labradoodle puppies at the time. I immediately set to plotting how to get the boys to see the puppies, but then Marybeth informed me that the puppies pretty much needed to come with her whenever she was at the lake, and it all became easy.
Almost as soon as we arrived, there were five wiggly puppies (as well as three long-suffering older dogs) let loose near the front door. They followed what was to become a familiar pattern. On first being released, they went into ecstatic contortions to connect with any human present, jumping up, licking, and trying to nibble on toes.
Then there would be a period with more exploration: running under cars, disappearing into the little patch of woods nearby, and digging in any soft patch of dirt. Much wrestling and chewing would ensue. Nathan and Ryan, closer to the ground than the rest of us, sometimes seemed to be dubbed honorary puppies. Finally things would begin to settle down, and the mellowest of the puppies might look for a human lap to claim.
This little girl was so sweet, with such a strong prediliction for climbing into laps and snuggling, that if she hadn’t been spoken for already I might have been severely tempted by her. Well, I don’t think I’d really have tried to take her home: we like the fact that we are not responsible for any dependent creatures other than our children. Still, she was a sweetie. Her coat was so soft and her personality so loving that it was easy to fall in love with her.
Of course, being eight-week-old puppies, they were not always amenable to direction. As the week progressed they became more and more adventurous, making forays into the neighbor’s yard and down to the beach. Twice Ryan came to tell me “We’re missing one puppy!” with the glee of a two-year-old who loves a good adventure and is distinctly not responsible for the puppy himself. It all ended well, though. By the time we left, three of the puppies had already gone to their new homes, and the other two were soon to follow.
Nathan has since informed me “I like the lake because I like playing with puppies.” I’m not sure he understands the the two don’t necessarily go together…