Tuesday, April 22, 2008


A little over a week ago one of our sons came for a week-end visit. He brought with him his new female, golden retriever puppy. Her name is Clarice. She is about two months old. She is very small. Our son said her vet was even a little worried about her because of her size. I don't think there's anything to worry about. For one thing, she has doubled her weight from five pounds to ten pounds in the short time they've had her. Also, she seems very energetic and feisty. To know her is to love her. She is adorable. Our two dogs, Bear and Sadie, weren't immediately taken in. Bear didn't know what to make of her. She tried to ignore her. She would rather have played with our son like old times. But Clarice is hard to ignore. We were very proud of our Bear. She's pretty feisty and rough herself, but once she decided that this little stinker wasn't going to let her alone until they had some fun, she was very good with Clarice. She batted at her and head butted her, but always just gently enough. Even when Clarice was hanging onto Bear's ears with her teeth, Bear tolerated it. Not so with Sadie. Here's what Sadie thought: "I do not like Clarice. I do not like her at all." Unfortunately Clarice understandably saw big old shaggy Sadie as a mother figure. At one point, when Sadie plopped down against a cupboard, Clarice hopped up on her back for a nice nap. Sadie growled and snapped at her over and over. We all went for a walk on the sunny April Sunday afternoon in our north woods. Our son was showing us some big red maples we hadn't noticed. He thought that we could tap them for sap as we had done on our property in southern Minnesota. While we were looking at maples, Sadie and Clarice disappeared. I was plenty worried. I think our son was too. But just as our stomachs began to rise to our throats, here they came through the trees. Sadie was in the lead, coming not too fast so that Clarice could keep up at her heels. She gave me one of her long, sad baleful looks. I could read her mind again: " I tried to get rid of her. I don't know why she likes me so much. But see, I brought her back."

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