Austin and Jamison, being typical boys, are less impressed with all of the Spring beauty surrounding them. They are even less amused with their mother’s attempt, and their required involvement, in requisite “spring cleaning.” But no one can deny that spring is the season of new and a season of change.
Recently, at a friend’s house she had a lively story to tell about a roving neighborhood Romeo and her Labs which shared the starring role of Juliet. They had both been wooed. The results were ten adorable mutt-puppies. As if it was a television commercial, all of the sudden a herd of multi-colored puppies bounded around the corner of her house. Soon I heard, and I dreaded, the gasp that I knew was coming. In unison, Austin and Jamison squealed an “Oh puppies,” plea. With their exclamation, a little black and white puppy broke away from the herd and made a beeline to the boys. He grabbed ahold of Austin’s pants leg and went to town trying every maneuver he could to get his attention and a head pat. The nest question was a given and quite expected, “Oh, can we keep him?”
I was relieved that they only begged for one. So I did what a diligent wife does - I called John. One phone call to John and it was confirmed, “Um, not going to happen guys. Your dad said three dogs are more than enough.” Their gloomy faces suddenly started beaming when in near perfect unison the answer to most of their conundrums became crystal clear. Lightbulbs went off and I heard a unanimous, “Popsy!”
On the ranch we have two outside dogs. Two fat and happy yellow labs, Ally and Jasper. Inside the boys adopted a miniature, white poodle named The Mighty Thor who rules the indoor roost. Next door, Mimi and Popsy adopted Jacob, a mighty and finicky German shepherd. Jacob stays inside my parent’s fenced-in yard and our dogs stay inside our fenced-in yard seldom getting together. On the rare occasions they do get together they tend to take off hunting, exploring, and stirring up all sorts of trouble. Fear of snake bites, wild hogs, and whatever else they can get into has us all keeping the dogs a little closer than normal.
Jacob is a bit of a “social butterfly” as dogs go. He prefers company and likes to be in the mix at all times. Sadly, Jacob had recently lost his companion who had been up there in years. We didn’t know if he would take to some puppy love, but we thought it might improve his mood. So when the boys pleaded with Popsy about the “so cute puppies,” he agreed and told the boys to pick a male and bring him home to meet Jacob.
Before I could turn around the boys were loaded up in the car, seatbelts on, and a certain attention seeking black and white puppy was in Austin’s lap. As if it was totally staged, the little puppy was already lightly sleeping contentedly in Austin’s lap. I turned around to take in the scene and the adorable two-month-old puppy yawned one of those sweet little puppy yawns. With one ear up in the air as if he was listening and an excited tail thudding my seat with intensity it was official – the puppy was just adorable.
Jacob was immediately smitten with the puppy who the boys dubbed “Tux” because of his white lip and undercarriage. After the initial smelling and snorting from Jacob, Tux was declared acceptable and a satisfied grin spread across Jacob’s face. Tux immediately seemed to realize his place and attached himself to Jacob’s heels as he followed him all over the yard with Jacob showing him the ropes.
Popsy set up a Vet appointment for Tux to get his shots and asked Austin and Jamison for some help. I didn’t fully understand his request when he drove up to pick up the boys. Tux was in the back cargo area secured in a pet carrier and next to him with a protective paw placed firmly on top of the carrier was Jacob. As Austin carried Tux into the Vet’s office, Jamison entered with Jacob on a leash who strutted around like a proud Papa. Popsy mentioned that Jacob starting panicking about being left behind when he loaded up Tux earlier.
The boys have loved seeing a new side to Jacob as he now bounces around the yard with Tux trailing behind him thinking that he is every bit as big as Jacob. One evening the boys were on the porch with Popsy with a can full of dog treats. They would hold the treats in their hands as the 85 pound Jacob gingerly took it and then the 14 pound puppy would follow his example. Tux had his treat and settled under Popsy’s chair as Jacob walked nearby to inspect it. We suddenly heard the low rumble of a slight growl that made all of our heads turn. Instantly we realized that this puppy was going to work out just fine, and hold his own in this new relationship. Jacob tilted his head from side to side and then slowly backed away. Austin, enjoying the new dynamic he just witnessed declared, “Uh, just who’s the big dog now, Jacob?”