Snow is coming down and Buddy is one very content, not-so-little-anymore puppy. He has always liked shoving his nose deep into its cold fluffiness again and again as though he has just discovered the greatest thing on earth. He finds particular pleasure in tossing one of his babies up into the snowy air, catching it and then running around madly just to do it all again. And again. It's the stuff happy is made of.
Now, lest you think Buddy's babies are being mistreated, I have to add that they seem as delighted by all this fun as he is. And he knows the routine. He either barks or grrrs softly at the door when he feels it's time to come in and warm up, or take a snooze, tired out from all that strenuous activity. Sometimes, he just stands by the door, expecting me to read his mind, and I've gotten pretty good at that. We've had a lot of practice.
He has several babies to choose from, an entire basketful, and he is careful to make sure everyone gets their shot at some time outside, but it's the baby bear that seems to be his favorite now. 'Twas not always so.
Once upon a time, it was a monkey with two ears and a very healthy behind. As way led unto way, one ear was chewed off in a moment of overzealous affection and then he became the one-eared stinky monkey, stinky being a natural by-product, shall we say, of incessant chewing.
As these things go, the love-induced chewing led to more chewing and then it was the behind which became, ultimately, unrepairable with needle and thread. I'm happy to report my sewing skills have remained intact, being much in demand these days, but sometimes even they cannot bring someone back to "life." Thus, the closet shelf became the final resting place of the one-eared stinky monkey, a back shelf lest Buddy see it and whine for its return to the fold. I cannot bring myself to relegate it to the dustbin of history. Not yet. These things take time.
I've thought of replacing his monkey with a brand new one, and perhaps one day I will. In the meantime, I have discovered that second hand and thrift stores are great places for inexpensive stuffed toys. When I go to town without Buddy, he always checks the table as I unpack the grocery bag, checking to see if Ma remembered to bring him back a new pal. No, he's not spoiled one bit. He just lives with the constant expectation of good to unfold, and that seems like a pretty fine way to go through life. We have this unspoken agreement. I make sure life is good for him and he makes sure it is for me. It's a win-win.
The opening photo is Buddy when he first came home with me at eight weeks old. He is now almost a year old. What a wonderful year it has been.