Friday I got a message that the puppy was loose, so I came tearing up the hill. I found Miss Cassandra sitting regally at the top of the driveway, all her chest fur fluffed out. Chin level, she panned left and right and back again, scanning for likely intruders. Every molecule of her eight-month-old body screamed, “I’m in charge here.”
It’s a German Shepherd thing.
Digging under the gate is not so much a German Shepherd thing. Cassie’s accomplice was her best gal pal, Lola, who is an escape artist of retriever-ish extraction. Leap tall fences at a single bound—that’s Lola, formerly Sweet Pea, one of the puppies born at my house last year—although my six-foot dog fence foiled even her remarkable jumping capabilities. Undeterred, they went under.
It can be daunting having a smart dog, but I take comfort that I am smarter, sneakier and have the only set of car keys. I put concrete blocks in the holes they worked so hard to dig, and I don’t leave these two alone for long.
But, oh! it is a delight to watch them romp! They take turns rolling each other over, biting at legs, tail and snout. They part covered in doggy drool, but neither blood nor toothmarks appear. The noise Cass makes is remarkable, somewhere between a whine and a roar, something like a low flying jet both in decibels and in how it grates on human ears. I never knew a puppy could make that sound.
Here they are plotting escape. From right to left, it’s Cassie, Lola’s friend Amiga, Lola, and mournful old Toby, who can only take a little of the girls’ society.