So much younger than her brothers under the skin, puppy Cassandra is almost an only child. I am very conscious of what I want her life to be like, and how her life enhances mine. But after knowing many German Shepherds in my life, I am startled that this one unique and particular girl likes to swim.
I now find myself slowing down at water crossings, looking for likely spots for a puppy to have a refreshing dip. The many possibilities are keeping us both occupied in this otherwise dreary summer. This hopeful exploration is one of the things I need from Cassie, and she needs from me the results: places to go where dogs can splash in contentment, maybe swim alongside a canoe or kayak for a few minutes before the otter imitation fails.
Cassie needs from me exercise (channel the Dog Whisperer chanting Exercise-Discipline-Affection), as I need all three from my interaction with her. It is a happy bond that gets us both out to revel into the Vermont sunshine.
On this day when the puppy turned one year old, we skipped a day of painting and went on a field trip to Dog Mountain. Three ponds! Trails for hiking, Stephen Huneck’s dog art, and the Dog Chapel. I took a step into the Dog Chapel, but could not stay, so overwhelmed the small space was with grief and remembrance.
Toby and Cassie had the right response, I think. They took a brief stroll around, sniffed everything and headed right back out into the sunshine. There was a golden retriever to chase, and something smelly that required a roll in the wildflowers with all eight legs in the air.
Dogs are masters of the moment.