Pam Stone: Tragedy eclipsed by love and kindness

 

It’s been a good 17 years since we’ve had a puppy in our house, much less two, and I think Jerry Seinfeld’s wonderful joke about toddlers – “a two-year-old is like a blender that doesn’t have a top” – also easily applies to young canines.

Poppy and Posie have had the run of the farm and are joyously living wide open: running, leaping, tumbling down the grassy banks into the sandy footing of the riding arena. The latter they generally do after having immersed themselves in the drainage ditch so that when they roll about in the sand they conjure up an image of “Shake and Bake.”

The girls have escaped the surgeon’s spaying scalpel at present. … Our vet, Dr. Evans, upon initially examining them, found that each pup has, ahem, “recessed vulvas” (which are evidently far more troublesome than Saabs), and they mustn’t be spayed until their first heat cycle, or could face a lifetime of urinary-tract infections.

Having generous acreage for them to play until tired (generally 36 to 48 hours), viewing their antics is far better than anything we might find on Netflix. Watching Poppy, who resembles Bonnie, exert her alpha-tude over Posie is fascinating. If called to follow and come into the house, she will hang back and wait until Posie builds up a head of steam loping after us, then catapults from her crouched position, and chest-butts her rival out of the way, sending Posie into a roll, so that she then has the lead and arrives first.

Oh, but it is Posie that lures Poppy to spring upon her at the top of the grassy bank, and like Lucy jerking the football away from Charlie Brown, at the last possible moment, she drops her shoulder and spins in the opposite direction, leading Poppy to leap into empty air and face-plant.

Each day has been charming and fun. Until the weather turned.

Energetic puppies outside are bliss. Energetic puppies confined to a 1,500-square-foot house during three days of a storm requires endless patience, paper towels and thunder shirts. Sadly, they don’t make those shirts in my or Paul’s size, but double martinis and ear plugs were somewhat effective.

We don’t crate. At least not dogs. I’ve sat in front of a couple of screaming, kicking kids on planes that have caused me to muse that possibility for a moment, but, no, we don’t crate. I’m not begrudging those who do—I understand and acknowledge their training theories. And I admire how their neat homes are devoid of ripped sofa cushions and streams of toilet paper down the hall. But as at least one of us is usually home during the day, and when I’m the one home, I’m in the barn, there’s no reason the pups can’t be hanging with me and learning to ignore my firm, NO, when they sneak into the manure pile for a post-lunch snack.

Actually, I’m that way after a Mexican meal. For some reason I have to have a peppermint patty afterwards. I guess Poppy and Posie, following being fed the most expensive and nutritious organic kibble available, find that snatching a ripe horse “egg,’ or two, is a palate cleanser.

We’ve had these girls for going on three weeks. They’re nuts. They require muscling into the big mud-room sink to scrub off the mud and sand twice daily. They try to steal the cats’ food. They only obey a command in which the possibility of a treat is imminent. They turn over water bowls, steal shoes and break wind most frightfully. 

We’ve only had them three weeks.

And I can’t imagine the farm without them.