Summer the Kind

Summer the puppy loves to have something in her mouth. She is always gnawing on a bone or a doggie toy, and her first move upon going outside is to snag a brown leaf or a twig off the ground to carry about, like a stereotypical hayseed with a toothpick hanging out the side of her mouth.

A month into winter, few signs remain of her namesake. Summer would be a distant memory if we didn’t have a puppy named Summer to warm up the house. Another cold front is swooping in and Thursday’s high is forecast to be in the single digits Fahrenheit. The four seasons indeed. This is the season where the main topics of conversation are how cold it is and who’s got the bug that’s going around this week.

Of course we have had the latter topic droned into us so deeply that it’s not “the bug that’s going around” anymore, it’s just The Bug. That’s all I care to say about that today.

The word came back from doggie daycare that they talk about how kind a dog Summer is. That, to me, is a new word to describe a dog, and it suits her. Summer is a kind young thing, maybe not so much when she’s barking at Dejah because she wants to chew on the toy between Dejah’s paws. Let’s think about how kind Summer can be.

When she is rambunctious, Summer will jump up and wrap her jaws around my arm. She is a dog, after all, and it may be alarming to some people to have a dog clamp their jaws on their forearm. The thing is, Summer could do some major damage to that arm if she applied a bit more pressure, but she doesn’t. When she is wrestling with her older sister, it looks like Summer is attempting to tear Dejah’s throat out, or rip an ear off, and yet no blood is shed and both dogs live to sleep off another day.

Then there’s Blackberry the cat, 14 years of “leave me alone and feed me” attitude. Summer wraps her soft jaws over Blackberry’s head, and the cat bats her clawless paws at the eager young snout, and there is much growling and snarling and gnashing of teeth, and yet no one is injured or killed in the melee. 

Of course, golden retrievers are gentle by nature, but they’re equipped with the same teeth and jaws as any other wolf descendent. So, yes, if mercy is part of being kind, then Summer is a kind puppy. 

Good dog. Now let go of the stick …

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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