When Summer the 9-month-old puppy goes outside, either she is tethered to a leash or the area where she roams is surrounded by fencing, for her protection.
She loves foraging for sticks and leaves. We are still fearful because eight years ago her older sister, Dejah, needed emergency surgery at age 2 months because she ate so many sticks and twigs and pebbles and mulch that it threatened to damage her system.
So when Summer picks up a stick in her mouth, we chastise her. “Leave it!” We say sternly.
Usually, she lies down and starts chewing on the stick, a defiant look in her eye.
“Leave it!” we cry again. She drops one stick and picks up another.
“OK, back in the house!” we might insist.
She will skulk toward the house and, just before reaching the porch, she snatches a leaf from the ground and carries it into the house.
Summer is the only free dog on this train.