Birthday girl

It’s a little unclear exactly when Summer was born. The folks at Golden Royalty Retrievers announced on Facebook the night of July 19, 2021, that Lady was starting to deliver her litter, and through the ensuing night 10 little pups came into the world. For the sake of efficiency, her birth certificate says July 20, but it’s entirely possible that she was an early bird from the night before.

No matter, we will officially proclaim that Summer, code name Mimosa, assigned the yellow collar to separate her from the rest of the mass of cuteness, was born on July 20 and celebrate her birthday on this date forevermore.

We picked her out of the litter on Aug. 29 after a 45-minute dive into the puppy pool, and she officially came home on Sept. 11. The rest is history.

Summer barks too much and snarls at any animal that comes within 10 feet when she’s eating, but otherwise her sweetness meter is off the charts and she has some of the most adorable habits, like positioning herself next to the chair so that she has to crane her neck to look back at me, which is how she says, “Pet me, please, yes right there, a little to the left, yes, yes, yes.”

We have a morning routine: She wakes me up and we go up the driveway together to fetch the morning paper and do her doggie business. Often I go back to sleep for another hour, and sometimes I sit and contemplate the dawn while she sleeps another hour.

Funny thing, though: She will happily descend the stairs from our deck into the backyard, but she has yet to come down to the basement. For some reason indoor stairs present her a greater mystery than outdoor stairs. Most dogs have conquered stairs by the time their first birthday rolls around, but not Summer.

If she’s something of a challenge sometimes, well, we wanted a puppy. And now Summer is 1 already. Time flies when … well, time just flies.

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