This is our 1-year-old, Summer. Today is the 363rd day that she has resided with us; Sunday is the anniversary of her coming home. Puppies turn into dogs so quickly, but yes, they are here and gone faster than you can imagine.
This is a stubborn beast. She absolutely will not respond to “Summer, come!” although she does look up when you call her name, so she understands that the word is a code meaning “me.” She just doesn’t care whether we want her to come.
The good news is that when I feed the dogs, I sing a variation on the old song by the Jamies, “Summertime Summertime.” It goes “It’s … Suppertime, Suppertime, sup, sup, suppertime, Suppertime Suppertime sup sup supper time, Suppertime for Summer time, Supper time for Dejah too, Supperti-i-i-ime.” When she is reluctant to come in from the back yard, I sing the Suppertime song, and up she roars. Of course, I must give her a dog treat when she arrives, but it’s a small price to pay for her company.
She loves to tease her 9-year-old sister into a tug of war by literally nipping at her heels. Dejah is a good sport who usually gives a big sigh and enters the fray.
There have been dogs in my life constantly for about 40 years now, and retrievers have been in the mix for well over half of those years. They do love to retrieve; Summer is a stereotypical ball chaser and/or ball catcher, although she is sometimes reluctant to bring the ball back in a straight line or surrender it: see the above reference to “a stubborn beast.”
They teach us how to love. Summer is never very far away, and she has assumed the space on the bed that was usually occupied by her predecessor. In other words, she has come, she has seen, and she has conquered. It seems like Summer has always been here and always will be, the latest in a line of beautiful animals that love us at our best and worst, in sickness and in health, and are always willing to provide a pair of puppy eyes and a boatload of snuggly love to comfort us as needed.
So, Happy Anniversary, Summer. Come! or not.
[Note: Sharp-eared listeners will notice a discrepancy in the opening paragraph. When I recorded this I thought it was Thursday night already, so I said “364th day.” I plead temporary insanity, or a senior moment, or some such.]