Puppy's Zest for Life

By | December 4, 2009 4:45 p.m. EDT

Over the last eight weeks since I brought home my Boxer puppy, Beta, I’ve learned that living with a puppy brings a mix of joy, horror and disbelief into one’s life. Some moments are more precious than others and a select few serve as a perfect representation of the personality of the dog that is to come when all this baby stuff is over.

I’m of the belief that Beta will always have a little bit of puppy in her. Last week, her trainer told me she "has more energy than any puppy I’ve ever seen.” I’m not sure that was a compliment, but I do think it means the fun is likely to continue through her adulthood. Last weekend she did something that was so typical of her personality, though, that I became convinced that one of the characteristics I’ve noticed is here to stay.

Whenever Beta finds something really great to play with, she wants to keep it with her at all times. It’s partly possessiveness, partly wanting the fun to continue wherever she goes.

On our small piece of property, we have five deciduous trees, which means Beta has had a lot of dead leaves, acorns and branches to discover in her puppyhood at our house. About 10 days ago, she picked a particularly sturdy branch as her favorite and began playing with it just about every time we went out in the yard. I would throw it for her; she would chase it and bring it back, tossing it into the air a few times for good measure. On Sunday I flung the stick a final time and Beta did her joyful jump-run across the lawn and really seemed to be filled with excitement over finding the stick yet again as she frolicked all around it. Suddenly she straddled the stick and started biting the end of it, flipping her head around, still very clearly excited. At the same time, she curved her back up into a wave and squatted, moving her bowels all over the very stick she was loving to pieces. I couldn’t help but laugh.

If there is one thing this dog loves, it is fun. Give her a person willing to play with her, and she’ll ignore any treat. A stick? She forgets all about torturing the cat. By getting a dog, I hoped to bring joy into my house and Beta has already done her job and then some. I hope this zest continues throughout her life and I plan on doing everything I can to make sure she has as much fun as I can provide for her.


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