Is there any sweeter sound than that of a puppy rasslin' a toy on the porch? Okay. So maybe there are sweeter sounds. But this has got to be in the top 100.
Our pup, Juno, was rescued from starvation at the tender age of three weeks (the best we can tell, because she didn't appear to be weaned) after somebody dumped her on my mom's rural road. Now she is thriving. She's looking more chocolate-labby every day. Her silky coat is thickening up for winter. She lives like a queen. Her wooden box of a house on the back porch is surrounded by a white rubber newspaper toy, a hard green rubber barbell, a plastic plucked chicken, and various scraps of bone that she has skimmed from the stash of the big dogs. They had a complete set of deer lungs with heart attached earlier today. So I don't think they're missing any shank shards.
It takes so little to make a puppy happy. Since the first day I saw Juno, I've picked her up and held her on my chest. She's getting a little big for that now. Like the adult son in that kids' book "I Will Love You Forever," when the old lady holds him in her lap in the rocking chair.
Juno can be cavorting to beat the band, but the minute I pick her up, she goes still. Oh, she wants to wriggle. But she holds it in. She shivers. She's like a big dog with a Milk Bone on the end of his snout, awaiting the command to toss it in the air and snarf it down. Juno puts her chin on my shoulder. She grunts like a little pig. She's in ecstasy. Her filled food bowl awaits. And The Pony holds her barbell or chicken at the ready for a game of fetch. But Juno soaks up the love and soft words like puppy crack.
I think she's grateful.