I feel sorry for our little dog, Juno. She is at that awkward age, an adolescent, not quite a pup, but not quite grown. She is too big to pick up, and too little to stand sedately and be petted. The big dogs have stopped exhibiting their open disdain for her. Now they pose stiff-legged, tails in the air, cautiously wagging as Juno bounds up to them and attempts to touch noses.
When we leave every morning, I stop at the garage entrance and turn to pet Juno, who is up on the porch. She leans into me, calm for a frozen moment in time. Then I tell her, "See you later, alligator," and The Pony and I make our getaway. It's quite possible that Juno thinks her name is "alligator."
In the evening, Juno rushes to the garage area and waits for me to greet her. It's a totally different dynamic than she has with The Pony. She romps back and forth from the garage to the kitchen door as he goes ahead to unlock it. Then she gallops back to meet me. I put down my stuff and give her a two-arm hug. She is so. Very. Still. Like she remembers her starving puppyhood, when I picked her up on my shoulder every evening, and she rooted her nose into my hair just under my left ear. Now she tucks her face under my arm, or up by my neck, and leans her body against me. If I were to move, she would fall off the porch. She holds this position until The Pony comes back out, or I break away. Then she's like jumping beans on meth, all riled up and springy like a border collie who wants a frisbee.
It's so hard to grow up.