It is hard to believe that our two little flat-faced tiny puppies are now two years old. Experts say that small dogs are mature at around age two. Notice the vagueness in that statement. I’m happy to say that Sadie and Teddy may be physically mature, but they still have some endearing traits of adolescence—and some not so endearing . . .
These days, they spend a lot of time outside, where one of Sadie’s favorite pastimes is hunting lizards—and we have a lot of lizards. When she spots one of the poor creatures that is just trying to take a sunbath, she lets fly with a high-pitched shriek that would make a coloratura soprano envious.
Teddy just thunders around, inspired by Sadie’s operatic endeavors. However, lizards are experts at moving quickly, and they vanish long before the canines arrive. Once a lizard has been spotted in a place, that location is always suspect and must be checked out several times a day.
Teddy’s passion is the pool. Everything about this dark lagoon is of interest—as long as he doesn’t have to actually go into the water. He attacks the lids of the chlorine tablet containers when they float near the coping, and the pool sweep is a horrible monster that has to be kept at bay. This fierce battle started when the sweep’s tail spewed water across vigilant Teddy’s back.
The biggest excitement, however, is when bubbles appear on the edge of the pool, either from the filter turning on, the solar pool system dumping warm water into the pool and spa, or the water-level system kicking in. This requires a lot of barking and snapping at the bubbles.
Sadie joins in with generalized barking. All in all, there is a lot going on with this mysterious body of water.
We have a lot of birds around the place now, and for the most part, the pups ignore them. But when a pair of mallards landed in the pool yesterday, they were on it. Usually, ducks just float serenely out of their reach, but these two were in the spa and were dangerously close to the slavering beasts.
In seconds they were high in the sky. Visiting ducks look very picturesque floating around in the pool, but they have been known to leave unwelcome presents in the water. I hate to chase them away, so I’m happy to let the dogs do the dirty work.
With spring weather, other creatures of interest have come into the garden. A saucy squirrel with a fine bushy tail likes to walk along the top fence rail, pausing frequently to give rude tail gestures and tease the hysterical dachshunds below. I’m not all that thrilled with Mr. Squirrel’s appearance, since I’m sure he has his eye on my apricots, which are still green and about the size of a quarter. As the fruit ripens, we will see if the fierceness of earthbound Sadie and Teddy will become a deterrent.
One adolescent trait that I could forgo is ignoring commands they have always obeyed. They look at us, then continue with whatever they were doing. This particularly happens when they are involved in the above activities. But hey, the neighbors don’t appreciate constantly barking and shrieking dogs. I’m happy to report that being taken inside when they don’t listen has helped with the cacophony outside.
I know you are wondering, so let me relieve your mind—both dogs have been trained on water safety. Still, we keep a close eye on them. And they reciprocate. Throughout the day, they check in with us. We exchange warm greetings, and then they disappear into their magical outside activities . . . unless you happen to be doing floor exercises. Then you will be covered with wet doggie kisses and snuffling as two ecstatic pups realize you are finally down on their level.
Although the outside is very enticing, we still have our couch time. And really, what could be better than reading a good book with a sweet hound curled up next to you? Just be ready to be abandoned if a lizard, squirrel, or duck is spotted through the window . . .