The tail of Ginji

I've waited all day for this moment.

I've followed the Monks of New Skete book on raising puppies faithfully for this moment.

I've fed him 3 times, taken him out at least 12, crated him, kept him on a short leash near me as I worked, firmly told him to "empty" and praised him when he did, romped in the snow with him, let him sniff soggy leaves and bite on sticks, worked with him on "sit," "down," and "stay," substituted chew toys for fingers, chair legs, upholstery piping over and over, and tried my ever-lovin' best to keep up with his energy level.

His growth astounds me. He outwits me by pretending to need to go outside for one thing, but pulling the old bait-and-switch routine and opting to eat snow rather than do what I thought he so desperately needed to do. He'll take snow over fresh water any time he can get it. So like the wolf ancestors from whom he descends.

When he runs--and run he does--he looks like a miniature version of the big dogs that win big races, like the Iditarod. Ears back, leggy almost coordinated movements, rabbit-like leaps forward. Pull, pull, pull. He doesn't shiver anymore when I take him out. He doesn't wish ride tucked into my jacket anymore.

He is 8 weeks old, and each day his changes in appetite, need for exercise, and hints of independence seem to grow exponentially. Soon I will need to hire high school track athletes to run with him, young people who still have good knees.

But right now, he is puppy tired. He nibbles softly on my ear as I lay back on the couch. He licks my eyes, then grunts and locks the underside of his furry velvet neck around mine. For a minute. Another grunt and he lifts his head, just barely able to, and tucks the top of it under my chin. He stretches his body across me in what looks like a yoga pose. Little grunts of satisfaction, little sighs.

I can hear his heart beat, so fast, like a bird.

It takes all day to get to this moment.

I've dispensed with my usual vain grooming rituals this day. There's been no time.

I've just been. With him. Joyful.

I've waited all day for this moment.

And it's been worth it. So worth it.

Photos by Randy Baker


Lydia said…
A perfect post. It gave me the warmest feelings. Thank you for posting about Ginji as he grows!
Derrick said…
Hi Kathleen,

Not sure who is most tuckered out!
Anonymous said…
First puppy? Easy to see from your words and photos you are overflowing with joy! Ahhh, those 4-legged furry snugglers, cats in my youth. So will you be keeping snow in your freezer?
ellen abbott said…
Oh Kathleen! How cool. He is so wonderful. I love these pictures.
Finding Pam said…
I have just caught up on your post since Gins arrived. He is too adorable. Your dogs look like they have accepted him. I say you are in total bliss.
I teared up when I read this Kathleen. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful home for my boy. God, he is so gorgeous - and the two of you look positively Yin and Yang!
mo.stoneskin said…
Very, very cute.

He nibbles on your ear? I'd watch out with that one... wouldn't want him choking on any ear wax now would you?!
Love this happy "tail", so I gave you one of my Goddess Awards ~ Joy is contagious!
Grace Albaugh said…
Yes Kathleen - I would say you are completely smitten!
Erin Davis said…
You are in love, and this post is aglow!
Barb said…
Mutually tired and mutually photogenic. Glad to hear that the little guy is learning and teaching you some things, too!
Suldog said…
Very nice, indeed.

I have to admit, when I first saw the photos, and started reading, I was thinking, "Oh, God, another post someone's written about their pet dog". While anything written about a beloved animal is generally heartfelt and well-meant, they tend to bore the bejeezus out of me.

That was an entirely unfair thought, as this is a wonderful post, not so much about a dog but about a relationship. And you drew a portrait of fine moments within that relationship, moments for which anyone with a heart would wish in their own relationships, no matter if the object of affection is human, canine, or other.

Very nice, indeed.
Anonymous said…
Hey Gins, happy your sibling Lucy is looking so healthy! Take care in this foggy week of ours.
Mimi said…
Oh gosh, this reminds me of new motherhood!
Which, of course, in a way, it is!
Glad you're enjoying him.

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