Dear Diary:

My Dad says it’s good form to start off a diary entry this way, and since – for now at least – he knows more than I do, I’m doing what he says. We all know that, soon enough, I will know everything, and he will be just old and out of touch with the way the world works these days because that’s just the law of generations. He tells me they’re written down somewhere, but I’m far too busy trying to figure out how to be the Mistress of my Universe to be bothered with wasting any time on those icky words “study, reflect, and learn” that he keeps going on about. Let’s be serious… I’m almost three dog years old now, and I’m far too busy living life to worry about learning anything about any of its deeper meanings, whatever the heck that is.

I think the word “discovery” that Dad taught me the other day is a far better fit for the general theme of this diary entry, and after a lengthy debate, I won the argument (do I not have this human wrapped around my dew claw?) so I’d like to spend a little time catching Y’all up on what’s been happening these past couple of weeks.

For one thing, I have discovered that humans seem to have trouble understanding why puppies prefer to pee in the house. It is a well-established fact—and I’m told it’s a scientifically proven truth—that dogs, and especially puppies, live in the moment. What that means, my dear humans, is that we do whatever our heart desires whenever and wherever our spirit leads us to do so. This is not our fault because, from the moment we are born, if our tiny bladders sense even the slightest pressure of being overfilled, we will release the excess fluid and get on with the business of fighting for our lives. It’s up to Mom to clean up after us, and I’m getting a little tired of being scolded for doing what I have been doing since the moment I took my first breath. I keep telling Dad he has to work on this even as he tells me I’m getting too old to pee in the house. Too old? Seriously dude? I love my Dad with my whole heart, but I think he’s the one that’s getting too old.

I also discovered, along with Emma, that we are not the only dogs on the planet. We were out in the yard, doing our business (after Dad decided we needed to go outside even though we weren’t done our morning shift of roughhousing), and oh my good God, did we meet the most gorgeous and ginormous Saint Bernard named Maisiey! She is stunning, beautiful, and majestic, and so big. Emma and I are quite sure her poop pile must be bigger than the two of us put together. My dad and her dad let us touch noses… Emma was a little sketched out at first… And we heard the two Dads laughing about how we are all going to be the same size in the not-too-distant future. I thought my heart was going to explode when I heard that, and I can’t wait to be able to look Maisiey in the eye rather than looking up at the bottom of her chin towering above us.

I don’t really have any explanations, but for some reason, I am scared to death of heights—or at least I used to be. Maybe it’s because Mom used to drop us on the floor as she went from baby to baby, cleaning, nudging, and fussing over us. What I am sure of is that the first time Dad brought me into the house and set me on the floor to take off his jacket, I took one look up the steps to his apartment and started quivering. And every time he scooped me up over the first couple of weeks after I moved in, looking down those steps as he cradled me under his arm, I genuinely expected I was going to die. To his credit, he kept telling me softly that it was okay, that I didn’t need to be afraid, that he would never let anything happen to me, and that soon enough, I would be running up and down those steps faster than he could keep up. I honestly thought he was out of his mind, but I’ll be damned if he wasn’t exactly right.

During the first week of doggie daycare, Dad put Emma under one arm and me under the other and hobbled his poor old blind ass down the stairs. Emma and I both flailed, in complete and utter fear of death, and his balance isn’t very good even when he holds the railing, so it wasn’t long before he realized he would have to bring one of us down at a time and huff and puff his way back up to get the other before taking us both outside.

He was very proud of himself for inventing the idea of wrapping one of the backup leashes around the bottom post at the foot of the steps and clipping one of us to it while he went back up for the other… I have to admit that was pretty damn genius… And it wasn’t long before he decided the two of us needed to figure out steps under our own feet. As you can imagine, we were not terribly fond of the idea and resisted him for a couple of days, but we ultimately worked it all out. Reluctantly, I might have to admit I might have been premature to assume he is too old to know anything about solving problems.

Probably the greatest discovery I have made in these first several weeks of growing into my half-human, half-canine world is that my dad is smarter than he looks, knows more about unconditional love than I expected, and actually appreciates me for forcing him to be more like me rather than trying to make me more like him.

We spend hours daily in what he calls our “special spot in the yard,” where we lay in the grass and roll around like dogs… Wrestling and barking at each other and looking up at the stars. These are the things dogs do, not people, and I love him for trying to look at the world through my eyes occasionally. I know it makes him happy, and I know it makes him smile, and he’s helping me to see that we can share each other’s worlds with at least some level of reckless abandon.

He tells me we will eventually figure out the perfect balance between instinct (me) and reflection (him) and that the time spent getting to that balance is what humans call a learning curve. You humans can call it whatever you want. All I care about for now is that I can beat the old man to the top of the steps.


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