Dear Diary,
It is a beautiful and glorious Sunday morning here in the Northeast, and me and my Dad pray you and yours are happy, healthy, and safe.

Boy, howdy (as Dad likes to say), do I have a lot to tell everyone ?! I really can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks! For starters, me and Emma went to the Vet Saturday a week ago, and even though no one here will be surprised, not only do we continue to be freaking gorgeous, but both of us are now over 40 lb! And the best part is that we are only one-third of what we will weigh when we are fully grown, roughly around this time next year. 🙂

The three of us have been spending a ton more time out in our new “Natural Veranda” (as Dad calls it), wrestling and rolling around in the dirt getting filthy, and learning – rather painfully – that it’s a terribly bad idea to break into a Sprint when you’re on a lead line, but we are starting to understand this thing Dad calls “range” and that we only get so much of it before we come to, or are forced into coming to a hard full stop. We didn’t enjoy that lesson, but it didn’t take us very long to catch on. Apparently, despite the fact that we are, as Dad calls us, both gorgeous and built like brick shithouses (he gave me permission to break that rule in this instance(, we cannot violate the basic laws of physics; you’ll have to ask him what that means because I don’t even know how to spell it – he intervened on my behalf in this case LOL.

I mentioned in my last entry that Dad and I are both big fans of routine, and as much as I love my sister being with me 10 hours a day, five days a week, I treasure the time just me and Dad sit together out at the veranda. We talk, one-on-one, appreciating each other’s company, discussing everything under the sun, and soaking up the beauty and wonder of nature. We say his Hermit Writer’s prayer over coffee and a cigarette, and my senses are in overdrive listening to his amazing voice while keeping one ear open for the squirrels and the birds and the neighboring dogs and every other sound, sight, and smell of this beautiful and amazing world we are also lucky to be living in.

I’m very excited about the title of the entry this time around, partly because it was my idea and partly because it gives me a chance to show off how much I have learned about the human language in such a short time. It started off innocently enough; me and Emma have been digging and breaking up dirt ever since Dad first cut us loose(with a limited range) in the new veranda, and he said, “Look at you two! You girls have mad skills at digging up and cultivating the soil to make it easier on me when the time comes to lay down paver stones!” and we were like, “culti-what?”

Then he said, “I’ll make you two a deal… Keep digging here, but once I set the pavers, you’ll have to dig somewhere else, fair enough?” He said that’s what you humans call a compromise, and just like that – BANG – it hit me, like a lightning bolt, what all of this back and forth between me and Dad has been all this time about working together to find a happy middle ground on so many things we’ve been arguing about. Like when he catches me eating the stuffing out of Beatrice’s box spring, and he hands me one of my chew toys instead. Or, when he has had his back to me doing his writing stuff for too long, and I jump up on Beatrice and lean close to his ear and bark at him that it’s time to put down the keyboard and take me outside. Or even at those times that I miss my sister, and he sits down on the floor with me and wrestles and rolls around and loves on me because I’m feeling lonely and bored.

Even the picture of me that Dad’s still laughing about was a compromise. I was just sitting there, minding my own business, staring at a Robin I would have caught if not for that cursed range thing Dad taught me about when he took that picture; he called me over to look at it, wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes, and I was like”c’mon, Dad, you know I can only see in two dimensions… There’s no way I can see that red Tulip bulb, let alone notice that it looks like I have a clown ball on the tip of my nose.” I made him a deal, so, making him promise that in exchange for letting him publish that picture, he would make sure to tell Y’all how gorgeous it made me look and what a stunning contrast of color(dogs are color blind) between the red of the Tulip, and the gorgeous black and white of my svelte and stunning magnificence.

Dad and I have been together for almost three months now, and I am fast approaching three human years old. I still have some baby teeth, but thankfully a lot of my grown-up teeth are starting to come in… is it just me, or does teething suck for everybody else out there? I know I’m certainly looking forward to the day my teeth are done growing, and Dad says he is, too, and says that Beatrice is also looking forward to it. I feel like I love my Dad even more now than I did when we first met. Is that even possible? He tells me all the time that he loves me with his whole heart, constantly hugs and kisses me on the end of my nose, and even giggles sometimes when I kiss him back… In his ears, across his face, and pretty much anywhere I can reach (I snuck a tongue in his mouth once, but that did not have the intended result) before he wraps me in another bear hug and rolls around on the floor with me.

I love watching how hard he works at trying to be a better part-time dog, even as I am working so hard to be a better part-time human. I feel like this is what cultivating our relationship really means, and how important it is to rely on our shared unconditional love for each other as we keep working to find new compromises wherever they are necessary and each help the other more deeply cherish what little time any of us has in this life and make the most out of every moment we ultimately do… At least that’s how this gorgeous little pup sees the world, and my amazing Dad and my gorgeous sister Emma. sees it that way, too. There is room for progress on the “sharing is caring” front, but we’ll get there🙂


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