E ver since we were snookered into adopting a pug a few years ago, we’ve thought that breed doesn’t quite fit our lifestyle.
We like to think of ourselves as active. We run and bike and hike. We take our dogs on long walks around the neighborhood or down to the beach. We play ball with them and let them jump in the water.
Our pug, sweet as she may be, does not enjoy these things. We joke that she would be the perfect dog for us when we’re in our golden years, because a walk around the block is the equivalent of running a marathon for her. A leisurely stroll to the mailbox a few houses down is her idea of a big outing. Her favorite activity, by far, is curling up in my lap — which she’s happy to do for hours on end.
Enter Lucy, our 3 ½-month-old yellow Lab puppy. Lucy is a fuzzy little ball of boundless energy. She is the anti-pug. It sometimes seems like she’s got more energy than she knows what to do with as she tries to run, wrestle with the other dogs, and play fetch and tug-of-war all at the same time. One of her best moves is to galumph down the hallway, then splay out on the laminate flooring and slide under one of the living chairs, where she can hide from and/or ambush whichever other dog she’s been antagonizing.
As a puppy, Lucy still sleeps a fair amount, but her snoozes have turned into shorter and shorter naps between longer and longer play periods.
When she’s not playing, she’s busy looking for something to play with. She’s a very curious puppy, and since she’s figured out how to stand on her hind legs, she’s got a pretty impressive reach. We can no longer leave the dish towel hanging on the dishwasher handle if we want to use it again. When she stretches on her tippy toes, her nose is almost up to counter level. Backpack straps and coat sleeves hanging over the edge of the table are now in play.
The casualties of her curiosity have been light so far, as she’s only gotten her sharp little puppy teeth on a guitar cable, an iPod charging cord, the corner of a board game box, and the ends of my shoelaces, but I’m worried that it will only be a matter of time before she reaches something a little harder to replace.
Keeping up with Lucy takes a lot of our energy. When we’re not actively playing with her — or she’s not actively tugging on our pant cuffs to get us to play with her — we’re keeping an eye on her to make sure she’s not getting into something or heading to the door to go out, or we’re standing outside with her until she’s ready to come in.
It’s gotten to the point that we can’t just sit on the couch and relax for a few minutes. In fact, the other day, my wife, who was just trying to sit and do a crossword puzzle, made a comment that she wished Lucy would just curl up in her lap and lay still.
As it turns out, we already had the perfect dog for that …
Reach Clarion editor Will Morrow at email@example.com.