|Detail: lap with snowpants and puppy.|
Theo may be a bit heartbroken, but this morning he stalked over to the couch where I was sitting with the puppy, and sat up tall, staring at her, and yawned, flashing his razor sharp teeth. I hope she won't chase him. I'm going to teach her to be sweet to all cats.
Her name is Clover (FKA Merriweather, which probably should be her middle name). She is 20 pounds, so pretty, with funny ears that may go half-up eventually, as per her Australian Shepherd heritage (her mom was at least part Aussie, dad unknown, although I imagine him as a dead ringer for Gus's cousin Charlie). She may get as big as 50 pounds, although she seems pretty tiny right now. She is smart, sharp, agile, sweet, cuddly, brave, hungry. By "agile" I mean you should see her spring from the floor to the couch, silently, like a cat, or leap straight up and down in the snow—you can practically hear the cartoon boing boing boing. And she can almost hold a ball with her paws. Add "dextrous" to that list. I imagine Gus has been annoyed in part because she goes running in circles around him and bouncing back and forth across his body in the snow. His leg is hurting him, poor good boy. But he's pretty much a sunshine anyway.
I worked with Clover sleeping behind me yesterday and today, took breaks to snuggle with her or take her outside. I don't want to tell you how many times she accidentally peed in the house, for fear of jinxing it. (But it was ZERO.) This morning we walked a little bit of the way around Mackworth while the wind blew hard and bitter and snow swirled around us and two dogs danced around. The former park ranger who was always yelling at people to keep their dogs on a leash (just doing his job) was there with his dog OFF THE LEASH. Also, his dog pooped and he said, "Aw shoot I forgot a bag." And Mark said, "I have extra!" and the former park ranger said, "Oh, no, that's okay! I'll...pick it up on my way back."