In the last two months of puppy motherhood, I have learned that puppies are not conducive to keeping a blog going, at least not when the dog momma also has a full-time job and wants clean clothes, food, and other life necessities. A young puppy is much like having a toddler, where you spend most of the pup’s awake time following them from room to room making sure they are not putting the wrong thing in their mouth, escaping from the house or yard, or generally getting into something that should not involve them. Although we have the luxury of a crate, since our little bundle of puppy love spends all of our working hours and sleeping hours in his crate we try our hardest to make sure that he is out of the crate as much as possible.
The little pepper sprout that we call Jackson just turned four months old. We have watched him go from a chubby 8-week old bundle of fur to a tall and lanky young dog who is currently in an awkward stage. Right now his head is a bit small and his legs too long, but male doggie hormones will kick in soon and bulk up his head and body to match his awkwardly long legs, making his outside appearance as perfect as his inner beauty. He has also mercifully reached the age where he will lay down quietly or chew his bone on his own, giving me some time to get back into the habit of writing this blog.
I was thinking today about one of the first days with our sweet boy. It was a Friday afternoon, warm and sunny outside, not too hot, somewhere between late spring and early summer. I had worked a half day in order to accommodate his puppy bladder, so I was home in the middle of the workday. Our subdivision was quiet as most of the residents were in school or still at work watching the clock wind down to the weekend. I had changed out of my work clothes and into shorts and a tank top.
In our little part of suburbia, we look out of our backyard into a honeycomb of fences, all the same, weathered untreated wood, all the same, forty-eight inches, with the only difference being whether or not the homeowner chose the straight across option or the scalloped option. From our backyard, we can see ten other yards due to the way the road curves and our location in the middle of the block. As someone who grew up in the country rather than the suburbs, it is still hard for me to get used to the feeling of being on display when I am in our yard. The upside is that we have met all of our neighbors and have become friends from our frequent conversations over the fence.
On this afternoon both the puppy and I were enjoying the warm but comfortable temperatures and the summer sun. After taking care of his business he flopped down on the ground and rolled over onto his back, four paws in the air, and I knelt down to provide the requested tummy rub and engage in some puppy play.
One of my favorite parts about being a dog momma is getting puppy kisses and snuggling my face into their thick silky fur. I bent over further, my back to the neighbor’s house that had been empty for over six months. My butt was high in the air, but nobody was home, although I forgot that someone had recently purchased that house and that they were working on some minor renovations.
“Whose Momma’s boy?” I asked Jax. “Who’s a good puppy? Who’s a good puppy? Are YOU a good puppy?” I gushed in my dog momma voice. With each question, I snuggled my face into his furry neck, rubbed his tummy, and waggled by butt high in the air. Still in the doggie play stance, I continued, “Who’s the best boy in the whole entire world?? You are! You are! Who’s my baby? Who’s my sweet furry baby? “
The puppy talk and snuggle session went on for a while, Jax loving the playtime, and me soaking up the puppy love that I had needed so badly since losing my sweet Dutch a few months earlier. After a while, I realized my knees were getting grass imprints in them, and the puppy started to tire of the game, starting to play bite too hard and generally getting restless.
I stood up and tugged down my shorts that had ridden up slightly during our play session. I turned around and headed back to the house but something caught my eye in my peripheral vision. Glancing up and to the left, I was surprised to see two construction workers on the house behind us. They quickly turned away and went back to working on patching the sunroof for the new owners.
Thoughts were racing through my mind, how long had they been there? Had they been there the whole time? Had they seen the entire display of me on my elbows and knees in the puppy play stance, ass up in the air, butt waggling with every gushy comment that I spoke loudly in my puppy voice?
I quickly called the puppy, went into the house, shut the drapes, and elapsed into a fit of giggles. I texted my husband, telling him, “Ass up in the backyard playing with Jax, didn’t notice the workers on the roof of the neighbor’s house!!!” I had a feeling they had been there the whole time, working on the sunroof but seeing a rising moon down below.