Regular Reader knows puppy Libie (the former Miss Lime from Elsie's March litter) is visiting for these two weeks while her family is on vacation. Watching Libie romp and play and get into things has brought back all kinds of memories from Elsie's puppyhood.
What follows are pictures of ELSIE (not Libie who's visiting), born July 12, 2004, taken in the fall of 2004 when Elsie was just a pupster:
|Elsie was a snugly pup (shown here at about eight weeks old nestled with DH).|
|She found a favorite hiding place under the roll-top (it was like a cave). :O)|
|By nine weeks old, she loved sitting on the hill -- something she still does daily. The now-old gal sits and listens and watches the world go by.|
|Shown above at nearly 10 weeks old, Elsie loved wrassling with Baxter (who now lives with our daughter and her hubby and has for the past three years).|
|Ridge, even though he was only three-and-a-half years old at the time (he was born March 26, 2001), held a special affection for Elsie, and he put up with quite a bit of impishness from her. He still does.|
|Elsie loved snuggling with the Ridgers.|
|And Ridge seemed to enjoy her company.|
|Between ten and twelve weeks old, Elsie was all imp. Yes, even the staid Elsie Bear could be a handful.|
|She liked hanging out with Baxter, who was only a year older than she. They were buds.|
|By twelve weeks old Elsie started getting some legs beneath her, and that meant she could keep up with Baxter and Ridge for their romps in the yard.|
But seven-year-old Elsie is a pup no more. She's whelped and raised three litters, and today (this morning, in fact) she's in surgery being spayed. Her puppy-whelping days are done.
It's difficult for me to imagine where these years have gone. Puppies grow so fast, mature, get old, and then pass on, often within ten or twelve years. During the seven years we've enjoyed Elsie so far, her litters have come and gone, my kids have passed from teenagedom into adulthood, and I...well...I've just gotten older, rounder, and a lot more gray.
Will there be more puppies for us? Probably not. Though we still plan to raise a few litters in years to come, we don't plan to add any more canines to our crew. Our child-rearing and puppy-rearing days are behind us now.
I'm not sure how I feel. Part of me is nostalgic. Part of me is looking forward to the future. Part of me wishes I could freeze time, or perhaps could have frozen time years ago.
But freezing time, that is, keeping our kids and our pups frozen at the ever-so-cute, bright-eyed, energetic, impish, filled-with-hope-and-optimism stages of childhood/puppyhood, would rob them of the very real pleasures and satisfactions of adulthood, It would deny them the joys of thriving and learning and growing and finding their wings and taking flight.
And it would rob us (and the world) of their adulthoods. Just think: if we'd been able to freeze time when Elsie was a pup, we and two dozen other families would never have known the enrichment her pups have brought into our lives. There would never have been a Pinot or Dakota or Copper or Gilliam or Midas or Mandy or Remi or Snoopi or Rudy or Red or Harley or Toby or Brady or any of the rest of the puppies she brought into this world.
There would never have been a Libie for us to enjoy these two weeks.
Perhaps it's good, then, that time waits for no one. It brings lessons, and smiles, and encouragements all its own, if we're willing to see them.
I, for one, am willing.
So I'm learning to delight in moments, one moment at a time, and I'm learning to leave the passing of time to itself. Like it or not, it is what it is. I've decided I can choose to be sadly nostalgic and long for the "good ol' days" or I can choose to embrace today and giggle along the way.
I'd much rather giggle.
Speaking of giggling, what's Libie gotten into now? *sigh..er...no...rather...giggle...*
I'd better find out. And no matter what it is, I'll find a giggle somewhere. It's just another giggle-moment opportunity amid the passing of time.
Until next time,