For a while I was worried about Puppy Jack putting on weight. You know, becoming Oscar Mayer Wienermobile fat instead of maintaining the slim physique of a Nathan's or Pink's style hot dog. At his last vet visit, Puppy Jack was up to 8.6 pounds. Just right. His dachshund mother was only 10 pounds full grown, and our Jacky, with his heeler paternal half, is now just over three months old.
It appears that my fear was unfounded. Hick does not feed Puppy Jack! Sure, he's supposed to. And I thought he WAS, every morning before work, giving Jack his half cup of dry puppy food when he fed Juno her big dog food. Nope! Turns out Jack was too slow in running over to the porch, and Juno ate his meager puppy portion too many times while Hick had to hit the road. So he stopped dishing out puppy food. No wonder Jack would run stand in his food pan and bark.
We've got that straightened out now. I feed Jack when I get up. And give him his other half-cup portion in the evening. Usually. The thing is, Hick comes home and takes off on the Gator, too big a temptation for a dog. Even a chow hound.
Friday evening, I called and called for Puppy Jack. And my sweet, sweet Juno. I give her a little leftover as a treat while I feed Jack his supper. But neither dog came running. They usually do, from over in the direction of the goat pen, or the BARn. Not Friday night. An hour or so later, Hick came in the front door.
"Are the dogs with you?"
"Yeah. They're out on the porch."
"Good. I'm trying to feed Jack." I grabbed a couple of leftover breadsticks for Juno, and started out the laundry room door. Both dogs rushed me. I scooped out Jack's half cup, and tossed the breadsticks into Juno's pan. I stood over Jack's pan to keep my sweet, sweet Juno from
JACK WAS DRIPPING WET!
He looked like that dinosaur in Journey to the Center of the Earth (the Brendan Fraser/Josh Hutcherson version) had dripped a huge drop of spit on him. This was our first sunny dry day all week. I knew it wasn't from rain or wet weeds. I stood guard until he finished his repast, and then went to find Hick.
"Why is my puppy all wet?"
"He went swimming."
"In the creek?" That's a common destination for Hick and his Gator, down by the creekside cabin.
"Yeah. I went up to the other property--"
"The OTHER PROPERTY? How did Jack get there?" Let the record show that the other property is at least a half mile down our gravel road and up a steep other gravel road.
"He followed me and Juno."
"He's TOO LITTLE! You didn't even give him a ride?" Let the record further show that Jack has stubby dachshund puppy legs, while Juno has full-grown, lengthy, lab/border collie legs made for romping.
"Nah. I stopped to talk to a buddy on the corner where the fire blew up his propane tanks, and Jack caught up. Then I went up to the other property, and down to the creek."
"Did he swim? Or just wade?"
"Juno was walking around in it, and he tried to get to her, but it was too deep for him, and then he started washing away, and he had to swim to get back over to the bank."
"WHAT? Did you watch out for him? Would you have gone in to get him if he washed away?"
"Yes, Val. If he went down the creek, I would have tried to get him."
That makes me feel almost as sick as the time I discovered that Hick had been riding Baby Pony around in a milk crate affixed to the handlebars of a 4-wheeler.