I went to the barn looking forward to some quiet time with my mare. She’s getting on, and this past year she moved less fluidly and her joints seemed stiff. So my time on the trails is slowly being replaced with time brushing and coddling her in the barn.
I opened the barn door and there, in the middle aisle, staring at me as cheeky as can be, were three of the latest litter of barn puppies. The fourth one stood on his hind legs behind the gate that was supposed to keep them all confined to an empty horse stall. Paws on the top, he wriggled excitedly and looked at me hopefully, as if asking me to help him over to join his brothers and sisters.
They’re at that goofy stage where their ears flop over endearingly. They have trouble sitting straight, so sit crookedly on one haunch. Black and tan German Shepherd puppies, they will grow to be tall and sleek like their parents, Luna and Logan. But right now their clumsy little bodies are round, chubby and sturdy.
The three of them bounded toward me with a joy so pure it melted my heart. I quickly closed the barn door to make sure they didn’t get out and head for the road. One-by-one, I picked them up and deposited them back behind the gate with their sibling. Even through my thick winter jacket, I could feel their warm bodies as they snuggled against me. I held the last one just a little bit longer, reluctant to put him down. I expected them to rebel and try to escape again, but it seems they’d had enough of freedom for now. They ate from the bowl of dry kibble then curled up contentedly together for a nap.
I marveled at how they took such pleasure in the simple things in life: Food, sleep, warmth and companionship. And I thought that we humans could definitely learn a thing or two from these young pups.