Sunday, November 29, 2009
Gamboling through life
Our next-door neighbors breed dogs. A fact we did not know when we bought our acreage four years ago, but of which we were soon aware. The barking was incessant and loud every time we stepped out our back door. Every walk across our lawn required navigating an obstacle course of dog droppings. Their dogs treated out yard as their own, particularly when it came to bathroom duty.
The fact that the dogs are white German shepherds, a breed that is simultaneously beautiful, graceful and eerie when seen loping across our front yard in the early morning mist did not change our desire to have them stay home. It took several increasingly blunt visits to get the owners to finally take steps to keep their dogs in their own yard.
This is a prelude to stating what is no doubt obvious – we have never been fond of these canine neighbors.
So it surprised me that I laughed when I looked up from my breakfast coffee this weekend to see the latest litter of pups exploring our back yard. Gambol is an old fashioned word but it fit exactly the spirit with which these four pups played. They chased, they tumbled, they sprang, they romped. They Gamboled.
They ran across the garden, their white paws turning brown with every step. They chased in and out amongst the sunflower stalks, pausing from time to time to chew one to the ground. Through the grape arbor. Around the edge of the raspberry patch. From their yard to ours and back again.
Their parents were restrained by the invisible fence, but the pups suffered no such restriction. It lifted my spirits to see such irrepressible, free-spirited living. It helped, I’m sure, to know that there was nothing growing at the moment that they could damage.
But their puppy antics – their gamboling – made me laugh. And now I am in the spirit to gambol. Our neighbors’ dogs finally left me a gift I was delighted to receive.