Ok, so I was so devastated by the out-of-town move of Jackson, the cutest Shih Tzu-Maltese ever and one of my very first puppy clients, that I pouted for a while and didn’t update my blog. Two years is a reasonable mourning period for that sort of thing, right? Well now his pal Summer, the huge, fluffy, blonde light of my life, has moved as well, but instead of falling into melancholy, I’m going to honor my five years with her by posting again, beginning with the best final videos I took of her with my new clients.
I came to depend on her to teach puppies how to navigate New York City without fear, to exhaust them with patient, loving, gentle play, and to help them learn boundaries as only an awesome big sister could. I choke up as I remember my first walk with her, when she was four months old and the city was a huge, scary place. It can’t technically be called a walk since I carried her to her local pet store (gotta have a destination that provides positive reinforcement at that age!) in the pouring rain, and she clung to me, hind legs wrapped around my waist and front paws around my neck.
She quickly grew to be 75 pounds, and while toting her around was no longer possible, I always felt we were connected. Every December we looked forward to finding pristine piles of snow to jump into (despite her name, winter is her favorite season), and her family and I bought countless variations of booties in an effort to find something that would protect her paws from the sadistic salt while not making her walk like a pitiful platypus. When warm weather came, her golden locks came off and we stalked squirrels in Madison Square Park. She wanted them to think she was a huntress, but she was a total softie…once a playing baby squirrel jumped straight in the air and accidentally landed on her nose, and she yiped and shook it off, then looked for it and whimpered, as if concerned she had hurt it.
She is now living in a beautiful home in St. Petersburg, Florida, and has a huge swimming pool (which she jumps into every five minutes) and, I’m told, a squirrel buddy (or nemesis, depending on whether you ask her or the squirrel) right in her yard. I miss her so badly that it hurts, but I will see her again, more than once or twice. Her family and I are working on a holiday season visit. We won’t have snow, but we will just have to make angels in the sand instead.