|My daughter with the new puppy.|
He is a cute little guy. I have been calling him Stinky Drool Face, which is totally inappropriate! I am having a difficult time coming up with this little guy's name. The shelter people called him Aladdin, but that does not seem to be his name, either. No matter. Eventually, I will know what to call him.
Duke is so happy to have someone to play with, though at 80 pounds he is too big to play unsupervised. Before long the new pup will be big enough and strong enough to play and they are going to have a great time together.
I have spent a long time looking for another dog to be Duke's companion and to eventually take over the farm duties. Duke is 13, an old guy. This last year he has aged the most. His face is almost entirely white. Though he still flops over on his back in the prairie for a great stretch and back scratch, and he can still outrun me, that is not saying much. His eyes have the blue cast of old age, but no cataracts. He cannot always bound up the front stairs with his normal exuberance and I have not seen him tear out after a rabbit for a long time. Duke still dutifully makes the round to remark his territory every day after the coyotes and other unknown wild beasts have been prowling through the night. He still barks to keep me informed, but he deserves to take it a bit easier now. He deserves a comfortable retirement, and to have a younger dog take over his heavy work.
The three of us made the first trip to the barn yesterday together. We had to wait for the baby to sit down and rest a time or two. Coming down the hill, I was struck by how much this pup looks like Duke at that age. They are so similar in body shape and coloring - they looked like father and son trotting down the hill together. (As Duke aged, the German Shepherd coloring on his face disappeared.) If this little dog is even half as good as Duke, then I will count myself lucky. The Good Dog Duke's paw prints are going to be too big for any pup to fill.