Despite some strange weather (even for New England) the trees are budding and the landscape softens.
A dozen shades of green, mixed with pink, white and yellow blur the harsh edges of winter and we have warm days to bask in the sunlight. The deep breath of winter lets go.
Lifa has also been a breath of spring in our home. A new life, insatiably curious and enthusiastic, adds whimsical, affectionate energy to the house and no one is immune to her charms.
Yet, despite all the shenanigans and lessons of puppyhood, there is a depth to her that hints at an “old soul”. Her gaze can be measured and intense, she is composed and confident- an unusual trait in a 12-week old puppy. She learns amazingly fast and loves being challenged. Keeping up with her and continually raising the bar for her will be almost a full-time job!
Quinn and Piper are devoted (if sometimes annoyed) and play with her constantly. A new pack dynamic forms and it is clear that as she matures, Lifa will assume leadership of the group. She has all the qualities of an Alpha, she is intelligent, measured, devoted, even protective.
The other night we had a bear in our yard, Quinn and Piper were barking wildly at the windows and instead of joining them, Lifa jumped up on me and faced the window, growling low and soft. This little 14 lb puppy was not seeking me out for reassurance but staking her claim to her person and warning off the intruder outside! I told myself when Lifa came home that I would not compare her too much to Casey, but I couldn’t help remembering when Casey charged bears on two occasions to protect me. A 40 lb redhead challenged a 300 lb bear without hesitation.
The following morning I took Lifa out to scent where the bear had been and we were lucky enough to find some scat, which I also showed her. She sniffed it, then grew very quiet and looked around growling softly again. The attitude of a mature, strong female. Suitably cautious and assessing, but not afraid.
As she gets older I have long hikes and explorations to look forward too, training and nurturing our relationship as we learn to work together, and having a new, bold partner at my side. But for now, I’ll take the teething, belly rubs, stealing my socks and all the other escapades that come with raising a puppy. It is a role I cherish and am in no rush to get past. Even old souls need to experience childhood.