The Dog Days of Summer


Here at chez Aalto, the summer has quite literally “gone to the dogs.”

Those of you that know my wife and I are probably familiar with the role that a dog has played in our lives. For all of two years of our marriage, the specific dog was Riley. Our life with Riley began back in 1995 when JJ and I drove all the way to Hepner to celebrate the purchase of a first home for one of my customers. We didn’t know my purchasers all that well when we arrived in Hepner but by the time we left the open house, the relationship had changed from clients to genuine friends. In addition, we were introduced to a four-week old puppy that would become a member of our family a few weeks down the road.

Riley was with us for 15 years and was everything anyone could ever ask for in a dog. True to form, she brought us our share of grief although most of those memories have become funny as time has gone by. She was part of the glue that held us all together.  When Riley had to be put to sleep in January is was a really rough time for our entire family. I’ve written a couple posts about her in the past – click here or here for more.

It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that we now have a dog in the house again.  Actually, make that two dogs.  One would be too easy right?  While I am writing this, I can hear my wife playing with Lu and Gus, our two new puppies.  Lu is a beautiful black lab with all of the energy and characteristics that go along with being 14 weeks old and having a unfathonable reserve of energy.  She is lean and powerful, made of rubber bands and jet black giraffe legs.  She is somewhat reserved and tends to sneak around corners to ambush us.  She is, after all, a ninja.  Gus, on the other hand,  is a 12 week old yellow lab and counters Lu’s elegance and gracefulness with sweet goofiness and an old man smile.  He will eventually be bigger than her but for now their epic playtimes are more often than not characterized by Lu ambushing Gus and by his attempts to find places to hide.  Advantage, Ninja.  On the other hand, Gus gets a lot of sympathy loves.  He may be the sneakier one after all.

Our family can only hope that these two dogs will bring us another 15 years of joy.  Riley has quite the legacy to live up to.  Somehow though, I have a feeling our two little ones will give her a run for her money.

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