I marvel at their alarm-clock precision in waking me each morning before the sun gets her chance, their expectant, devoted stares grabbing me through my sleep.
I enjoy Puppy's outward scrappiness all the much more because it's just a loud front for his insecurities. He's the first to bark and bark and bark, but he does it on the steps, as Daisy bounds ahead. Only after she has given the okay through a slow nod, will Puppy charge forward to the gate, ready to show a squirrel or mailman who's boss.
I sigh when Daisy knits her brows together any time a voice, even a happy one, is just a little too loud. Or, when her ears go back, not over something she has done, but because Puppy once again has eaten or done something he shouldn't. While she sits conscience-stricken for a crime she didn't commit, Puppy has already moved on to his next offense.
I adore how my sons are crazy for each dog individually and for the animated interplay between the mismatched mutts. I love how Puppy and Daisy return the feeling tenfold, sitting sadly against the boys' closed bedroom doors waiting for however long it takes for them to open it. I miss how their sweet predecessor Hershey did the same.
Just as Hershey has left us, so too will Daisy or Puppy one day, their time an even more tangible, temporary blip than ours. But for right here, right now, as they lie next to me side-by-side, I am happy, happy for a dog's life.