There are times when watching animals can so mirror the human experience that it is touching and revealing. My sister’s dog Bailey is an 11 year old golden retriever. Her daughter’s dog Ripley is a 7 month old black lab puppy.(More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Before Ripley’s arrival the house is puppy proofed. Doors are shut and things are moved to higher places. Ripley is a well trained puppy but still has all the energy and quickness of a very young dog. A treat that will take Bailey half and hour to chew is demolished by Ripley in 5 minutes.

Bailey is understanding of the invasion. She collects those of her toys that she is unwilling to share and brings them to my sister for safe keeping. The toys she is willing to share are pounced on by the puppy. Outside a metal water bowl, newly filled is upended by Ripley and clatters noisily across the deck. Ripley chases it, pounces on it, and is enamored with it for a few minutes. Then he’s off chasing something else.

Both dogs love affection and seek out being touched. Bailey gently nudges a person and stands until she is acknowledged. Her tail may be wagging and her butt shaking but she knows she’ll get petted. Ripley jumps onto my lap, squirms and attempts to kiss my face. He is the very definition of exuberance.

After Ripley leaves, Bailey lets out a sigh and curls up in her chair. I feel for Bailey. She has survived the puppy yet again and can relax. I feel a bit the same sense of relief and survival after I babysit my grandchildren. All the energy and all the love is wonderful but tiring. I can relate to the old dog and like her, I like my puppy visits in small doses.