When you are eight weeks old, it is hard to be a master of anything. Surely not sustained focus or potty training or knowing when to bite and when not to bite. But our newly arrived little corgi puppy, Vivi, is a complete master of curiosity.
Watching her step into the big world of our front yard is remarkable. The area is half grass, half patio. It is fenced all around. Winter temperatures here hover in the 40 degree F. range and the grass is always wet. There is traction for racing around—keeping warm and pouncing on green stems.
Inside, and even more outside, all her little systems are on high alert— eyes, nose, ears, and, of course, mouth, mouth, mouth. A seemingly boring, old brown winter leaf blows by. POUNCE. Captured, ready for investigation. Hmmmm . . . . . does not appear to want to play. Smells safe enough. Tastes bland. Time to run and get a drink of water.
Stairs are a new phenomenon. There are four of them into our patio. When you weigh less than 5 pounds and are only 15 inches long with 3-inch legs, a six- inch step is an almost insurmountable hurdle—well, actually, it is a wonderful challenge! Run and leap—she understands momentum as a force in her favor.
And a juniper hedge—oh my, maybe it wants to play with me! POUNCE. I am lost somewhere. But I know I can get out. I am a master at getting out! Even with a bare tummy, the texture of the prickly hedge is no deterrent to our determined little dynamo.
Vivi knows nothing of owls or hawks overhead or of any malevolence for that matter. She is in complete, total, full out curiosity about this world she has been born into, as should be the birthright of all new beings. When she is outside, I am never more than two feet away (even in the fenced patio when she is running, running, running). Especially at night I am the deterrent to any invisible, observing owl.
Yes, we have bite marks all over our hands and the carpet spot remover Nature’s Miracle is our new favorite cleaning supply. But we are being reshaped and remolded in our 70’s—more flexible, more agile, more hopeful, more joyous. This was a conscious choice. We considered no dog for the freedom of traveling or a young adult dog to avoid the teething, potty training stage. But ultimately the thought of bringing this much joy and companionship into our lives made the choice easy.
And, Vivi has already been a gift to quite a few people in her short week with us! Some call it the puppy magnet factor. I call it being awakened again to life’s possibilities.
A walk with her through our local village is like walking with a fairy princess with her unusual blue eyes. People stop and want to touch her. They ask about her. They are no longer in their trajectory: now they are curious. They want to talk and establish a connection. Vivi is both a master of curiosity and a master at weaving connection. The fierce little biter regards those coming toward her with solemn eyes, and licks their fingers. Gentled in the moment. Making the world fuzzy again.
Thank you, Vivi, truly our little Christmas miracle.