I pulled up to the counter to begin eating supper when my near 100-pound yellow Lab Jack came running in and darted under my legs. I could hear the reason why across the house – 3-year-old granddaughter Addi Claire.
No one loves that big yellow dog more than Addi Claire, although Jack would tell you she has a funny way of showing it.
On this night, it was her constant attempt to grab on to his back and hold on for dear life while he dragged her all around the house like the lead Husky in the Iditarod.
She grabs two fistfuls of fur and he goes running as if she sunk two spurs into his side, all while she screams at the top of her lungs with glee.
She laughs. She sings. She eventually gets thrown. She chases Jack and we repeat.
Sometimes Addi Claire prefers to turn the game around and begs for Jack to chase her. That rarely happens, so Addi Claire grabs hold of his collar and starts pulling with all the might her petite 30-pound frame can muster.
At first, it's not enough to even wrestle Jack from a sitting position. But eventually, he tires of the nuisance and reluctantly gives in for a few steps until he decides to break away, only to be chased down again.
When Jack does give up and opts to lie in the floor, Addi Claire uses him as her favorite dress-up doll.
She's found the dresser drawer in the middle bedroom where my wife Lisa keeps all her ribbons and bows. Addi Claire wraps ribbons, with 10-20 feet of slack, through his collar and impatiently awaits for him to get up and move so she can watch the long train of ribbons trailing behind.
She's also fond of decorating him with stickers, her hot pink sash and other accessories that she's acquired from the many princess outfits she typically wears around our house.
When all those games are done, it's time to rest and Addi Claire prefers to pile on top of Jack.
He remains relatively still, as she rolls around on his back, her tiny feet kicking him in the head, while she giggles throughout, as I've learned 3-year-old little girls do with regularity.
She rarely has something to eat when she doesn't share it with Jack. One day she asked for a popsicle and told me Jack wants a red one. I explained popsicles are for her, not Jack, but seconds later I spotted them sharing a lick.
When she's not feeding Jack, she's getting on to him – usually with a loud “no,” pointing of the finger, or a slap on the rear end – only because she's heard Lisa and me doing that many times. Jack's no stranger to trouble.
The discipline is just a game to Addi Claire and Jack takes it, even though he hasn’t done anything wrong, because he knows another lick on the popsicle can't be too far away.
The bottom line is Jack is a pretty good dog willing to put up with a lot. That may soon get tested, however. Eight-month-old granddaughter Ellie Kathryn is starting to crawl.
You may email Joel McNeece at firstname.lastname@example.org