A friend once observed that our little puppy was the centre of our universe. And she was quite correct. He was our baby boy and we were his 'Mama' and 'Papa'. Like some old fashioned rural couple we would even call each other 'Mama' and 'Papa' from time to time.

We doted on him, adored him, spoiled him and every day, cherished every moment with him and delighted in every thing he did. We would even sing to him. "How Much is that Doggy in the Window" was a standard. The Shirelles' "Soldier Boy" became "Angel Pup". We always made time for him and as tired as we may have been on a given day, always found some reserve of energy to play with him. That actually lead to one of his favourite games, "hand".

"Hand" began when he was a baby and 'Mama' would come home from work tired and lay down to rest. Of course he wanted to play so 'Mama' would just move her hand around and he would "get it!", growling and gently biting. Of course, as he grew, he still loved "hand" but his teeth got bigger and sharper, and though still as gentle as a lamb, a glove became a necessity for us.

Another favourite game of his was "stick", a variation on "fetch". However he would never bring the stick back. Once he got it, you had to chase him to get it back. And then there's "mousey". His absolute favourite toy is a cat toy, one of those little toy mice that squeaks when you move it.

"Mousey" is essentially "puppy in the middle", 'Mama' on one side of the

room, 'Papa' on the other and puppy in between, tearing back and forth to catch the mouse as we would lightly toss it back and forth or move it along the floor, from hand to hand. The latter variation lead to the cutest thing: him on three legs, with one paw poised to trap it. Each time he'd catch it in the air, or trap it with that paw, we would clap, tell him "Good boy" and shower him with hugs and kisses.

And he's a very clever little boy. Quite cunning at getting his way. Sometimes during the night, he'd wake me up and I'd assume that he needed to go outside. I'd get out of bed and head to the stairs only to turn around and see he wasn't with me. No. He was curled up on my pillow, looking at me with his mischievous smile, having stolen my warm spot in the bed.

It was always interesting observing his interactions with the world around him.

He couldn't care less about cats, he simply looks at them then turns his nose up and prances away but if a squirrel dared set foot in his yard (and two trees in back meant often) he would bark his little puppy heart out until we opened the door so he could tree them. His senses are amazing. He would race to the door, barking and we'd wonder if someone was at the door or another dog was walking by. We'd see nothing and then 30 seconds or more later, a dog would come walking by. He can sense them down the block and around the corner!

Watching the different dynamic between his interactions with 'Mama' and 'Papa' always fascinated me.