It’s hard for me to admit it but I am not a match for Lucas. I’m fifty-one years old and Lucas weighs over one hundred pounds, I have about sixty-five pounds on him but that is human mass not animal mass. A young man in his prime, might, just maybe, hold his own with a pissed off dog half his weight, but many things must go right, early and often. A man my age trying to match muscle playing with a dog the size of Lucas is going to have to make some concessions. The first of these will be if the dog suddenly gets serious theological questions will be answered.
I do well with dogs. I’ve been bitten before but it has always been my fault, and it usually is the fault of the human when dealing with a large dog. They are not toys. They are not slaves. They are not machines. They have emotions and souls. If you want to get down to the very heart of a dog you have to take some risks and you will lose some of your bets. Bert bit me. Sam has bitten me. Sabrina bit me. Spike bit me. Hell, with that evidence you’d think I didn’t know a damn thing about animals at all, but the truth is that is their way of swinging on you when you’ve pissed them off. I’ve been popped a few times by friends of mine, too. Most men have. But I would like to think that is part of my past, and now I’m getting to the point I can’t take as many chances with dogs either.
When Lucas and I played I could tell he was holding back and he was more or less using about a third of what he had. I could wear him out but I had to use everything I had and he had to have an off day. Lillith’s introduction into the pack was more than Michelle and I saving yet another dog. Lillith was meant to be a chew toy for Lucas. I was hoping they would bond, and in this Lucas would find someone he could be physical with and in that, find a little more exercise than I was giving him.
I like it when a plan comes together.
Lucas spent the first week or two hiding under the table. He was not sure what Lillith was, or why she was there, but he sure as hell didn’t like the idea of there being a puppy made entirely of the cute roaming free in the house. But she was demur as well as cute and even Sam fell in love with her. Lucas fell too, but it took a while for the two to really make some contact. I was hoping they would play. I was hoping they would romp. I was hoping Lucas wouldn’t just roll over her and hurt her, because she’s big, and I had hoped she could at the very least, hold her own.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Michelle came to visit for a month and about a week deep in that month Lucas and Lillith hit their stride. Maybe Lucas was just trying to find out how much she could take, or maybe he just wasn’t used to playing with a puppy, or maybe these things just take time, but all of a sudden those two started the biting of the faces and the making of wild hippo noises and the running rampant through the house and it was on. They discovered they would be shouted at running rampant through the house so they moved that part out into the yard and the woods.
When he was bitten by the Cottonmouth back on June the first, Lucas pushed the scales at one hundred seven pounds and he was, to be kind, stout. Now with Lillith pushing him, chasing him, running from him, Lucas has trimmed down a lot, and Lillith hasn’t hit her adult weight yet. Lucas has the puppy he always wanted and he has much more than that, too. Lillith isn’t some half sized version of a dog but a full hearted version of a Pibble. There is no quit in her. There is no fear in her. There isn’t an ounce of aggression and I wouldn’t allow it if there was, but Lucas is discovering that she can take much more than he can give, and she can give more than he can handle.
Lillith is a very sweet little girl. But she is what she is. There is within every dog someone who will fight kill and die in prot4ection of those they love. From the smallest yappy dog to the true giants of the canine world, you mess with the loved ones of the dogs at your own peril. A twenty pound mutt will attack a Grizzly bear and fight to win if there is a loved one in danger. Lillith has the genetic makeup, if not the mass, to protect to the end. Relentless and energetic, she is everything Lucas wanted and then she is more. She leaps, launches, and run at angles that Lucas, with all his muscle, cannot manage. Accustomed to wrestling with Sam and myself, Lucas has been set upon by someone much smaller, much lighter, much more agile, and much more driven than he has ever had to deal with.
Lucas, in a word, is in love.
So now Sam watches from the window as the two younger pack members roll around in the yard and play chase. I watch too. So passes from my hands to the paws of Lucas, to train and wear out, the puppy, and in turn she wears him down, also. I need large dogs. I want large dogs. But in this, I understand the need for them to exercise at a level I cannot do and still hope to walk the next day. Sam and I watch the puppies play. Lillith tackles Lucas and I can see he is surprised she’s managed to flatten him with such a small body.