Dustin, little lightning pup, had a certain quality, and I found myself smiling to think that he might pass that spark down through the family line.
It wasn’t just his smile, though he had the sparklingest laughing eyes I ever did see.
And it wasn’t just his sweetness, which caused all the grown dogs to dote on him.
They seemed to know he was special, too, and they took turns playing with and watching over him.
“What do you think of the pup, cat?” Lucas and Otter conferred.
Otter had spent quite a bit of time watching the little one’s antics.
“I think he’s pretty smart, too,” said Lucas.
Already, Dustin and Lucas had become best friends. I’d been noticing how Lucas was developing an intuitive understanding of dogs, exceeding what I’d learned in my years with Bobie and his pack.
He was a very smart young man, that Lucas was. And he was quick to adapt his ways to fit the needs of the individual cat or dog he was relating to. Plus, he had a quiet, gentle way about him, and a soft voice that critters responded to.
One afternoon, I found Dustin out by the back pool, looking like he wanted to jump in.
Stay back, barked Bartholomew, pouncing towards the pup.
Why, granddog? whimpered the pup. I likes water!
Can’t swim, can you, pup?
I could, if I could try! answered Dustin.
Maybe when you’re a big dog, said Bartholomew. For now, we keep you out of the wet. You got a big responsibility, little dog.
What’s that? asked the pup.
The whole family line. You gotta grow up and have pup or two of your own, replied his grandsire.
Bartholomew stood between his grandpup and the deep wet pool, staring him down until he trotted off into the house.
I will be a big pup one day, said Dustin. Such a good dog! All the same, I was happy Bartholomew and the other big dogs were there to keep him safe. That little pup carried a big responsibility, as Caleb and Miss Molly’s sole offspring.