Our friends Pete and Carol are on a cruise. They asked us to watch their dog and we said yes. I’ll confess that I groaned a bit inside. Duke is totally a boy dog–has embarrassed me any number of times at their home with his nose up my skirt. He’s too big and too full of energy and the first night he was here he barked. all. night. long. Since the spouseman’s back is such a pain, it is mostly my job to take Duke out with a “Chuckit” and do the tennis ball thing. In the rain. In the dark. At the crack of dawn. With all that nasty, nasty slobber. I want to be annoyed but he’s this tall, rangy dog who lops down the street, ball in mouth,ears flopping every which a way, no dignity, no nobility, no finesse, just pure, overgrown puppy fun. And maybe because even though I tell him “that’s the last time I’m throwing this ball” I go soft and do it again, he’s taken a shining to me and follows me all over the house. Even pushed the bathroom door open and lay by the shower while I bathed this morning. Dammit Duke, I wasn’t supposed to like you so much.