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The Sprinklers & Topa, A Jackson Hole Pup

By Macye Mayer | Live Water Properties Jackson Hole

Writers and puppies have a lot in common: we pay attention to small details. No matter how peculiar they are! In the middle of the night, say 2 am, I am wearing glasses, I have a flashlight and I have Topa…a lab puppy from Diamond R. How old is she? Nine weeks. She is the color of night. I am following with a flashlight trained on her little form so I don’t lose her. She is timid, especially in the dark, and we move slowly, as a human, a pup and a wandering circle of light. She freezes. Something stops her; it’s a sound.

It’s a new sound, one she has not heard before…

…it whirs like a sprinkler. It is more than one, it’s a series of small yard sprinklers, and she starts to creep forward, to find the first, the closest. The yard spray bounces across her. The collection of water drops hit her nose, ears, and the side of her neck. She closes her eyes and jumps back!

She is awake now. There is no going back into her crate. She’s wet and decides to sit and lick the water from her shiny coat, until the spray hits her again. She jumps back! I laugh at her.

Topa might be wondering why any human would run their sprinklers after this much rainfall (wettest spring in years! On top of a winter snowfall of epic proportions.) Is the grass verdant though? Yes, without a doubt.

Through the thick sod we wind our way back across the yard avoiding certain sprinklers but not others. Terribly hard for both of us to settle back down, we play in the living room with dog toys, the ones that didn’t have squeakers because it is the middle of the night still.

Tired but not to the brink. We play until my eyelids start to droop, and she falls against me.

I carry her imbalanced little being back to the crate.

It was a few days later when the evening began with me being nervous and jittery. Topa was coming out with us, but we were going for sushi and she would be alone in the back of my vehicle in her crate. It was a spring evening, cool too, but I left the windows cracked. Before leaving for the restaurant I had fed and walked her, and she played with our other lab Pinder and our German wire hairs, Gunner and Zadi. Topa’s lazy eyes stared back at me as I said goodbye to her. How could I enjoy dinner without being nearby? What would she do in her crate when it was in the back of my vehicle? Everyone was telling me to hurry up, so I waved goodbye to her and locked up.

I didn’t feel hungry but the seafood smells, both sweet and savory, tricked me for a little while. And I heard my name. Looking around, I saw a familiar face in the sushi kitchen peering at me over the bar. Kyle’s eyes were huge; he was smiling through them. “Did you get a puppy from Diamond R?”

“I did!” Could he read my mind? I couldn’t stop thinking about Topa.

“So did I!!”

I stared at him incredulously. “When?”

“Last week!”

“A girl or a boy?”

“Boy,” Kyle tipped his head. “Dean.”

“Great name,” I murmured. “Let’s get them together after they have their puppy shots.”

“Absolutely.”

What were the chances? I’d been on the list a long time, waiting for a pup to be born with my name on it. So had Kyle. I couldn’t wait to find out how he’d heard about Diamond R.

I told everyone at dinner. I couldn’t stop smiling to myself until…Topa! I remembered she would wake up and wonder where I was. We finished up quickly. And I waved to Kyle. “Take good care of Dean!”

Back to the vehicle we went, and there was my infant dog. Asleep! I opened the crate door and she looked through a glazed dream. She tilted her head and blinked while I caressed her ears, so velvety and still.

“Topa,” I whispered when we got home, “You are going to have Dean for a friend one day. He’s just your type. In the meantime, let’s go have a walk and you can ‘air-out’ and we can find some sprinklers.”

Never mind a half week later Topa got her entire head trapped underneath a credenza, never mind that during her 12th week she again got her head trapped, this time in the netting of a soccer goal in our backyard, yet now she’s running up to the sprinklers every chance she gets, not worrying about anything when she dips her pink tongue through the collection of drops. Does her comical pursuit of adventure remind you of your Diamond R Lab pup?

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