A cute adorable 5 week old Chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy with one paw over the edge of a large ceramic dog bowl looking at the camera after eating. There is kibble scattered on the hardwood floor with a white baseboard and green wall in the background

Living With Animals: Life With Lola

Another update on life with the Official World’s Cutest Puppy (my column, my rules). Now topping 4 months and 5 pounds, little Lola exhibits every reason why people should and should not have puppies: they are adorable, exasperating, sweet, and a whole lot of work. The Hanukkah half of our holidays went off without a hitch since the Menorah is up high on the kitchen table (many years ago an ancient cat did manage to singe her tail on those candles but Lola is far more terrestrial), and lots of preplanning did yield a safe Christmas as well. The small tree was up on a table (the cat loved that!) and presents, wrapped but unadorned with ribbons and doodads (easy to lose track of potential choke hazards), were safe behind the baby gate. Sure, one of our daughter’s reindeer slippers didn’t reappear until after presents were unwrapped and Lola barely tolerated modeling her ugly sweater but, considering her age, I declare a Holiday Miracle!

We’ve come to realize that people who live in glass houses should not only avoid tossing stones, they should also be mindful of reflections. While not entirely glass we do live in a mid-century home with floor to ceiling glass walls and sliding doors looking out from the living room onto our yard. As the night darkens, some of that glass becomes mirrors and the little puppy looking back on Lola shows up unexpectedly. She solicits play but that other pup will have none of it, charging back and barking fiercely to match (exactly) Lola’s every move. I’m not sure if she realizes that this is a game, and we do try to hide the fact that we are decidedly laughing at her rather than with her. Once so stimulated, Lola goes on a tear, chasing that other version of herself around the house from reflection in the doors, fireplace screen and shiny black piano. Neither of them wins, of course, and the real Lola is ready for reassuring hugs and kisses, on the couch obviously, afterwards. Laughter and loving, yes life with the World’s Cutest Puppy is pretty great!

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