Our puppy is one and a half years old and fourteen and a half pounds. His name is Huckleberry but he'll also respond when he feels like it to Huck, Hucky, Hucky Baby and Stop That.
Corralled in the house, he balances on little legs on the top of the couch frame to croon at the comings and the goings out in the front lawn. Hot breath mists the window panes dare a passing human, woodland creature or an errant crisped, blown leaf pass through Huck's terrain. Alarms are sounded with a puppy bark. The puppy bellows and the chipmunk turns a nut.
Leashed on the street, Hucky walks a crooked line with a nose to the earth smelling perhaps for good things to eat. His eyes crane occasionally from the pavement finds like taunt pulls with a taut leash line. Above all eager to meet all animals and peoples on their way, but lacking tact to approach them casually or in a pause-for-reply way. Shot from excitement, he charges each potential friend for a meeting while aghast, most of the old dogs look down, clearly perturbed at his uncouth greeting.
Floating on the board, Huckleberry starts at the prow. His nose points out to the horizon, eyes skittering, so much to see. He tries his puppy paw at the sea air as big gulls flap freely and decidedly out of reach. A wake makes Hucky stumble and his fur bottom tremors as he pads his little legs to straighten form.
Exhausted, or overcome, the baby tucks his tail, toddles back to my leg and collapses to a seat. Quiet now and still, puppy fur pressed to my shin - we can hear the tap tap tap of the water against the board's shell. Keeping time of this time, those felt moments in between.