People often ask me how Tucker is tolerating Adagio. I am pleased to report that yet again, even as a nonagenarian, Tucker seems not just resigned to the little guy but almost fond of him. He wags his tail when Adagio returns from some outing. He allows Adagio to snuggle up and nap next to him on his dog bed. To our astonishment, Tucker even initiates play from time to time.
Adagio, for his part, seems sensitive to Tucker’s rules. After being reprimanded harshly (by Tucker) once or twice, he has learned NEVER to try and horn in on any dish Tucker is eating from. He even waits, politely, while Tucker drinks from their water bowl (although I’m all but certain Tuck would willingly share consumption from it).
As far as Steve and I are concerned, the grossest thing about life with Tucker is the way he drools. He has long been prone to this, but it has become markedly worse as he’s moved into his dotage. It’s not uncommon for twin fangs of saliva to swing from his jowls. Don’t ask me why. It doesn’t have to be mealtime. Whenever we see it, we invariably grab a paper towel and clean him up, lest one of the slimy ribbons wind up on one of us. It’s disgusting.
Also disgusting was the habit that Beverly developed for cleaning Tucker up. For reasons that defy comprehension, she came to routinely lick up the drool, whenever she noticed that it needed attending. This grossed us out but, perversely, served our interest (by sparing us the clean-up chores.)
And now Adagio is following in her footsteps!
Does the Tucker drool taste good to puppies? Is it thirst-quenching? Surely that’s unimaginable. My best guess is that it’s some twisted doggy sign of subservience and fealty. “Allow me to tidy you up, master.” Tucker permits such ministrations with the equanimity of a lord being attended by his manservant.
Meanwhile, in the two-steps-back-for-every-one-step-forward department,
— We have stowed away the exercise pen that we used at first to confine Adagio in my office. It now feels unnecessary.
— We have put the puppy carriage back into storage in our garage. Although Adagio rode in it for a few minutes yesterday, he walked beautifully for most of our three-plus-mile long Sunday walk. We’re confident he will be able to make it completely on his own by next week.
— The backward step relates to my sheet labeled “Toileting Errors” on the refrigerator. It was empty all week long, but now it has two entries, added yesterday afternoon. Steve and I consider both to be instances of operator error; in each case, we forgot to take Adagio out to pee (and he failed to make his need known.) If only Tucker could read his mind for us.