I was lucky enough this week to have two wonderful chocolate canines, a young adult lab named “Porter” and a baby dog labradoodle named “Moses”. Porter is everything a lab should be: big and handsome, vigorous, humorous, ball-addicted, slightly goofy, and everybody’s friend. Moses is just finding out what he will be, and if he grows up to be as great an adult as he is a puppy, his owners are blessed. Because of their difference in age and size (Porter being about ten times as big as the puppy), I introduced them slowly and cautiously. I need not have worried. Porter sized it up instantly; “this little feller needs me to show him the ropes and watch out for him.” Moses was instantly smitten with hero-worship; he followed Porter around constantly like a little chocolate shadow, carefully studying his every move and doing his best to mirror them. When Moses got a little too full of his puppy self, Porter would gently but firmly correct him, as every good adult and mentor must. At times, Porter allowed the puppy to steal toys right out from under his nose, but if he was busy chewing a stick and didn’t need a young whippersnapper in his face, he also made that clear in a kindly powerful way. Porter modified his play style so that the puppy wasn’t hurt or overwhelmed; he would lay down with a tug in his mouth and let the little guy pull and pull, pretending he was pulling back, when really he could have just heaved Moses over his shoulder with one toss of his big lab head. When the puppy got tuckered out, Porter would lay in the grass next to him watching over him while Moses slept. Moses met many other dogs while he was here this week (note in the last few pictures he is sleeping with 15 year old Max the Beagle, and meeting standard poodle Andy), but none that he took to quite as well as Porter The Great. The pictures below will tell more than I could go on to say, but it has been a magical time watching them together, and I thank both their owners for the privilege.