The second boxer, Nora, is the younger of the two, rambunctious and wild. She loves to stick her nose into everything, and to rough house with the everyone she meets. Her favorite playmate and partner in crime is the next door neighbor’s black lab, a wild and broad-shouldered puppy named Clark. They make a mismatched pair; Clark’s liquid black eyes and sleek black coat are a stark contrast to Nora’s red-brown fur, all patched with white. They have been BFFs for as long as they have known each other, tearing at full tilt around both of our yards like tiny tornadoes.
On this particular night, Nora was full of energy, sniffing and exploring as the family walked around the block together. The weather was clear and cool, and both of the dogs seemed happy that all the snow had finally melted. Dakota hung back, close to my legs as we walked, her nose in the air as she took in the new scents of spring. But not Nora.
No, Nora liked to test the limits of her leash, pulling away from the group to explore a bush or sniff at a mailbox. About halfway through the walk, the curious pup had wandered into one of the grassy medians and come back with a stick. And not just any stick! Proud of her find, Nora wandered back to us, her head held high to display her prize. The stick was about three feet long, and stick out her mouth on either side like she’d grown wings. Laughing, we tried to get her to drop the over sized stick for a smaller one, but she’d have none of it.
We continued around the block, expecting her to lose interest and drop the stick at any moment. But she persisted; something about this stick was special, and she was determined to make it back home with this giant branch.
Once safely in the front yard, my father removed her leash. Nora, once realizing she was free, slipped around the side of the house, heading not for our backyard, but the backyard of next door neighbors, the stick still locked in her jaws. Clark was waiting for her, on the other side of his electric fence, barking a greeting to his best boxer pal. Nora, brandishing the stick, flew into his yard, dropping the stick at the black lab’s feet.
She’d lugged that stick several blocks, despite how awkward and heavy it was, just to show her best buddy.
The two wrestled gleefully over it, battling for control of what appeared to be the world’s best stick, having the time of their lives.