Usually he stands there, begging with his irresistible puppy eyes.
"Play with me," he's screaming, without making a sound.
Well sometimes there's a high-pitched yip/shriek/awful noise. But mostly it's silent, persistent begging.
And he knows the powers of his persuasion.
So he waits confidently, with baited (stinky) dog breath.
He waits until he hears the signal, the metaphorical gun shot in the air.
He waits, for the ball to drop.
And then he's off like a flash.
To fetch his most coveted toy in the world.
But this time is different.
For once, he doesn't wait for the crash.
Instead he trusts that I'll do exactly what I always do, when faced with his sweet puppy dog eyes.
And he takes off, in excited anticipation.
Determined to find his trusty, yellow ball.
Nothing will stop him. And nothing will slow him down.
He's a man on a mission.
He proudly brings it back, like he always does.
Dropping the slobbery thing at my feet.
That signals it's time to start again. And again.
"Oh the fun we'll have," he says. (They're very expressive eyes.)
Oh the joys of fetch.
And oh, the faith of a dog.
Especially one who's only ever known loyal companions.
Faithful friends that are always up for a good game.
He's awfully adorable, this puppy nephew of mine.
But he's also a breath of fresh air, in a world full of cynics and skeptics.
Most of the people I know have been let down or burned a time or two, or two hundred.
We all have reasons for hesitating like we do.
There are reasons (some good) behind much of our mistrust.
There is logic behind many of our fears.
But my puppy nephew reminds me that you can't always wait for the ball to drop to take action.
Sometimes, you've just got to go for it.