I tend to fall in love very easily. The latest fellow to win my heart is my neighbor's beagle/lab mix, whom I have watched grow from tiny puppyhood this summer. His name is Xavi; he's named for a famous Spanish footballer, because the boys next door are huge soccer fans. Xavi, unlike my very hyper dog, is calm, and spends much of his day dreaming in the grass.
When we go out to work on the yard or take out the garbage, however, he appears at the fence, wedged between the tomato plants and burgeoning pumpkin vines, to say hello and receive pats on the noggin. He's still very young (four or five months) and his head is still too large for his body, but that makes him somehow cuter to me.
Who could resist this little face? He rarely barks at us; just approaches with a rustling sound to see what's happening in the other yard. When the neighbors barbecue he frolics around, playing with his dish, his toys, his own feet (when he's not eyeing the burgers). He's a delightful little dog, and I look forward to meeting him when I go outside.
Photos: Ian Buckley