Despite the picture being blurry, this is without a doubt the happiest Golden Retriever you’ll ever meet. She doesn’t have a care in the world other than playing and that’s how Lori and I wanted Yalu’s life to stay—worry free. Welcome to one of Yalu’s many dog action photos. Here, a happy dog romps on the grass outside her Nashua, New Hampshire puppy palace. Yes, I know on the back of my books I say I live in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, and I do, but Yalu lived in New Hampshire. Her puppy palace has a long common backyard with a dozen other condos. There are woods and a stonewall that made for the perfect play place.
Lori and I never asked if Yalu was the runt of the litter or if her brothers and sisters might have been mean to her. It didn’t matter. Yalu had won life’s lottery by becoming a Yates dog. For those of you who believe in reincarnation, if you have to come back as a dog and you get a choice of whose dog you’ll become be a Yates dog. Look at how happy you’ll be. There’s lots of play time, lots of petties, car rides, homemade dog cookies, and plenty of opportunities to show the world how cute you are.
Before her sniffer developed and back when I could outrun her, I’d race Yalu to the other end of the condos and hide behind the last building. When Yalu charged past me, I’d slip out of my hiding spot, and run back. I would see her stopped, looking to her left and right for me wondering, Where did he go?
To which I would yell, “Woof, woof, woof.”
She would turn, notice I was far away, and race back–that’s one way of having fun with a puppy!