My Bear Shadow.

"Do you want to dog-sit this weekend? The other dog?" 

A co-worked asked me that after I was looking at one of her dogs that had stopped by the office one afternoon. I was playing with the dog - a little Yorkie - and sighed about how I sometimes wished I had a dog. Her other dog was at home.

"Sure," I said. "As long as I can leave him alone for a few hours while I go to a graduation."

She assured me I could. And a few days later, she dropped off Bear...

 Bear, after running around the Powerlines Dog Park in Encinitas

Bear, after running around the Powerlines Dog Park in Encinitas

He's a Yorkie-Poo (Yorkie and Poodle mix) who is about a year and a half old. 

And other than jumping on the table while I was vacuuming...

 He was scared of the vacuum cleaner.

He was scared of the vacuum cleaner.

... He was perfectly behaved. 

Seriously.

A more perfect gentleman he really could not have been. Especially when you consider that he is a puppy who loves to run and run and run and run and run...

 He's running back to me with a ball in his mouth, after I threw it really far.

He's running back to me with a ball in his mouth, after I threw it really far.

And chase balls... Till he would tell me it was time to stop.

 This was the sign that he was done and ready to go home.

This was the sign that he was done and ready to go home.

He ate when he was supposed to. He potty-ed when he was supposed to. He didn't beg for treats. Or for human food. (Though he did sneak some chicken when I wasn't looking, from the dinner table.)

All he cared about was his ball...

 He would drop it right in my lap, hoping I'd get the hint.

He would drop it right in my lap, hoping I'd get the hint.

And me...

 Curled up nearby.

Curled up nearby.

He was never far from me. And he would wake me up in the morning by licking my face, letting me know it was time for him to go pee outside.

"Don't you want one now?" someone asked me.

I thought about it for only a second.

"No. I don't."

Like with children, I like being the auntie. The one that they come and visit from time to time. And that I can give them more attention than I normally give things in general.

But all of the time? Even it I had one as easy and well-behaved as Bear?

No. Definitely not ready for that kind of commitment.

Not yet.

I'm not ready for the Sun to set on the kinds of adventures I have for now, casting a shadow of new energy around me.

I like it being high noon in my life - as that is what it really feels like now. The mid-life. 

I'll enjoy this direct sunshine and freedom from a good amount of obligations for a few more years. But I'll happily puppy-sit Bear anytime.