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Banner has never been shy about expressing her opinions, for which I am grateful, usually.  But it occurred to me how efficiently she can convey a thought.  When Word starts counting syllables instead of whole words, I could be in trouble and Banner could be a star pupil, or the teacher.

This morning, I was up late. Round 3 of early winter respiratory illnesses, sleeping in 2-3 hour segments, then getting up with eyes closed. So a Newfoundland was very hungry. Yesterday she had banana pancakes, and there were leftovers in the frig for this morning. Eggs needed to be cooked. We are using brown eggs because the store was out of the jumbo size, which usually includes a number of double-yolk eggs. I tell her that she is very lucky when she gets a double-yolk egg. She didn’t feel very lucky this morning because breakfast was late.

While the eggs were cooking, I sliced some Tillamook cheddar to share with my observer. Once I finally began putting the eggs on a plate, I heard a “pfffsssh!” This is the long sigh issued by a Newf when humans require far too much patience. I asked her about the translation: does this mean, “Humans are so slow! They take forever.” (count the number of syllables that took) To which there was no response. She’s at least too polite to overstate her point.

And when her water dish needs a refill, which is frequent in the drier weather? A swipe of the tongue sends it sailing across a hard floor, resonating so it could be heard in the next town if not the next planet. (This is not an accident; she wants to be sure the message is clear.) That doesn’t even take one syllable.

How remarkable!

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It is that season again. No, not the one that I used to enjoy, the arrival of summer, soaking up the warmth of the sun, coated with oil, on a beach blanket (but on a grass lawn in the Ozarks). No, not for a Newf. It is THAT season: so cold and wonderful that all a good Newf wants to do is lay out and soak it in!

At least with a thick black coat, she won’t have to worry about the consequences of sun exposure.

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Banner was waiting for her turn to go out with enthusiasm, even though she had been out 30 minutes earlier. The weather has been noticeably cooler, and any opportunity to go outside held promise. She was standing in the doorway of the bedroom, and I noticed that she was moving oddly on one rear leg, and she made a sound as she walked: clomp-thump, clomp-thump, clomp-thump.

My black Hoka slides were left beside the bed, on the other side of the room. We share a lot of things, and I have accused the Newfs over the years of trying to wear my shoes, but now, if I had any curiosity, I know her shoe size and style preference. Had the color been anything but black, it would have been obvious sooner. About then, Greg came in and she gave him a demonstration.

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