The Daily Digital Photo
Chronicling the life of Clayton, Spenser and Scooter
April 18, 2007
Our neighbor came over on Monday afternoon while Phillip and I were down at the
bottom of the driveway surveying the water for about the fifteenth time that day.
He lives in the big 200+ year old farm house by himself and I guess you could say
he is a bit of "a character." When we moved here in 1998 he had a barn full of roosters
who crowed prodigiously during the daylight hours. While we were at first dismayed
we soon realized the benefit of having a neighbor with noise-making animals:
they can't complain about your own! And he didn't. But the roosters have been gone for a
few years now and he has complained about the boys' barking a number of times since then,
most notably one night last July when he left a series of angry messages on the machine. We were not
there to call in the boys or answer the phone because Phillip was with me at the hospital where I was
not doing too well (all better now though!) Phillip's return message is now legendary in
our household and our neighbor hasn't complained about the boys since then.
But back to the story. So while Jim joined us for conversation down at our new beachhead the boys moseyed around by the shore, sniffing scents they had probably never sniffed before. I told him about Scooter. Though he'd met the boys several times he didn't have names attached to faces and he thought (or perhaps assumed) that Scooter was the oldest. I explained that Clayton held that honor with Spenser just a year behind. He looked at them and asked, "were they always that white?" And that, my friends, is the genesis of this story and what I thought of when I looked at this picture of Clayton. He is grayer and stouter and his jowls have become prolific. He jogs instead of runs and his hearing is not what it used to be. But just the other day, after a gap of perhaps ten years, Clayton announced himself with a squeaky toy in his mouth. It was the cutest and sweetest sight because he was like his young self again. And at that moment he looked just like Scooter with his own toys so I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. But I chose to laugh, and told Clayton what a good boy he was, then I tried as hard as I could to pretend to yank Lamb-Lamb right out of his mouth.