Speaking of puppies, my appetite for attention has lately left me feeling like an overexuberant puppy: Sloppy, slobbery, panting. Growling when my way is not had and nipping at ankles that don't turn in my direction. Cute, but irrepressible. Throw me a stick and I bring the stick back to you after a loping, klutzy gallop in big loopy circles. I'll do it 1,000 times until you have to firmly give me a nudge in the ribs with your foot. You'll turn your back. Still, I'll attempt to get you to throw it again once or twice. Two steps forward, drop the stick. Two steps backward, head cock, tongue out. I'll eventually just lay at your feet, expectantly sneaking glances, chin on my hands. I'll feign indifference but jump up at the sound of your voice, will you throw it again? Will you scratch my ears or rub my belly?
When I see that no, your attention is on yourself or another human, I'll bow my shoulders, and slink away with my tail between my legs. Maybe circle once or twice. Eventually I'm back to my little den, slowly nudging my head out every now and then. The game of fetch is over, and I'm resigned. Or, as resigned as I can be, being the overexuberant puppy that I am. One quarter of me is still prancing back, head cocked to the side again, tongue out again, ready to pounce at any signal that the stick will be thrown again.