The big dogs have gone. It was fun and action packed while it lasted. Having just small dogs living here now, one can easily forget what it’s like to live with several large dogs. It’s not just their physical bodies; even their energy takes up more space. And their play – oh dear – the two boys clashing, smashing, and body slamming, with the rumble of thunder from their throats. They had a contest to see who could roar the loudest and sound the most ferocious. All in good play, said they. Did the ground shake when they came running? There was quite a bit of snow to muffle the sound. I kept the little dogs away from them. The boys were single-minded and declared early on that they would not be watching where they were stepping – or landing. Lexi, also a large dog, was too dignified for such silly play. She preferred to sit by the fire and control the coming and going of all dogs into her domain with a simple “look”. Occasionally a group would gather on the threshold, awaiting permission to enter. A dog version of the game “Mother, May I?” She always said yes – even to the Gladiators – if they asked nicely.