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There is a stage of childhood that I’ve often called, “the puppy stage”. Not yet at the age of reason or enough experience to know they can’t do everything they’d like without sometimes having serious consequences, parents and guardians help to teach them not to do things that might hurt them. Such things as touching the top of a hot stove are often met with a light swat on the hand to get their attention when repeatedly taking their tiny hands away from the flames isn’t working.

It is not unlike taking a rolled newspaper to the tooshie of a little puppy or swatting it on your hand to make a loud noise when that little puppy begins to chew on your favorite shoes. It doesn’t hurt them (or you) if used correctly, but it will startle them enough to pay attention. Soon enough they will associate the little swat with the shoe chewing and will stop doing destructive behaviors.

Never was this term more true than with the youngest grandbaby we affectionally call “header baby”.

Puppies and grown dogs often greet each other by sniffing the rear end of the other. Their sensitive noses tell stories about where the other dog has been, what it had for lunch, who their owners are, their names, addresses, and cell phone numbers.

Well, maybe not the phone numbers. They don’t have opposable thumbs for typing. But you get the idea.

One day, while mommy was kneeling on the floor trying to work on a project, header baby came up behind her. He clutched her legs from behind with his chubby little hands and began rubbing his face on her backside.

“Look!” I said. “He’s a puppy!”

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