As soon as Cadin got the crate unlocked, my aunt and uncle’s energetic puppy came barreling out towards us, a blur of moving legs and brown fur. She jumped up to lick my face and hands, greeting me the way all puppies do.
“Come on Winnie,” Cadin called impatiently from the door.
Before I could even blink an eye, the young lab had already left my side and was racing out the door. We followed her down the stairs, away from the warm house serving as protection from the wind. Winnie quickly did her business and then ran around the yard, chasing the sticks we would throw for her. Her tongue hung out of her mouth, her eyes wide with joy.
Too soon the bitter wind got to be too much to bare. We cut the puppy’s play time short, running back to the shelter of the house. As we locked Winnie back up in her crate, she stared at us with big, sad puppy dog eyes. I ignored her and turned around to head back home. Guilt washed over me, but I did my best not to look back. I knew if I did then I would just be suckered into to letting her back out, and I unfortunately had too much stuff to do to be guilted into playing outside with Winnie.