Everything’s cuter when it’s a baby. Except maybe Benjamin Button (If you caught that movie you know what I mean.)

Spring is my favorite time of year because there are so many opportunities to witness little baby animals, this new life. One of my favorite things to do is to watch the ducklings at my in-law’s camp up in the mountains, on a small lake. This Memorial day weekend I patiently waited on the camp porch, and was rewarded with a visit from Mama Mallard and her brood of 11 fuzzy babies. They swam by, all in a row. Whenever one of the ducklings went astray, Mama would make a squawk and that baby would skedaddle back into line.

Mama Mallard kept alert for Kelly, too. The camp is a short hike up a hill from the waterfront, but nonetheless Mama was aware that Kelly was out and about, and always seemed to have one eye and one..uh, ear (I’m trying to picture a duck ear here!) directed toward camp activities.

Kelly, for the most part, was oblivious to the ducks. They sometimes came to dine underneath the bird feeder, and when Kelly saw them there, close to the cabin, she’d watch for a while and then let out a “woof” that sent them scattering. The babies never wandered up close to the cabin, however. Mama kept them safely in the reeds along the edge of the waterfront.

What I Learned From My Dog: Well, I was mostly watching ducks here, not my dog. But Kelly was also watching ducks some of the time, so what I learned from watching my dog watching ducks: Sometimes others are going to come under your feeder, and you might not want them there. If they aren’t hurting anything, you should try to be sociable and friendly. That’s what you should do.
Dogs don’t always do this.