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Since baby was born, Misty has spent time at my parent’s place. She has close to an acre of sloped grassy yard to roam and cats galore to chase, not to mention the extra attention Mom and Dad lavish on her.
Misty’s first post-baby stay was almost three months long, punctuated by brief visits home. Since then, we have worked out a “visitation” schedule. Weekdays, Misty stays home with us and on weekends she stays with my folks. When I brought out the leash Friday morning, Misty did her usual berserk dance, following me impatiently until I buckled her in the front seat of my SUV (yes, she wears a doggie seatbelt).
Today was different from the scheduled doggie drop-off.  I hauled both baby and his carriage along for a stroll in my folk’s shady green backyard.  When I arrived, Dad was perched under the colossal mulberry tree, playing guitar and singing Tennessee folk songs.
My experiment with the stroller failed. Baby was not interested in touring the expanse of grass and trees. Instead, he insisted on sitting in grandma’s lap. Wearing a look of intense concern, the little one watched grandpa strum the guitar and sing.
All the while Misty ran and ran and ran, until her black flecked tongue quadrupled in size, hanging out of her mouth sideways. She eventually flopped down between mom and me, looking contented. It seemed perfectly sensible that the highlight of her week is a visit with my parents.
I remembered growing up in this huge, green backyard. I cavorted and collapsed much like Misty. Life is so peaceful under the cool shade of the mulberry; I think we’ll visit more often. 

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