I first met Topper in June, just before we all headed up to Maine for the summer. Cousin to Flo (their mothers are sisters), Topper came in a 6-pack (it was a litter of 8 puppies, and 2 stayed home with their mom) with Brian Meany from Syracuse, NY for me to photograph at my studio.
Although Topper was a stellar model, bright and calm and adorable, I had no intention of getting another puppy. Three dogs is more than enough. Bobbin, age 13, has become quite a lot of work and Flo is pretty ridiculous. Candy is no trouble, but when I walk them the leashes get braided as they weave down the sidewalk in NYC.
So after a few days of shooting, I said goodbye to Brian, and to Topper and the other puppies, and we left for Maine.
The dogs quickly settled back into their Maine routine, but after a couple of days I began to feel sorry for Flo. Candy and Bobbin couldn't keep up with her on our bike rides, or miles long treks through the woods. I kept thinking about Topper. He was energetic, but steady. He could be a perfect companion for Flo, and for us.
So I asked my wife Christine if maybe we should get Topper after all, and to my surprise she immediately said yes. So then I called Brian Meany and he immediately said yes. As luck would have it, Brian was scheduled to meet up with friends in Maine and he bring Topper up to Bowdoin College, where my show Hello Nature was due to be opening in a few days.
Topper was sweet and calm at the opening, had a quiet ride back to Rangeley. He spent the next several weeks exploring the woods and the lake, just like Flo did last summer.
Though I'd had some worries -- mainly that bossy Flo, who is more demanding than any puppy I have ever raised, would be jealous -- they proved to be short lived. Flo and Topper are highly charged and loving playmates. We just stand back and watch the show.
Bobbin and Candy are fine with this. They are grown-ups.
Check back tomorrow and every day this week for Topper photos, videos and more!