Chloe is a big dog...she weighs about 50 pounds and is VERY strong Trust me. When we walk, if she wants to go somewhere, she's going to go. And she's wild. Crazy. Jumps on people. Barks and growls. She can sound very ferocious. Max, our next to the youngest grandchild, is a little peanut. At a year and a half, he is fearless. The two of them are becoming great buddies.

This may be part of the reason....

Friday morning, Max and I are sitting at the kitchen table in the cabin. Max has a handful of dry cereal on his tray that he is supposed to be eating. He jabbers away at me, telling me stories in Maxspeak, that I pretend to understand. I'm not really paying attention to what else is going on.

Then I notice that Max's little hand keeps reaching down under the table. A big grin spreads across his face and he jabbers at me. Pretty soon, the hand goes under the table again. More jabber.

"Max, no food for Chloe!"

He looks at me. Must be wondering just how serious I am. And slowly, picks up a piece of cereal, and hands it to Chloe under the table. Then a huge grin takes over his face. I am lost. I can't help but laugh at both of them.

And no wonder Chloe doesn't eat until the middle of the night when the grandkids come to visit!

Later in the day, the sweetest fifteen minutes of the summer happened.

Chloe found a small spot on the couch to curl up on. I'm sure she thought she was going to sneak in a nap.  Max was running around the cabin getting into all those things that toddlers do. He noticed Chloe on the couch and went up and patted her paw and laid his head on her. He did this several times, each time turning to me and telling me about it in Maxspeak. Soon, he was trying to climb up on the couch, but there was no room. Pillows and bedding were piled everywhere.

I moved the pillows.

Max pulled himself up on the couch, then leaned over and gave Chloe a big hug and kiss. Then he just laid his little head down on her and sighed. Or maybe the sigh came from Chloe. They were both very content and just stayed there together for awhile. It was seriously the sweetest thing I had ever seen. This great big dog and this little boy, cuddled together. This heartshot will stay with me for a long time. It's one of those moments I wish I could put in a jar and take out when I needed a smile.

But young dogs and toddlers don't stay quiet for long. There was a lick and kiss and then they were both down and on their way.

By the way, "heartshot" isn't my term. It comes from Barry Lane and his books on teaching writing. I just love it.


  1. What a sweet story. You told is so well I could not only picture the details, but I sighed as well. Thanks!

  2. Those heartshots are what keep us going, aren't they? Chloe must be the sweetest dog, Deb. I don't think there are many who would let a toddler, with grasping hands grab on. It is a sweet story. But also, I love the jabber, jabber/Maxspeak. Isn't that the most fun? They know they're supposed to be talking because that's what they've seen, but don't have the 'real' words yet. Such fun. Thank you for sharing so much about your life.

  3. That is truly a heartshot to hold onto. You don't need a photo, your words were perfect to recreate the moment. Love the term Maxspeak!

  4. I agree you don't need the photo, but I honestly thought Max and Chloe were going to fall asleep! (Wishful thinking as I'm waiting for my two little ones to fall asleep for their nap!) Sweet moments and so glad you were able to capture it!

  5. Isn't it wonderful to be a grandma and able to spoil our grandchildren (notice I wrote this after Michelle so she won't see about the spoiling!). I can so picture your grandson and Chloe. Our Max doesn't care for anyone to be by him when he sleeps, so I don't see that happening with the girls. But that is one of those special times for you to remember when we need a smile. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love the expression 'heart shot' and how you used it. I also love the next sentence about pulling the memory out of jar when you need a smile. I think we should all have a jar like that. Maybe one for at school...one for at home...etc. :) What a sweet memory. I'm glad you shared it with us this week. I smiled too.


  7. awww, so sweet! I hope you go through your "heartshot" album in your head frequently to remind yourself of these wonderful moments!

  8. Heartshot indeed. What a beautiful moment and you captured it so well. I just love this bond between Chloe and Max. Also love that Max was smiling as he fed Chloe under the table and was keeping you occupied with his talk so you possibly wouldn't take note. ;) Smart kid already.

  9. As I got to halfway through your piece, I could see the bottom of the slice. My eyes scanned ahead and I noticed there was no photo attached. I was slightly disappointed...until I kept reading and found the sweet picture you painted through words is better than a photo--or a jar for that matter! Anytime you want to return to this moment, just reread this heartshot.

    Thanks for sharing that terminology, btw. I hadn't heard it before.

    1. I really wanted to take a picture, but I was afraid to disturb the scene, so I just have to be content with the picture in my heart.

  10. Your heartshot is as beautiful as any camera could take. Lovely. :-)

  11. This slice was not just a picture but a movie. You were very generous to share it with us. Thank you.

  12. I love your "heartshot"! A moment to be treasured for a long time to come...thanks for sharing these moments! They really do just make your heart so happy!

  13. I love that I could see every little bit of this in my mind, what a lovely term--heartshot. Love the whole image you painted here. You are truly enjoying these moments and memories.

  14. AWWWWW! I love stories with dogs and babies! And you have captured both of these- the high chair and the couch story so beautifully! I have two wild and crazy lab mixes who think nothing of jumping up and licking my face, but then are amazingly gentle when little guys are around. I always wonder how they know…

  15. Super jealous of your sweet post about Max and Chloe...I could see every moment. We are at our lake house...bittersweet...no pup, no kids, no Sammie girl. My husband is just looking at me like hmmmm....hard transition and I'm not sure about all of this without them stuff. But we will be going to see Em, Sam and John in a couple of weeks in Costa Rica before the move to Equador. It is weird when you thought it always would be one way and it is just a shade different. xo nanc


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