Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Three Dog Night...after night, after night, after night

The day we picked up Hampton and Reggie and started loading their things in the truck, I was determined I would stay on top of things during their week stay. After all I have raised six children; I am fully schooled in the matters of prior planning. I was going to make this easy for me and easy for them.

The crates and food/food bowls, the fact that I brought Daisy with me so she could be a part of bringing them home and not Moma just bringing them in, created a need for more space in my little truck. There would have to be two trips. It’s just a short five miles from their house to mine. Shouldn’t be a big deal, so we rolled with it. Reggie, shotgun, Hampton in the back seat with Daisy, no wait, Reggie in the back seat with Hampton and Daisy, no Reggie, shotgun, and Daisy and Hampton in the back seat. Wait, Hampton and Reggie in the back seat and Daisy, shotgun. That was the trip to my house with the first crate, anyway. On the trip back, Reggie called, shotgun, and I had to call rank, as Reggie thought the driver’s seat would be an even better choice. By the time we arrived back at the Hundred Acre Wood, my right arm was in extreme pain. Right away, I remembered a dog seat belt I had failed to use with Daisy. It was left in the coat closet on Shoreside. Yep, this week, we’re gonna put that baby to use.

My arms were feeling like jello from this entire workout and the thought came to me that I picked a great week to lose 10 pounds. Let’s address this here right now. I know you don’t think I need to lose weight and that’s mighty sweet of you to say to. But since I’m carrying the extra and since I’m feeling the sense of out of control, then I am the one who must make the decisions. Since July of last year, I’ve gained ten pounds. My greatest concern is what happens in another year’s time…at my age you can’t play with this…and I want a healthy heart with only the stress my feeble thinking puts on it, not some nasty food. So there.

My arms were feeling like jello from the lifting, tugging, pulling, pushing, and fighting the happiness of a 70 lb dog who wants to roam the cab of my small Tacoma truck, in addition to taking them to the back yard and introducing them to the cables. I’m bound and determined Hume Road will not have a change to claim the attention of these city fellows, who rumor has it, runs and jumps into UPS truck, looking to see what “brown can do” for them. It would have been a sight for you to see Hampton and Reggie, literally drag me into the back yard as if they were introducing me to the scene. They should have been sled dogs…well, if you didn’t mind them taking you for a ride, instead of you guiding them. Flip Flops and potential sled dogs are not the combination needed for a situation of such. I introduced them to the cables that were staked into the ground, strategically placed a distance to the porch so I could take them in and out with no problem. See, that was the misconception I had started with, lining things up so they wouldn’t present problems…getting my ducks in a row so it would go smoothly. How in the world can ANYTHING go smoothly when adding two large dogs to your one?

My ankles began to burn and bruise as each dog, so excited about the new adventure tried to helter skelter all over the back yard, on a fifty foot cable. I couldn’t move fast enough to keep it from wrapping around my feet, getting tangled in my flip flops, raking my skin off, tripping me up. I’m telling you, if you had been here…and stood there laughing or even smiling like you are now, I probably would have lost it. BUT, because, dogs don’t understand, my patience meter was on “superdealwithit” mode.

Dog smiles..Despite the rude awakening they got from the length of the cable while running full force. Despite wrapping themselves around the trees and each other. There were dog smiles, from Daisy, Hampton and Reggie.

Of course, the anxiety was still present and exhibited itself though…let’s say, in keeping with the subject matter, “the back door trots.” I began to imagine the runny presents, getting streaked across the cables…and each other and my hands. Well, you get the picture. So I promptly retrieved bags and removed as much of the brown soup as I could.

Daisy loved having the two male dogs that cables kept at bay. She was smiling and wagging (which in itself is the same, cause even if dogs don’t have a facial smile, they still smile with their tails). Hampton and Daisy had only met a few times. Heck, maybe, just once? But they have a special relationship…like love at first sight. Hampton stands a good two inches taller than Daisy, and it is the sweetest thing to see him gingerly lick the top of her head and she smile as if to say, “I love a man who knows what I like.”

I had anticipated a bit of moping…like a “Gee Mom, WHY!?!” Kinda mope and even accepted the possibility of having to get counseling for Daisy girl after this due to a depression, a feeling of detachment, or like she just didn’t measure up to what Moma wanted. But just like the feeling of, “this is going to go smoothly” I was wrong about this one, too. To see Daisy, in the first hour, chest pounding both Hampton and Reggie, it was apparent she had welcomed them with open paws.


Time for Expectations

Reggie quickly picked up on meditation
Then, we went in. Right away, the list of expectations were made, as I watched Reggie and Hampton blitz through my little cottage and counter surf, chase my cat, jump on every couch and bed, and basically throw their weight around. Hampton, would probably defriend me if he knew I told you this, but I feel safe he won’t find out. Secret Squirrel: he leaks…Yep, he has a leaking problem, and anyone who knows Hampton knows he’s a big dog and so it stands to reason, when he leaks…he leaks big. Daisy would stop by the leakage on the carpet, smell it and look at me. Immediately, the baby gates were broke out and my furry visitors were confined to the hardwood. I was a few moments shy of getting these up before Hampton was able to lovingly lick Pika on the head, nervously and vigorously until she hissed at him. I walked in on this in my bedroom, with Pika on the back of the chair and Hampton’s back paws in the seat, his front paws on the back of the seat, one on each side of Pika, licking the top of her head, like it was an ice cream cone. She may be the one who has to go to counseling. She’s so catty.

I left for work, anxious, but not to the point of bowel distress…relieved a bit as I had left 3 dog shadows safe and comfortable…I was anxious that the guys would bark and whine for hours, that I might get on a call and not be able to come let them out to pee, that when I did let them out to pee that they would drag me around the yard…or the worse possible scenario, bowel distress…yes, in the cages of both, walked through and smeared all over themselves and the confines of their crates.

Again, my fears were put to rest as I came in to let them out…all was well. By the completion of my first “Three Dog Night” I was dog tired.


2nd day

“Early rise, Ma’am!!! I gotta peeeeeee!” I woke at 6:30 am to hear both Hampton and Reggie calling from the living room. Daisy, standing at the side of my bed like a child waiting for Mom to get up on Christmas morning. I talked to them as I let them out…and then I stopped as I noticed the “leaker” was voice activated. As they got outside, I explained that, yes, I realized I had left the wake up time off of the list of expectations given the day before, but 6:30AM was not going to work. Getting in at 2AM and finally getting to bed after tending to their needs…6:30AM was not going to be acceptable. I think Daisy was off taking care of her needs when I announced this and I was certain I would regret her absence during the announcement.

At the Hundred Acre Wood Bed and Breakfast, sometimes we enjoy our meals out of doors and I figured the boys probably don’t picnic often so, first meal on vacation, I happily presented to them outside in the fresh air. Hampton looked at me like I had not gotten the memo. I heard him mumble something about eggs and bacon as he dumped his nutritious bits of canine morsels into the short grass. Down on my knees, as I picked the small bits from the grass, and as Reggie was jumping at the cable to get to Hampton’s share, I developed a vague idea regarding the comment his master made about Reggie’s weight gain. Ole Reg, I believe, was way too familiar with Hammy’s food.

After breakfast was consumed, the morning constitution commenced to take place all over the yard. Of course, the urgent need to get these dropping up so that I don’t have to “handle” them later…made me run in the house to get bags. I scanned for my coffee as I zipped in. Oh, yeah, that! I hadn’t had time yet to even start coffee. I zipped back out and begin the clean up. The bag I had started yesterday, I had sat off to the side of the house. As I put the gatherings into the “poo bag” I had a revelation. If anyone calls you, “hot shit’ OR a “shit bag” take great offense to it…them there, should be fighting words!

Housecleaning came through the bed and breakfast as the occupants were out of their rooms and decided to wash their beddings. All in the washer, housecleaning moved onto, Grace.

Yes, this was my day for Grace…and yes, if there was ever a day I needed Grace…it was after a three dog night. Precious as always, she would walk to the back door and view the dogs. “Hi, dogs!” she’d said. I brushed the three as Grace swung. Push, brush, untangle legs, push, brush. Eventually Grace was insistent with, “Up, Mimi” “Walk? Walk?” I held her off as the Landlord, who had showed up at work, and viewing all the canine activity, walked over to the fence to say hello. The dogs barking, wagging, dancing all went to greet him…even Hampton who was staked further from the fence than Reggie. Hampton? Yes, he comes running and greets the landlord…with his cable…with the stake…right up out of the ground. Who was I fooling, right?

Around the tree the cable went,” pull the tree up, Hammy, honey, let’s see ya do that.” He just smiles and wags and stays oblivious to the fact that he was loose. Grace comes out of the swing to walk, walk…and goes directly to Daisy.They stand beside each other and gaze into the field. Daisy has that effect on those around her. Even Reggie and Hampton have been meditating since they arrived. Hampton was a bit more difficult to catch on and Daisy worked with on a close personal basis. He was so distracted though, bless his doggone heart.

Grace then walked to Reggie who was surprisingly gentle with his greeting. Grace was thrilled. “Hi, dog!” She went to Hampton, remember he’s big, real big. She was not intimidated. Hampton flopped and rolled to his back placing his head in Grace’s lap…gentle Hammy. Grace giggled but kept her defense up. She’s pretty good at that you know…keeping her defense up around big dogs. Her face lines right up with the height of Daisy and Autumn’s tails. There’s been times when she senses the overwhelming knockdown and will sit down to prevent a knockout.



As we return into the house, with all the craziness that creates, “housekeeping” remembers the bedding that was washed while the crates were unoccupied. My washer had in no time developed hair loss. Handfuls of Hampton hair were everywhere and well, left for a better time, as it was lunch time for Gracelyn, who just wasn’t yet ready for the “hair of the dog.”



Meanwhile, the three are playing, Grace safely in the highchair. Hampton, I’m learning is such a gentle lover, as he takes the time to lick Daisy on top of the head, or on the side of her mouth. Reggie, is a grab the girl by the neck, kinda guy. Daisy responds to both. I’m more and more pleased each day as she shows attention and affection to the guys instead of jealously.

 


Gentle Giant

Here, fishy, fishy

And the missing puzzle pieces…oh, did I not mention those? Grace is learning her colors so I got her a wooden puzzle with fish and colors on it. She and I were sitting in the floor of the guest bedroom earlier that morning. I got up and checked on the laundry and found her at the gate in the hallway. The two puzzle pieces I left her with nowhere to be seen. OMG!!! “Grace, baby, where is the pink and white fishes?” and felt my heart drop as she pointed over the gate, where Reggie stood. The panic I’m certain stemmed from the rumor that Reggie ate a blanket and had to have emergency surgery. I wouldn’t’ put it past him to eat two puzzle pieces. I was stressing. I retraced every possible step she could make in that minute or less moment. Nothing. If he chewed them up, they would go through. I think. Oh, geez, is he gagging? The two hour agonizing that took place was brought to rest as I pulled the play pen into my room to contain all of my Grace and take a shower. Yes, in that very short minute, she had dropped the 1 fish 2 fish into the playpen and they had fallen in with the side of the blanket, hiding, testing my character. I was thrilled to find them…there’s some quote…I’m trying to remember…like…”teach a child where to put fish and you will never feel like making the dog vomit?” Something like that…maybe, I should Google it.

“Off!”…”Off!”, I say in my police voice to dearest Reggie, at least 50 times a day, using hand signals, too, of course.


Oh, Garsh, I love the country air!


3rd day

I guess where Daisy was taking care of her toilet needs the day before, her missing the announcement of a rise and shine times, couldn’t be held against her, as she stood at the bed whining at 7AM. “We have guests,” she reminded me, “I haven’t heard them this morning. We must go check.” Oh, yes, Daisy…

It appears, that Reggie is learning the “art of cabling” as this morning he avoids several possible entanglements. Even running over Hampton’s cable to keep it from tying him up. It might have something to do with the morning before when Hampton woke up stupid and blamed it on Reggie. Weaving in and out of Reggie’s space and then as Reggie couldn’t move, Hampton, yes, loving gentle Hampton, attacked Reggie pinning him on his back to the ground. I couldn’t set the water bowl down quick enough and by the time I did it was over. Maybe, he was just missing his Moma and had to act out a bit.

Reggie, for some reason, thinks he has some authority over blackbirds. His commands, of course, are ignored, but do not go unnoticed by Hampton and Daisy. So sympathetic barking kicks in. With one totally focused on birds, the others just throwing out “barks” cause the leader is.

Poor Pika, hasn’t been out of the house since Thursday. Terrorized. Simply put. If she steps out into the living room during the night, Hampton and Reggie bark and throw themselves around in the crates. As I lay in the bed jolted from the few minutes of sleep that I do get..I imagine from the sound of things that Hampton and Reggie have busted holes through the bottom of the crates with their feet and are packing them on their backs like turtles, chasing my poor cat around the living room…probably Tom and Jerry influenced, huh?

4th day

I’d like to say, that every morning I wake up feeling like a new person. But I can’t. Today, I’m truly hurting. Hurting for sleep. My expectations are out the window. Hampton will wake me at 6:30 AM if he pleases. And if I don’t respond he has this snooze button that doesn’t even allow 10 minutes in between alerts. From the moans and barks and whines, I made out, “Woman! Woman! Come on, come on, get up. I’m awake… I know you are, too. Awe, come one, I wanta get outta this crate….”

And so operating on 4.5 hours of sleep now starting my Friday, I feel like a train wreck. Cause I have a schedule today. Lunch with a friend I’ve not seen since 7th grade. I realize that is a long time ago. Like back when we had to stand in front of the car and crank it up to get it started. I also want to get these friendly fellows back to the dog park before I do go to lunch so they can work some ya-ya’s out.

Maybe, it’s the exhaustion…but after I fed Hampton, I hadn’t had my coffee and being sleep deprived, I just took him off the cable and thought like, you know, he would stay there beside me. Never, never trust a male all dressed in black…that smiles at you with a toothy grin, showing you his tongue. Cable removed, he bolted and Daisy with him…and for a short, brief, short moment, I thought of unleashing Reggie, too…Run…little doggies, run free…but that passed as I used my police voice, clapped my hands, whistled and basically made a spectacle of myself. (I’m not sure though it might be one of those analytical situations where we ask if you act like a spectacle and no one is around than are you really a spectacle.) Well, the blitzing went to every inch of my yard, me telling Daisy, “Keep him away from the road!!!!!” Around the front of the house where I could not see them, around each side, back around the back, helter skelter, (yes, Reggie watching with envy), until finally Daisy came to me as I “spectacle-ized” and Hammy bolted into the field, as if my voice was background music for his adventure. I am stressing like none other. He’s going, going, deeper, deeper until suddenly he stops, swats and drops…morning constitution complete, he turns around and comes back. I confused him as he approached and ran at a distance from me. Instead of calling him to come, which obviously, I am clueless as to what language he responds to regarding the word “come” ... I yelled “SIT! Hampton, SIT!” He mumbled something about "geez you can’t just tell a fellow to cut the motor when it’s running top speed" and did his best to comply immediately to the command. Course, my having Daisy standing beside me might have assisted in the reigning in of the male in black. Lured by a blond…confused by another. Women rule.

This day, George remembered the seat harness I requested four days ago…so the trip to the dog park was not a battle of wills between Reggie and I. The ride was pleasant, his window opened about 5 inches and he enjoyed the ride instead of worrying himself the whole drive. Hampton, Reggie, Daisy and Autumn absolutely love each other and the park. I wish I could take them everyday. They are all excellent with the other dogs. I so enjoy seeing them running with ever direction they want …with no danger to worry about or cables to wrap around each other OR my ankles. But…I was mean to George…and apologized over and over. Lack of sleep, I am certain played a big part. But the growling and snarling…just because I woke up stupid didn’t mean I should blame it on him.

Lunch with my friend was delightful, but, too short as I had to get home and go through the routine of freeing them from their crates, peeing them and getting ready for work. I almost forgot to stop by Pet Smart and pick up a special treat for the buds. I promised them I would when I had left. Situated on their cables outside in the yard, they all enjoyed their special treat. No one tried to take the others, everyone finished around the same time. Ode the Joy….

When I brought them back it…I sat on the couch (BTW, I might sit on the couch once a week). That in itself was too much for the accumulating amount of sleep deprivation. Okay, I rarely take naps cause I can’t shut my brain down. On this day, however, with just a few minutes before I had to get dressed, I had a shockingly overwhelming urge…and the remedy came as I set my iphone alarm for ten minutes. Awaking to the alert…the canines did too, we all spun into action.


Day 5

Awe, yes, my weekend has started…unfortunately at 6:30AM. I give up. That’s okay, I say…cause I can nap all day long…whenever I want to after felony prelim and after my 11:00 appointment…and then…I get a text from Becky…”I have a job tonight I can work, can Emily come visit today instead of tomorrow?” SO…….. Today, Emily gets to meet the guests. After court, after my appointment, I’ll go pick her up from day care. The napping will have to wait. 

In between court and my appointment I let the doggies out. After the appointment…around 12…I think I might drop…like really just fall out. You know how you are so tired your mind tells you that you are awake but your eyes have closed? Well, there I was leaving one place, to go pick up my Emily girl, and I got to thinking…not only is this not safe but I will probably not enjoy Em’s visit like this, so I called George…”Dilemma,” I say, “I need a nap.” “I think that’s a good idea,” he says. “No, you don’t understand, I need a nap and a place to nap.” “I can’t nap at my house, I have three dogs.” And so, he prepared his room, and I drove straight there, greeted George, the boys and Autumn and zonked…for an hour. Please don’t tell the dogs.

I advised Emily all the way home, of the guests, their names, how to identify each, and to function in a house with three large dogs. She was not afraid, but excited to meet her new friends. She played out in the backyard with both and learned the cable distance quickly. She also learned to take them by their collar if they got out of hand and give commands. Emily is like her Daddy was as a child. Nothing stopped him…they have unlimited energy, unlimited adventure seeking and unlimited attitude, yes, well, they do. She started getting close to the end of Hampton’s cable and sitting down. I was a bit concerned…cause it only takes a second for something to go wrong. But she rolled around with Hammy…and it was a very familiar scene. She turned to me and said as if reading my mind, “We can call him Winston, right, Mimi?” You know, maybe I’m too soft, but just typing her words makes me tear up. Winston, a hound lab mix, was 14 when he passed…a month after Moma did. Emily loved him so…everyone did. He was the most easy, loving dog ever. So many grandchildren, neighbor children, friends and acquaintances loved Winston. Just seeing and loving on Hampton had reminded Emily of her long lost friend. Bittersweet.




http://aclaypot4him.blogspot.com/2010/08/those-magic-moments.html
  
Reggie had dug his second hole today, this time with Emily listening as I scolded “No, no, Reggie, no digging, Reggie” about the uprooted mess…his nose caked with dirt…I’m holding his collar putting the dirt back in the hole as best I could, Emily leans in and says, “Dogs have brains, too, right?”

Remember how I mentioned Reggie’s rumored weight gain was probably associated with taking Hampton’s food? Well, he hasn’t had one bite of Hampton’s food since he’s been here. He has not taken one of Hampton’s treats. My police presence has a lot to do with it, I’m sure. It does present a problem though as Hampton grazes. I’m learned he eats it all if I stand right there with him as he does. But this morning I had to be in court. So, some of his food was left in the bowl and the bowl placed on the table…in the middle of the table…to discourage the infamous Reggie surfer. Well, at 6PM, Hampton, KNEW it was his and he walks to the table and all around it and in no uncertain words asked me, “Hey, food cop, could I get the rest of that now?” So, I took it down, opened his crate door, he steps in, I set the food down, close the door and he goes right to …with Reggie standing at the side of the crate looking defeated. Hammy finishes goes to the door I open and let him out and again, dinner and justice was served.

Just watching Hampton get taken advantage of and seeing Daisy, too…makes me think how unfair life can be that the sweet loving ones get taken advantage of. Why can’t Alpha’s appreciate peaceful goodness?

Day 6

This morning is no different than any other. You know exactly what time we got up without me even telling you. However, it was apparent as through the night Hampton shook his ears which shook his crate, what seemed like hourly, due to an ear infection…it was apparent, yes, that I had to get him some relief. Emily, who is a late sleeper, awoke at the same time. Hampton is not showing any other signs of distress except for the ear shaking. I believe he must have a high tolerance to pain.

Wow, it’s an even bigger production getting them out for morning pees with a four year old in tow, the grass wet, the air chilly. She tells me she wants clothes on and starts taking off her PJ’s…”Oh, no, baby, Hampton is top priority here…his “pee is to PJ change” as is “scissors are to paper.””

Everyone fed, watered peed and defecefied (Spell check says that’s not a word, HA! Got one on them!)…when suddenly the fox is observed by ALL trying to be sneaking crossing the field. Hampton and Reg on cables, which left my Daisy. With Emily and I beside each other at the edge of the field, Daisy shot off, and we commenced to yell our fool heads off. For this is not the small fox that went through the cat door on the work barn an few days ago and ate the kittens; this is the big fox that from a distance looks almost as big as the coyote that frequents the field. I’m not sure what a fox thinks about Daisy’s and I don’t want to know…I just want her to turn back. She doesn’t. and disappears into the tree line behind the fox. And we wait. I want to grab a weapon and just go save Daisy. She may either get attacked by a fox or somehow make it through the fence in her mad rush and find a way through to Hume road and the inevitable will transpire. I can’t leave though. Common sense tells me, I can’t leave a child behind and run after a dog and a fox. So, we wait. No sounds of squealing tires, no blaring horns, no vicious slinging back in forth movements in the tree line…and then there she appears. Smiling like she saved us or something. Unharmed and running back. Emily is relieved. I’m relieved. Daisy is totally oblivious as to what she just attempted. It all sent us into a big conversation about coyotes and foxes; how if Emily ever sees one in the field she is to run in and tell me. We look at images on the ipad to confirm her knowledge. It was all discussed and I began breakfast, as all the Shepherd’s know, buttery oatmeal pancakes can cure any anxious mind.

Our guests are somewhat bothered by the “road roar” that occurs on a constant basis. Daisy and I got used to it after the first night we slept here. For our guests, I’m not having such luck. It’s all good if the windows are closed, the jumping up in a fit of barking is at a minimum. But the weather … is so nice…and the dog gas is so strong.

By now, those who know me well, know I’m an over achiever and for the most part go easy on me in reference to such. Hampton is real laid back…well, when he’s not excited. One of the times we went out into the back yard this afternoon, I had him on the cable and he began to pee, so I decided while he peed I’d fill the water bowl at the outside spicket. Well, the cable was only so long but I thought it was longer and when it wouldn’t move, without turning away from the water, I yanked it…and it still didn’t move. I turned to see what it was hung on…and Hampton, still peeing, with this look of, “are you serious! I’m trying to pee here,” quickly made me realize I was trying to do too much at once.

Because of my exhaustion, I have limited my weekend to adding only Emily’s overnight and my overtime. No parks with friends, no dinner dates…no additional cleaning, or spontaneous volunteering. I feel like I’ve grounded myself. So far, it’s not cured the sleep issue. Wonder if I went to bed at 8:30 if they would let me sleep till 7:30 still. It’s worth a try.

Day 7

I woke up at 6:50, yes, me…without any dog-aid. Daisy came to the side of the bed, Reg and Hammy started whining. You know, if you have dogs, and you want to lay in the bed for a bed just acclimating to the morning…KEEP YOUR EYES CLOSED!!!! According to George, dogs can smell your eye juice…and as soon as they do, your quiet moment is gone. But since I went to sleep around 8:45 last night I figure after ten hours of blessed sleep it’s perfectly alright for me to get up at 6:50. (Notice how the dogs have “trained” me to accept 0630, amazing) George and I discussed it last night through text…they sleep during the dark hours…so to bed as soon as it gets dark. Today I run Highway Safety from 10PM to 2AM…then Grace will arrive at 7:30 AM…two steps forward, three steps back.

There is something about my camera that rocks Reggie. I try to take a photo and he’s like trying to lick it over and over. Probably cause it’s up close to my mouth and he thinks I’m getting something he’s not. You think I jest. It’s the dumbest thing to hear myself say, “Stop licking my camera!” Repeatedly…he just doesn’t get it. I can’t lay it down in disgust either, cause I’ll turn around and he’ll be licking my camera…”Geez, Reggie, stop licking my camera!”

Whenever I stand up, or walk into the room, Hampton and Reggie stand up…I find myself saying “Awe, now, you don’t need to get up for me, boys.” I know it’s a game I play with myself…cause when I sit down they try to sit in my seat before I do. Manners, spanners, I say.

Another day at the dog park…I wish I could take them all everyday…maybe even sit up a tent…camp there…be confined within the approximate 8 acres…so the dogs can run free. I’m lost my every loving mind.

Finally making it home on a dinner break…I take Daisy, Hampton and Reggie into the field. Have I mentioned what an incredible task this is? Tonight, I felt extra guilty because I had to start work at 2 and these guys have been in the crate for seven hours and still have three hours to go…and I hate it. It’s nothing like the caged bird…and yes, I’m clear on why the crated dog barks.

As I came back up from the field, feeling like it just wasn’t enough, I decided I could set the boys up so I could throw ball while they were on the cables. This has been the only withdraw Daisy has shown throughout the visit. It worked well…until the dance steps with the cables were interrupted by each other, and I stepped in to redirect. About that time, Little Ms Manners, jumped at the ball thrower in my hand and the ball was knocked out of it, falling to the ground. Somewhere around MY feet…Hampton and Reggie already in a tangled mess, Daisy in her “BALL!!!!” mode, Hampton in his “I got this, I’m the man!” Somewhere in the blur of it all, I went down hard. And you know what gets me, is not the pain I’m experiencing in my right wrist as I struggle to get my Class A’s off the grass from under three large dogs fighting over a BALL, it’s not that, but the fact that NOBODY cares that I went down! Unappreciated, I manage to arise to a safe height, detangle them and get everyone settled…back off to the street. Break over. Break? I must have missed something. What I’m not missing is that smell as I drive down the road. I get to the nearest pull off and check my shoes, nothing…There is no ignoring it. Somewhere in the struggle I must have well…I don’t want to even think about it. Not being able to locate the contributing area…I called George. “Honey, I’m gonna need you to smell me…yes, smell me.” Which after explaining the situation he understood my dilemma. Autumn must have overheard the phone conversation because when I stepped in his front door. Bam! She was on it. Smeared into my gun belt like a nice leather softener, her nose went right to it.

Day 8

Again, at 0630, my day is ahead of me and I am crazy with it as I sort and juggle in my head what will take place today. I’m exhausted before an hour as even passed. Grace arrives and the 100 Acre Wood is alive with activity.

I think about all the interesting tidbits I want to mark throughout the day but I just can’t seem to find the time to jot the notes. Today photos get past me, too. Reggie really likes lavender. Wish I could have captured him smelling the lavender blooms…Yes, Reggie…lavender is a very soothing plant…helps calm you…smell all of it you want.

George had promised to pay a morning visit, today. Grace is a lovely child. Daisy, Hampton and Reggie can be a tremendous amount of work, and you would think adding Autumn to the mix would have just increased the load. Sometimes, you just need an adult to be there with you…Reggie and Hampton like him, too. Reggie is enthralled with his goatee. But that’s another picture I missed. So, George does visit, and his addition to the mix was very helpful. Grace always enjoys visits from Papa, too. On day 8, I am barely moving. My neck is stiff, I’m certain from the fall. My wrist has shots of pain when I have to use it…which, is all the time, so, I’m eating ibuprofen.

This is the last full day…I can do this. No complaints from any of the dependants. I’ve managed well. (I’ve learned positive mantras like this)

The dinner break today, Ms Bright, took the dogs back into the field. Tonight I leashed Daisy despite the desire to let her run free. As we came up toward the road that the hay fellers use, passing the tall grasses, I hear the most gosh awful scream. There in the path, we have come up on the fox…the big fox…the fox Daisy likes to chase…and that Reggie and Hampton have yet to have the chance to chase. Evidently if you spook a fox they just stand there and scream like a girl and then take run. You know exactly what happened next. To describe it would be a disappointment, cause I know you are seeing the big black dog digging in his front paws as the sled runner, Daisy in her flight that looks effortless, Reggie with his quick reflexes all pulling me like a flapping kite behind them. But remember I was in Class A’s…My police demeanor was intact and the pulling and fighting was at a minimum as I shouted, “Stop resisting!! Stop resisting!!” I was so not going to go back to work stained by the field and unable to use my right arm. Three big dogs. One officer. Who’s “superdealwithit” meter was falling below the mark so the long arm of the law had to step in. I was back to work on time, without the “tales of the dogs” or the products there of…on my person.

Day 9

Snoopy Dance!!! At 0630…Hampton dear. This is all you. The time to have the dogs home was worked out with their master via text the night before and I tell them so as I pee, water and feed them. 10:00 boys, and it’s Moma time. Reggie looks at me inquisitively, and Hammy stand there with one ear lower than the other and reminds me of the medicine. Hampton sees the ear antibiotic and immediately assumes the position…I haven’t even seen him shake his ears the past few days. He doesn’t like the drops but he’s smart enough to know there is something good about them. And the morning is going really well…until…that dog-gone fox!!! Runs from the barn into the field and Daisy, the field guard spots it right way and takes flight.

Just for the record. I’m gonna get a trap…and I’m going to catch that fox and I’m gonna…well, take photos of it and cart it far far far away. And a stern fussing from me AND Daisy will take place. The story of the Fox and the Hound will never be the same. If I am feeling really mean I might have it stuffed and give it to Daisy for a chew toy. Teach that screaming little troublemaker. Just saying.

Some say “Life is a shitty business.” I agree. Especially after a week of picking up somewhere in the area of 40 piles of it. But it’s been a good experience. Hampton and Reggie vacationed at my house instead of a kennel. Daisy had two boys hanging around to wrestle with. Autumn was like a teen at a summer camp with the “boys, boys.” Emily and Grace thought they were a wonderful addition to their visits. George now calls me the Dog Whisperer. I’ve accomplished something that aided their master in enjoying her vacation and built more character in myself. Yeah, you might think I’m already a character, but you haven’t met Hampton and Reggie. Oh, wait…now you have.


Addition...it's been an hour or so since I posted this...my sister called and asked me what I was going to do special today...and I remembered...I was going to make this posting a tribute to Moma...this being her birthday...and remembering her love for writing, journaling. Happy Birthday, Moma...we would have celebrated your 69th birthday...and teased you about soon to be 70. Miss you...you've been on vacation too long.

2 comments:

Ariel said...

Good gracious!!! I'd be black and blue! Wait, who am I kidding?! I never would've attempted such a feat! SuperWoman!

Jaime Crawford said...

So funny! I'm worn out just reading it! You are amazing! I hope Peanut gives you an easier week...you can always pick him up like a purse, so you will have full control, lol! He's going to have a great time, he loves to run....on a lead of course! Haha. And you know what? I say lose all the weight you want, as long as it's healthy. I don't think you need to, but I'm not you. Do what's right for you and everybody else can just stand back in awe! :)