For someone who does nothing but bitch, moan, and whine about too much responsibility and not enough time or money, I do awfully stupid things. For one, I’ve got this family of feral cats in my basement. (That’s the next post). Second, I agreed to dog-sit Blackie and Duke for My Dearest Friend yet again.
Duke, as previously noted, has a knack of lying exactly where he’ll be most in the way. Sometimes that’s in front of the fridge or dishwasher, sometimes it’s in a doorway, sometimes you simply turn around and trip over him.
We have a very narrow passage from the front entrance hall into the kitchen. When Duke lies down there, if Our Best Friend wants to get past him into the kitchen, Duke growls. Poor OBF just stands there, looking confused. I have to drag Duke out of the way so OBF can make it to the water bowl.
Meanwhile, Our Best Friend has always shown the greatest deference to Blackie. But last Saturday, she tried to join in on a little romp he was having with Glory and his toy tire. Suddenly, there was a flash of snapping and snarling. Blackie leaped backwards, and scurried to my side, making the most G-d-awful sounds I’ve ever heard. (Remember, this is a dog who never barks.) She sounded more like a yowling cat than a dog. I checked her over, sure I’d find her intestines ripped out, or at least a punctured ear. Nope. Not a mark on her. Our Best Friend has a way of getting in other dogs’ faces, without touching them, that FREAKS THEM OUT COMPLETELY .
And then there’s the matter of the bowels. A few years ago, Blackie took to pooping in My Dearest Friend’s basement. Then she started doing the same here. This summer they’ve been confined to the upstairs, partly because of the cats, but also because I don’t want Blackie pooping on my brand-new carpet. So someone (and I have to confess we never caught her in the act) started showing her discontent by pooping in The Eldest’s bedroom. The Eldest was not amused; we solved that issue by keeping her bedroom door shut.
So this visit was a little more fraught than past ones, and to top it off, My Dearest Friend shaved Blackie; we can barely recognize her. But she still demands my attention by sticking her nose under my wrist and flipping my hand off the keyboard to scratch her ears, so I know it’s really her. (And she doesn’t take no for an answer. Try typing job application e-mails without your right hand.)
Still, they’re the same love-sluts they’ve always been. At the dog park, Blackie is always at my side. I look around, and there’s Duke, cuddling a perfect stranger. Our Best Friend is perfectly content to sleep in the other room; Blackie and Duke are always in whatever room I’m in. Call OBF or Duke, and Blackie immediately follows. Even now, as I type, Duke is lying right beside me, close as he can get. Our Best Friend finds sleeping with the humans too hot; I find sleeping with Blackie and Duke a bit crowded.
And then there’s the matter of time. Blackie is 11; I don’t know how many more chance I’ll have to bask in her unconditional love. Blackie is my ♥ dog. Other than the basement pooping, she’s never caused me a second of stress or concern. I can let her out back without a leash. I have zero worries of her biting anyone. There will never, ever, be another Blackie. And summer is my only time to be with her.
They go home today, but I can have them back for a bit at the end of the month if I want. We’ll see. I may be out of town. The barking *is* driving me mad. They frighten the kitties in the basement. With the humidex at 39° (102° F), even the dog park is out of the question. And someone keeps barfing on the dog bed.
It’s like that old parable. A man complains his home is to small, so the rabbi advises him to bring in the goat, and then the chickens, then the cow, and finally the horse. He cries to the rabbi he can no longer move, and the rabbi tells him to take the animals back out out. Suddenly the house is a palace, with plenty of space. One dog barking is more tolerable than two, one dog shedding is more tolerable than three. Time to reclaim my home… and to try not to miss Blackie too much.
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