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an independent dog. [merely-a-thought monday]

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jen pulled the sliding glass door open for the fourth time (within a short visit of potlucking time around the kitchen island) and we all laughed.  sweet henry and chester wanted out.  wanted in.  wanted out.  wanted in.  this is a familiar tune.  dogdog finds it irresistible to demand to go out and then not want to miss anything and want back in.  on repeat.

andrea and scott have two golden retrievers.  impeccably trained, they wait for a sign or a word to do most anything.   they are not the in-and-out-ers that dogga and henry and chester are.  i remember them as calm and happy and i vowed that one day i would have a dog as well-behaved.  this is not that day.

but dogdog is, yes, dogdog-ish.  his sweet face watches our every move, trying to anticipate to which room we might be moving, trying to assess why we are feeling what he knows we are feeling.   he doesn’t like conflict; he doesn’t like the sound of metal touching metal.  it took him a while to warm up to the ukulele (which he now loves and wishes he could play) and the piano draws him into the studio.  he won’t touch food on the counter or the table or really anywhere unless given permission, but his direct eye contact begs for a bite every breakfast.  he destroyed very few things as a puppy (well, the kitchen cabinet door and the table legs count) but de-heads every toy he is given and un-stuffings them.  he bows to all things babycat, yet loves to drag him around and taunts him until babycat asserts his ruling paw.  his aussie-ness makes him intuitively try to keep track of all people and animals in the house, a tiresome and difficult chore when one is peculiarly averse to going upstairs or downstairs.  he is quirky.

on island he was quiet.  here at home he is a barker.  i guess he knew the littlehouse wasn’t his.  he loves errands both places.  he ecstatically runs miles in circles in the backyard and certain names will make his eyes wide and his australian-shepherd-jumping-bean-dog-heart jump with glee. he clocks out of all responsibility late at night, content to quietly languish in whatever room we are in, happy to have pets and go sleepynightnight.  sweet, sweet dogdog emerges from constant-motion dog.

i don’t remember the story we were talking about around jen and brad’s island.  i’m sure it was one of tripper’s many idiosyncratic tales.  we rolled our eyes and laughed.  and brad said, “you should be proud that you raised an independent dog!”

riiiiiight.

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dogga-chip-head [two artists tuesday]

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what you can’t see in this picture of dogdog, his gaze intent on me taking his picture, is that he has a chip on his head.  a tortilla chip.  a mission tortilla chip, to be specific.  gluten free.  dogga loves chips.  he loves to have chips on his head, staying perfectly still with the “leave it” command issued.  even more, he loves when “leave it” is released and he can bend his head down and eat his treasured chip.  he prefers it sans salsa.  good thing, because his aussie hair would be a total mess WITH salsa.  and i hardly think salsa is on his doggadiet (for that matter, neither are chips.)

i have to say, dogdog and babycat pretty much run the show here.  not just merely sponsors, they are producers, directors, screenwriters, actors and extras.  we laugh every time we wake up after a fitful night sleep because babycat has taken up 2/3 of the bed, snoring his way through his peaceful slumber.  we could move him, wake him up, nudge him, anything…but instead he just rules over his two-thirds and we deal with it, yawning and complaining about cramped legs all the next day.

dogdog, on the other hand, sleeps in his crate next to the bed.  he loves loves loves sleepnightnight (his word) time and makes sure that everything happens in the “correct” order.   he goes out.  he runs back in.  jumps on the bed.  and listens.  he waits to hear the water-in-the-fridge spigot filling the coffeepot.  waits to hear the coffee grinder.  waits to hear d put a small amount of nighttime kibble in babycat’s bowl.  waits to hear the container on top of the fridge opened from which d gets his cookie.  waits for his bellybelly (also his word) on the bed and kisses on his sweet head, chipcrumbs mixed in with his messy fur.   day’s end for a dogdog.

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everybody has their thing. [two artists tuesday]

so, we were trying to have a nice backyard.  the pond, the deck, the grasses, the hosta, the barnwood planting stand, the old piano….we were headed in the right direction.  but then there’s dogdog.  he has this THING.  every time we let him out and michele and john’s dogs are out, he races around in a circle, digging into the grass that was there, creating a velodrome (kenosha is known for its velodrome, only not this one.)  we tried various ways to address this, to try and dissuade him from running around in the circle, from ruining the grass that we had painstakingly planted.

finally, we decided it would be far less painful for us to just embrace it.  i went online and ordered an actual highway sign (the european roundabout sign, because he runs clockwise every time and the roundabouts in our country are counter to that.)  we planted a few grasses, put up temporary rope to help the grasses have a chance, pounded in our new sign and sat back to watch.

i mean, EVERYbody has their thing.  sometimes it’s just easier to not fight it.  it’s easier to just, well, laugh.

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enjoy the puddles. [chicken marsala monday]

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dogdog doesn’t like the rain much.  he pretty much avoids the puddles in the backyard…that is, until one neighbor or the other lets their dogs out.  then?  then he doesn’t care; all inhibitions are off and he runs like a maniac, his long aussie hair first flying, then clumping and muddy, joy joy joy on his face.

that’s probably a good lesson for all of us…inhibitions off and joy joy joy. despite the messy puddles and the bad hair day.  my sweet momma used to sign off her letters with “enjoy, enjoy!”  yes.  enjoy, enjoy.

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call it in the air! [flawed cartoon wednesday]

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there is a dog biscuit on the floor in the laundry room in the basement.  i was about to put laundry in the washer when i saw it.  “hmmm…” i thought.  “what is a dog biscuit doing down here?” i wondered.   our courageous dog has never ever been in the basement.  he dislikes stairs.  he is an aussie and, well, if you know any aussies, you know that they have interesting….issues.  one of his, apparently, is that he doesn’t do tight stairwells.  so, knowing this, i am aware that dogdog did not bring a dog biscuit to the basement.  (not to mention the fact that had he had a dog biscuit in his mouth he would have consumed it.)

so.  the mystery.  i can only  assume that one of the mice we seem to have accommodated this winter carried this downstairs for a later snack.  when i picture a mouse carrying a milkbone i’m amazed by its tenacity – it had to be under tremendous stress with its milkbone-burden.  and…where did it get its milkbone from?  we have a tray with dogdog’s “cookies” in the kitchen; i shudder to think of a mouse sitting there evaluating which cookie to steal.  and…furthermore…there are no mouse…ummm….poopies (as i call them) anywhere nearby.  what to think….

by looking at the tiny bites off of dogdog’s cookie in the basement, i think that mice will go to great lengths for a snack.  i guess.

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call it in the air!  loser goes for it. ©️ david robinson