Thursday, May 1, 2008

What Do They Think?

On a day like today, I wonder what my dogs think. Well, actually, I'm always wondering what my dogs think, but especially on a day like today.

I had too much to do. I have too much to do tomorrow and Saturday. And I have way, way, way too much to do on Monday and Tuesday. When I get too much to do, I get this buzzy thing that is constantly going off in my brain and my gut, and I feel a drummer in This Is Spinal Tap. Like I'm a potentially hazardous substance and sparks could actually and dangerously start flying out of my various body orifices.

Now I have these nine dogs who are pretty good at providing feedback when I'm acting like a human, or exhibiting other disappointing behavior. As I was running around getting ready to run out and do the too much I had to do today, the dogs gave me hints. I literally was running between the bathroom (turn the shower on) through the bedroom (strip off some jammies) into the computer room (answer two emails) back through the bedroom (down to my nekked self) and back into the bathroom (intending to jump in the shower). Only when I turned the corner of the bathroom doorway (at that literal run) I nearly knocked dear Very Old Dog off his rather shakey feet and into the shower stall. I pulled up at the very last second and scooped him into my arms, to prevent bouncing him under the spray.

He was rather taken aback by the unexpected explosion of his servant, and looked at me askance. "Excuse you?" I heard him say quite clearly.

Very Old Dog has been my shadow for fourteen years, only nowadays he doesn't move so fast, and I was flying madly around like a trapped bumble bee banging against an inside window pane. It's quite possible that he was following me into the bathroom on my first fly by to turn on the shower, and he had just arrived when I flew back around to hop in. I don't know. I know he was most displeased.

I had scooped poop before breakfast. Doing it then is so good for my attempts at dieting: breakfast loses its appeal. And I'm sure the commuters driving by feel better about themselves when they see me out in my red flannel jammies with paw prints and bones, which I won in the Kennel Club's Christmas Auction, at six-thirty in the morning with the pooper scooper walking slowly back and forth over the length and breadth of the yard. Pausing every so often to scoop, and then continuing. I used to wave to the commuters, but they were always too embarrassed for me to wave back. They would pretend they needed to turn away just at that second. I still wave to my neighbors; they know me and wave anyway.

After showering and dressing, I let the dogs out and then tucked them in their crates in the dog room with biscuits. There were looks: Oh, it's one of those days. I could just hear the "Hmmmphs" as they took the proffered treats. "Hmmmmph," times nine.

I ran around not getting enough done until three. "Hooray! You're home! Life is grand and we are glad!" Bill had let them out of their crates at lunch time. It was nice enough that the kitchen door could stay open, and his studio door, and they could go in between the house and the yard and the studio as they pleased. Bill had walked Delia after breakfast, so I did three walks of two, three, and three. Even these were not up to standard, as I was on the cell phone, and that detracts. Walking time is about enjoying life. It's about how is everything in dog land, and isn't it great to be out and about, and aren't we lucky to have each other. Not yack yack yack about ads in the Kennel Club Show catalog, or blah blah blah about the new city ordinance. Walk time is our time.

I got sideways looks from the dogs. They knew I was cheating.

And after the walks I had to put them back away. This is felonious behavior. I had gone way beyond misdemeanor. And, because I was out of dog food, I had to put them back away without having fed them. I swear, dear readers, I swear I heard clear as a bell three of them say, "Well, the nerve! The very nerve!" I gave them each two biscuits, trying to buy my way out of trouble.

When I returned from the post office, and the dog food store, and the office supplies store, and other boring places, it was with some trepidation. I took comfort in the forty pound bag of Iams around which my arms were wrapped. I used it like a shield. But I was off the hook. Bill was cooking Italian sausage and mushrooms and onions, The smell of which could make any dog forgive any sin. Our good friends Harvey and Jeanie were over for dinner, and they had been away for a while and the dogs were so happy to have them back. Each dog greeted me like I hadn't broken all the rules all day, and they ate their dinners without a grudge. Then they settled in to wait for the Italian sausage plate lickins and to enjoy our laughter with good friends.

But they all fell asleep a little too quickly tonight. They were pooped. And I wonder. When I'm being so stressed and so unsatisfactorily human, what do my nine little consciences think?

hug your hounds


  1. It reminds me of Agnes, last night, barking barking barking at me because it was bed time and I was still up. Silly girl.

  2. I think your dogs told you at the end of the day, when they greeted you like you hadn't broken a single rule. :) In the end it is all water under the bridge, let's enjoy this yummy dinner and then have some plate lickins. They all love you to the moon and back. Just try not and be so human all the time!

  3. I think they love you no matter what! Me loves mummy and daddy when they happy, grumpy, crazy, in a hurry...

    Cassidy x

  4. We bet the whippets are tired from just wathching your energy, Patience!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  5. I was anxiously waiting for your next post and it was well worth it. I have this ridiculous smile on my face right now. Thanks.

  6. We think that you humans are just down right goofy!

  7. Dear Whippet Servant:

    Dogs think people are so busy with life that they seldom find time to live. We mourn the fact that you, like muzzer, try to pile so many things into the day that pets and hugs get neglected until bedtime. But we forgive you, and we are constantly hopeful that you will someday, sometime, appreciate what you have. Our love.


  8. They're a mirror. They reflect you back to yourself. Its not so much what they think as it is what you see. :-)

  9. Oh, when Mom's busy or too grumpy to pay attention, we don't let her ignore us. One of us will come bug her, taking turns, 'til she gets the idea. Last night Josie finally got her to put us in our beds so we could get a bedtime cookie 'cause it was late. Other nights we bug her to feed us when she's too tired and waits too late.
    We know what's supposed to happen!

    BTW, some lure coursing group is having trials this weekend, and they promised on Saturday after the fun is over they'd let other dogs come try it for a small fee! Mom is so excited, she knows how much I love chasing things. Maybe she'll remember to bring that camera and post some pics!


  10. Mom wanted to say sorry she missed your email you sent her, it went to Spam, she was not ignoring you for a month!

    I get real grumpy when the humans neglect me, but I forgive REAL fast when treats are involved. If there was sausage involved I might be forgiving in advance!!

  11. Dogs know everything. Mine just went to be without me. I should go, too. Think I will.

    Koobie's Mom

  12. Days like yours happen from time to time.
    I give my mom my sad eyes everyday when she leaves to work but I am very happy to see her when she comes back!
    Kisses and hugs

  13. nDear Patience, I,too,would wave!! And all is forgiven when you are once again home for awhile-and they always have faithful Delia servant Bill as backup! Martha and P-Doggy

  14. Patience...

    Watch us smell the Scruffy chase a butterfly and watch us chase Scruffy. Watch us sleep and twitch and us love Mumsie and Daddy even when they're too busy and don't pay us enough the Whippets...and Learn....


  15. Oh yes, that lure coursing was at Oatlands, just up the road from Leesburg where I train agility. My people are laughing at me. Dennis gets out a white sock, shows it to me, and then zips it away and I try to go running for it! They laugh and laugh....

    There were plenty of whippets at Oatlands, I was just too nuts for Mom to take pictures. She forgot a crate! She has a whippet friend, Bobbie, who was helping run the event. She's been lure coursing for ages. I like her whippets!


  16. You know I think our Lilly has some psychic connection with mom. She can tell when Mom is upset, busy, aggravated, etc. etc. Me I don't noticed too much. All I think I notice is when Mom says "Breakies!"

  17. Hi Patience--

    We VERY much appreciated your thoughts about Eight Belles. The tragedy has us so upset that we are going to skip the Preakness, even tho' it's 45 minutes away.

    Yes, Big Brown is GREAT and we think he stands a huge chance to win the Triple Crown. No one can touch him.

    And what do dogs think? They think they want their world to be in order. No funny stuff. They think schedules are dandy and doing the same old fun stuff is good, too. They crave consistency. We think it's boring....but they think an ordered world is a peaceful one.

    Your new pal,

    PS: Check out my tribute to the filly in today's blog.

  18. kingsley's SMay 4, 2008 at 8:38 PM


    Thanks for dropping by my blog.. and i know exactly wat you mean, espeically when i'm too busy to pay attention to my dog. I get paws on my knee, noses in my face.. but at the end of the day, what the dogs are trying to remind you is to take it slow, work will always be there.. you just need take a doggy break!

    love your pictures..

  19. When my one boy feels that I'm all unbalanced he lets me know that a beggin strip will not make up for bad human behavior. That would include not paying attention to the routines on our walk or leaving him all alone for the afternoon. He gets real formal and goes to the yard and refuses to look at me when I speak to him.

  20. I also wonder what dogs think. I guess they probably find that humans are crazy. And they are right!


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