Monday, October 8, 2007

Alone With the Dogs

Delia looking for Her Bill

Bill is going to his umptieth high school reunion. He is driving the fifteen hours to go "home" to the small town in South Jersey where he grew up. To reconnect. He is taking a week to visit daughters and grandchildren and cousins and friends in nearby Maryland and Pennsylvania while he's there.

I can't go. I am feeling plenty o'pity for my sorry little self, but there it is.

I just haven't found anyone here whom I would feel comfortable with leaving my nine dogs. Heck, with the absurd number of squirrels populating the sidewalks this autumn, I am not comfortable managing my nine dogs these days. And it's not just the squirrels. It's the steep twisting slippery staircase and the Very Old Dog. It's ancient Maria's delicate tummy. It's the canine "best buddy" status which can so quickly devolve into "get out of my space dog fight" status under times of stress. It's my not being willing to ask anyone to poop scoop after nine dogs, especially if they would be here long enough to have to empty the poop buckets. And I'm watching a dear friend's two dogs this weekend, so we'll actually be eleven.

When we lived at the farm, it was a different story. There were college kids who had grown up on farms who jumped at the opportunity to stay at our house while Bill and I travelled. They took care of the horses and the dogs. It helped that we had about two fenced acres for the dogs, accessible by opening the living room door. And there were no stairs from hell. And no one had to scoop. And, to be fair, none of the dogs were so geriatric and fragile.

So. It's me and the dogs. Of course there are some fun things when Bill's away. I can have cereal every night for dinner! Um. And... Um. Oh, and some sweet friends invited me out one night, to which I am really looking forward. And... Um... OK, so that's all that is fun about when Bill is away. I actually hate it. His poor Delia dog is beyond distraught. I've already had to let her in the studio to show her he's not in there twice and it's only ten-thirty and he didn't leave until eight-thirty and then I walked everyone. And she's on my lap now as I type. (I am a poor substitute for Her Bill, but I'm all there is.)

Getting the dogs out in the morning will be a good aerobic exercise for me. The normal routine is

  • Bill goes down and makes coffee and writes in his journal

  • I carry Very Old Dog down, along with fragile Maria, and Fat Charlie and Mama Pajama

  • Bill opens the kitchen door for them and makes sure Very Old Dog doesn't come back upstairs to find me

  • I go back upstairs and let bossy Delia and Luciano out, following them to the top of the stairs to make sure they go down and don't wait in ambush for the clueless youngsters. Bill calls them from the kitchen and shews them out.

  • I go back to the bedroom and let Sam I Am and the yearlings, Swede William and Lindy Loo out and go downstairs with them.

  • I pick up poop while the dogs hang with Bill.

  • I feed the dogs their breakfast.

  • Bill and I have coffee and discuss the news in the paper and the state of Our World.

  • Bill walks Delia and Luciano while I eat.

  • Bill eats while I walk the rest in twos.

We are a well-oiled machine. You can see how that machine gets its gears grinding wrong when a part goes all missing.

But we'll make do. We'll do great. And we'll all do happy dances when Our Bill gets home. And we'll tell him we were fine and we didn't miss him a bit. And then we'll tell him that was a big lie and we're so much better when we can hug him.


  1. Oh, Patience, what a daunting morning schedule you have!
    I just love that picture of Delia, she's just gorgeous. I also love her face which you can't see in this photo.
    I hope the time goes quickly for you and the Warburton Waggle till Bill's return.
    Please keep us posted as to how you're doing.
    Sheila & Lady

  2. Delia is absolutely STUNNING!! :-)
    Fun to see a new photo of her looking so great!

  3. After driving 9 hours I stopped for dinner and a room in a Holiday Inn in Pulaski, VA. All was well until I checked your blog and saw the picture of Delia...It made me sad. I miss her already.
    Oh, and I miss you to!!!!

  4. I've just found you - what a super blog! I could (and probably will) spend ages looking at it. Thank you!

  5. You guys must have great butts from all that walking. Nice to meet you! Come by and visit my blog. I'm just one, but there's always lots of dog sitting going on.


  6. Patience,
    Thank you so much for visiting me and leaving your calling card.

    I love dogs but my husband won't let us have any because I have adopted 6 cats. People have actually left them on my porch because they know I'll take them in. So I love animal lovers.

    And BTW, I'm LOVING the Italian names...


  7. Well "I" would look after your nine sweet dogs if I could...with glee!

    Poor Delia though...looking for the missing papa. That is so precious.

  8. Hello!

    I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I'd like to request permission to use the photograph you have posted in this book. Please contact me at, and I'd be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.



  9. I'm working my way back through your blog from the beginning, and when I came to this one today it made me sad. ️️Hugs again to you both.


Love your comments! Love them we do. Don't be bashful! Thank you for visiting :-)