Dog Days are just about over, time for old ladies and dogs to act normal again

It is so dark outside, I can’t see Biscuit when we walk out to the backyard, she just disappears. She comes up to bump my hand now and then, jaunting back to the fence line with her nose to the ground. She would love to catch a cat off guard, run it up a skinny tree. She’s nooooo good. 

Badges stays at my heel, between my legs, or hanging from the sleeve of my shirt. He’s still a puppy – noooooo good! We put our shoes up high where he doesn’t notice them. Lately he’s been attacking a section of drip hose. I couldn’t catch him at it, but it was pretty obvious when the water would start spraying all over the place and look there, somebody keeps dragging the main hose out of the flower bed and punching it full of holes! This is one of our most important sections of drip line – it runs from the only spigot we have on that side of the house, along a section of permanent shrubbery, and then on into our tenant’s yard to water her shrubs. With the Summer heat, stuff would turn brown fast when that thing wasn’t working, so we just had to fix it and try to catch him ripping it up again. He’s a smart dog, he doesn’t like being taken up by the collar and told that he’s been BAD!  

One day I posted myself close by when the timer was supposed to go off. I noticed, Badges was also waiting, laying in the grass staring at the lines. Dogs  are so GD smart. I heard the timer snap on, the water too, very loud. Suddenly the line started to sputter and hiss, and then the emitters came on with a spit-spit — and the furry little bastard just went completely nuts, barking, jumping and biting at it. He must have thought it was some kind of creature, and he was bound and determined to kill it. We had to rerun it from the other side of the fence and hide all the hose we could under the fence,  and get different emitters. 

The biggest milestone we’ve had with Badges lately is we’ve been able to put out a scrap of rug for him to sleep on and he doesn’t rip it to shreds by next morning.  I keep reminding myself the really rotten stuff Biscuit did when she was a puppy – hole digger, furniture trasher, sock stealer – we told ourselves, at least she’s not a cat killer. Cat chaser, maybe, but who isn’t?  She finally calmed down, enough, but she still has a very singular personality, with her stubborn habits, and she gets her way a lot of the time just because she can hold out longer than we can. Rotten, she’s just rotten to the core. 

I don’t know how people live without dogs. The statistics show dog owners live longer, are less often the victims of crime/violence, and have happier and more productive relationships with other humans.  I think people should be required to be responsible for a dog or other pet for at least a year before they have a baby, but that’s just my opinion.

Of course we all know bad pet owners – you wonder why they got a pet, don’t you? Oh well, I try not to judge. I rarely see an act of cruelty worse than leaving a dog home alone all day, which is often unavoidable. My neighbor leaves her dog for long stretches, but when I see how happy that boy is to see his woman, I know he’d wait for her no matter what. That’s a dog for you – we’re hardly worthy, but they love us anyway.

I hate  to leave my dogs but have to sometimes, and of course they act like it’s the end of the world. My son stays with them, and they love him, get real excited when he comes, but he says when we’re gone they won’t eat and fuss about everything. He actually has to stay here and bring them inside at night or they cause all kinds of fuss. 

That’s another good thing to have – children. My sons have grown up into adults I can depend on – what a treasure in a little box, I never even expected to be able to depend on them the way I do now.  I just wanted them to grow up healthy and happy, and now I find, they have grown into wonderful adults, more than I ever dreamed for, like my dad always said, “Good People.” 

That’s another good  thing to have – memories of adults you respected, something to think about when you have a problem or a puzzle, when you’re just plain sad or worried. It’s always nice to remember, what would my parents/grandparents/Aunt Oma Lee and Uncle Roy have done? What would they have told me if I’d asked them about this? You can always find those answers in your memory book, and it’s almost as good as being able to ask them straight to their face.  When I think about or do something I  am not proud of, all I have to do is think about my gramma or my Aunt Oma Lee finding out and my face burns with shame.

The sun is starting to glow along the ground behind my neighbor’s house, some of the stars are fading. Orion is farther across the sky, Dog Days are almost over. Old ladies and dogs can go back to normal. 



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