It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Doggy tales

We have a puppy. Indie. The breed is anyone’s guess. Lab-husky mix, we’re told. But I’m thinking the experts have missed a breed. Lab, maybe (which would explain the gentle nature); husky, maybe (that would explain the curly tail); but squirrel-hound? ABSOLUTELY.

She’s decent on a leash (not great; obedience lessons are being scoped out even as we speak), but decent … until she sees a squirrel. (The human body is well-designed, you know. Those arms of ours? They’re really firmly attached.) Pull back on the lead (with both hands) and she does the Squirrel Dance, hopping along on her hind legs. Get to the tree, and she does the Squirrel Launch: she’ll leap straight up that tree a good six feet. Because one day, she is going to CATCH one of those things.

(She’s maybe part whippet, too? Or cat? Or kangaroo?) Squirrels make Indie’s little heart go pitter-pat. Squirrels are her drug: the Adrenaline Rush of the century.

And today? Today she discovered a new kind of squirrel. A heavy-set squirrel. A squirrel with a squarish body, stumpy legs, sleepy eyes. It was black, not the usual grey, and while it had the usual puffy tail, this one had a broad white stripe down the middle. Cool! Better yet, it was the slowest damned squirrel Indie had ever seen!

Thankfully, the man at the other end of the leash also saw the new squirrel, just about the time the squirrel saw them. UP went the tail like a flag. BACK went the man with the leash. Indie was MOST disappointed to be hauled bodily back down the sidewalk. In the COMPLETE OPPOSITE DIRECTION TO THE SQUIRREL! A squirrel that DIDN’T RUN AWAY! Man and dog struggled with their competing agendas. “But it’s JUST STANDING THERE! I could CATCH that one!”

Man prevailed. Man and dog returned home, odour-free. Thank God. That little jaunt into dog-ownership I can live without…

Despite his arbitrary refusal to let her catch the Slowest Squirrel on the Planet, Indie has bonded with the man at the end of the leash, aka THE MOST IMPORTANT HUMAN IN THE UNIVERSE. While I tend to agree with her choice, she has achieved levels of devotion to my husband that he’ll never see in me. For which he is probably grateful, all in all, but from a dog, it’s kind of appealing.

I work from home. Indie is not left alone. Given that I work with a passel of tots and there are also a couple of teens in residence, she’s far from alone. But when that man goes out the door in the morning, she stands at the door, whimpering softly. Then she hops onto the couch to peer out the front window, and whines a little more.

A little lovin’ brings her back to her happy self, but when, at the end of the day the man appears again, there is nowhere else she’d rather be.

Now THAT’S devotion.

August 19, 2008 Posted by | my kids | , , , , | 14 Comments

Live-blogging at Mary’s: Skunks, sleeping and saving

Live-blogging can be intense, so I thought I’d be easy with myself the first time and start with two children only. What follows is a few minutes of Emily and Nigel, before the other children arrived:

“I’m not a dinosaur, I’m your mama.”
“But you are a mama dinosaur.”
“Okay!”

“I am a skunk.”
“I’ll be the baby skunk and you be the mommy skunk.”
“Okay. Hello, baby!” (FYI: Nigel is the mommy skunk.)
“Where are we going?”
“To our home. We live in a box in a hole.”
“Something is in our box!”
“Let’s crawl, let’s go, we have… we have… We walk like this, baby skunk!” And Nigel ‘crawls’ away, on hands and feet, butt in the air.
“I’m gon sleep on this couch.”
“And I’m gon sweep on this couch.”
“Ouch. This couch is hurtin’ me.”
“That couch doesn’t hurt you.”
“No.”

“It’s sunny outside today.”
“We won’t have breakfast today.”
“Let’s go home again.”
“Okay, it’s this way!”
“I’ll be the baby skunk, and you be the mommy skunk.” (Now Emily is the mommy skunk.)
“Where are we going, baby skunk?”
“We are going to our home.”
“That’s where we stink, in our home.”
“I need a mattress.”
“And food. This is food in the mattress.”
“In my tummy.”
“Is that breakfast in your tummy?”

“I’m making mattresses so I can sleep.”
“This is my mattress.”
“This is mine.”
“Goodnight, baby skunk!”
“Goodnight, mummy skunk!”

“I need a blanket. Do you need a blanket?”
“Nope.”
“We can both sleep with it, if we want to.”
“Nope. It is just time for you to stop talkin’ and go a sleep.”

“I can be the princess and you can come save me.”
“I’ll come save you.”
“I live in a castle.”
“I live in a biiiig castle.”
“Yes, and we will SLEEP in it, okay?”
“But there’s no doors and steps in it.”
“Yes, there is a door and a step, see? You go in the castle, okay?”
“I can’t do it.”
“But you can sleep in it, right?”
“Yes.”
“You can go somewhere else, and I’ll sleep in this castle. Go. Go to your castle.”
“Okay, I’ll sleep here.”
“Come save me now.”
“Okay, okay, I’m coming. There. Now I will sleep.”

“Oh, the princess is a skunk. The princess is a baby skunk.”
“And a mommy skunk?”
“No, I am sleeping over there. I always sleep over there.”
“I’m really tired.”
“And I am a skunk.”
“Me, too. A tired skunk.”
“Yes, and now I can go to sleep! That feels better, that feels better.”

“Can you turn off the light, please, mama?”
“Sure!”

“Mary, I have to go pee.”
“Okay, you go pee, then.”
“I’m goin’ pee, Emily.”
“Okay. See you soon!”

The end. My fingers are tired.

June 25, 2008 Posted by | the things they say! | , , , , | 7 Comments