The sun lowered quickly after they left and the hours ticked away into darkness. Hurt feelings morphed to boredom led by a parade of yawns. But the darkness seemed like a bad sign and worry took over. Was this the last time they would leave? Had wolves taken them on the road or did they find a new home? My panic began to eat away at my energy and I drifted into an uneasy sleep.
Gracie’s squeals of joy sent my sleep off like galloping cattle. That dog is way out of control with her emotions. I often give her a growl to pipe her down, but tonight I was feeling the same relief as she was. I shot out through the cat flap and pressed my nose between the fence posts. Figures were walking by with bundles of Packages.
I could smell the undeniable bouquet of pet shop surprises
I could smell food, sweets, plastics and the undeniable bouquet of Pet Shop Surprises. I didn’t feel angry at Gracie anymore, or at Sandra and Andreas for that matter. I could hardly wait to see what was in the pet shop package. When the sack came into view I jumped and sniffed and laughed and said thank you a million times as I spun and danced across the floor in front of them. There was some talk about Christmas and the sack went into the dining room and the door closed. I was not sure I understood so I went back into the kitchen and sniffed around everywhere to find the expected treats. I looked up at Sandra and she said,
“Well, alright- lets get the bed.”
Shortly she came back with …. I didn’t exactly know what to be honest. I climbed into it, looked around, turned up the floor of it and sniffed everywhere but there were no treats or toys to be found. Then it hit me, ‘Aha! this is a new shape of toy.’ so I grabbed the soft floor cover, put it in my mouth and raced around the kitchen yelling yahoo I am killing the toy, snapping it back and forth and Gracie after me. Oh the joy! But something was wrong, Sandra and Andreas were clearly stressed.
” She thinks its a stuffed animal.”
Sandra said then took it from me. I didn’t really quite get what she was talking about. I watched her put it back in the ‘thingy’ and carry it up the stairs. So Gracie and I followed. Sandra was talking to Andreas about something and so I thought, well I guess I’ll just play with the new toy then.. I got inside thingy and chewed away at the toy.
A disturbing cry from Sandra broke the spell of fun. Both she and Andreas were now upset, no doubt about it. She looked down at me as though I were the greatest disappointment in the world. The joy went out of me. I now felt bad again. Didn’t she love me? What was wrong. I was desperately trying to make sense of things. She gently took the toy from me and patched the hole I made with silver tape then laid it back in the bed with me.
Aha! this toy is not a toy, its a blanket. OK… they could have told me. Once I got used to the idea I started warming up to it. I now quite like my little bed thingy with the tape on it and guard it with a sense of pride.
In the mean time I’m hoping there are real toys in the dining room in that big sack ’cause, you know… a bed?!
I’ve been reading about dog’s depressions and dogs who have Canine Compulsive Disorder which is Obsessive Compulsive disorder in humans.  The focus in many of these papers is drugs. How can animals be treated with drugs and how might that help humans with the same problems. They also talk about breeds that have the gene. OMG, where is the concern about animal psychopathology and environment? Are they just going to breed it out of us? Does that mean that active smart dogs like me will cease to exist because we make poor pets?
I admit to the occasional dust binge but dude (!) If Sandra and Andreas vacuumed more often… I’m just saying.
– Now let’s get serious. I want to talk about animal employment. You may think animals cannot suffer from the effects of unemployment because we don’t use a currency system. But re-think that. Anyone who is given handouts loses a sense of self-worth period. And having something to do, something to contribute to, puzzles to unravel and difficult problems to overcome is what gives us all, non-human animals included a sense of worth and meaning.
Point in case: what do I do around the house day in and day out?
And i am thus affected negatively by these pseudo jobs
I have however, managed to convinced Andreas that he is Luke Skywalker and I am his evil Father. But I digress…
As I sit pondering life in my ill-fitted Padington hat, I have to say, I’m feeling a bit useless. My parents and their parents before them provided love, but they also furnished rat control, guarded livestock and provided an alarm system for the farm. These days dogs are actually asked to not do these things. :O
So what is the meaning of my life? I need a job. That is the whole of it.
The question is how you as a human can help and I don’t know. But I know that many people love to love dogs; Which is different than loving dogs. Believe me, getting a leash slapped on and drug down the path in lieu of an outing, is not helping with the ego. And before you angrily hush our barking, remember, you guys used to love us for our warning systems, I think that is why you started feeding us in the first place. Go figure 🙂
When I was wee, I used to go with Sandra to work. We rode in a noisy truck and I hated the trip. She would try to console me by pointing out cows and horses alongside the roads which admittedly were a nice distraction. But the favorite part of every day was when she’d ask if I recognized where we were. I knew that meant we were getting close to home. And then she’d tell me that we were going to soon be home and see Stevie and Cooper. This meant we were at the mailbox and the agony of the trip was nearly over.
But one day Stevie didn’t come home. Andreas and Sandra were out calling and searching on long walks. They printed up fliers and I heard them say they never mourned because they didn’t want to believe he was gone. Finally one day Sandra said that she thought the Eagles had taken Stevie. And Andreas said he was afraid he had closed him in a building around the farm.
I didn’t really feel all that bad, it’s hard to explain. And it’s been a tremendous burden taking care of his little brother Cooper since he now hangs out with us. But the other day when we were nearly home Sandra accidentally said,
We are almost home, we’ll see Cooper and Stevie…
It was an accident, an old habit. But it made me realize that there is, after all, something missing.
I got sick in the night. Sandra came running after me and examined me thoroughly. She hugged me and gazed into my eyes, then told me to go to bed. I thought since I was sick that the yearly dress up for Lucia would be cancelled in the morning. But I was apparently deemed well enough. On top of it all Gracie was voted as most appropriate for being Lucia. She has light fur, was the reasoning. But I read stuff and I know that human children can be Lucia if they have black hair or even if they are boys. So why are we kept in the stone age? I told Cooper about it and he also became disgruntled. My only solace is the fact that we look grumpy on the photo. Gracie is happy. I guess she deserves some happiness.
If you are wondering what Lucia is, its no big deal. Its kind of a light please come and save me from the darkness kind of a thing the Swedish humans do. You can Google it if you are interested in the madness. Oh alright, here is a link. Lucia for Dummies
If I were going to have a tradition I think something to do with throwing the ball would be perhaps appropriate.
I know I should not be jealous, but I am. She is clearly finding pleasure at the computer, laughing, typing and saying,
‘Oh isn’t she cute.’ ‘Oh I love her!’
Oh, the agony is more like it. So I snuck up on the chair behind her. I laid there looking up at the screen and-
What I found out will blow you away.
The dog she has fallen in love with is the virtual me. I thought this job would deepen her love for the real me.
Parturient montes, nascetur riduculus mus!
Mountains will be in labor, and a ridiculous mouse will be born. So much work and the result is ridiculous