Category Archives: dogs
At least that is what I think is going on. There must be two or three of them walking around after we go to bed. They are harmless for the most part. The past couple of nights we have gone to bed, tucking our bodies under the sheets and falling asleep, knowing the kitchen is clean, the lights are out and the coffee is ready to start, early enough that all I have to do is go down and pour a fresh cup of hot Michigan Cherry coffee. This is the high point of my morning.
The haunting isn’t violent, but it can be a little distracting. I come down at 3:30 in the morning—I know, to damn early—to find game systems moved from one room to another with the cords spread out across the floor making me actually wake up before I want to so I can position my feet safely.
Blankets that were once folded neatly on the couch are crumpled on the cushions or lying on the floor next to glasses half full of water—think “Signs”. Just the other night they must have ventured outside for a midnight stroll because the front door was left ajar. They may leave a few dishes in the sink or pour food down the garbage disposal that doesn’t work—which is never a fun clean up—but they never leave it like I do before climbing the steps to the bedroom. They have even gone so far as opening the back of my van and helping themselves to my stash of Mountain Dew. I know this because they never close the tail gate all the way.
I suppose they must have made friends with Billie, our guard Whippet, because he doesn’t bark at all.
Last night, I witnessed my wife pour the water into the reservoir of the coffee pot, put the filter containing enough grounds for a full pot of coffee in the basket, and set the timer to go off at 2:45 am. I know she did it because I usually do this ritualistic chore every night.
This morning, at 3:00 am, as I follow one whippet and the iggys down the well-lighted steps (hall light was turned off last night) I spot the empty coffee pot. Quickly I shove the dogs out into the rain and investigate closely; the basket is empty, the reservoir is empty and the switch is in the “on” position yet it is off. ‘WTF!’ I quickly, as quickly as I can this early, fill it with water, grab filter and coffee to fill the basket and turn it on. Just these acts alone awoke me well enough to discover that the coffee pot still had six cups of water in it. I turned off the pot right before the hot liquid spilled over the rim and started the whole process again.
Finally at 3:30 I had the dogs in, coffee made and had a chance to sit down and enjoy my coffee. Later, as I was making breakfast, I noticed a filter full of coffee grounds (unused) sitting on the counter top across from the coffee pot. It felt a little heavier than normal when I put it in the basket and began pot number two. The finished product had doubled in strength than what we normally drink in the morning, but we were awake and that was the whole objective.
So in the Spirit of Christmas, I would like to thank the ghosts that eat our food, thus making us buy more food to keep the fridge stocked, leaving the lights on in the hallway so I don’t fall down the steps when I am not awake yet. For making me check the back of my van for undesirable persons or terrorists, scaring away any possible intruders by making loud growling noises, since the whippets and iggys sort of fail at that, and for just being there to keep me on my toes.
However…I do have one little request, please don’t frack with the coffee maker. It makes some spirits a little irritable.
Since I have been working only half days three days a week I decided those afternoons I am off would be a great time to walk the dogs. My only issue is sometimes it is difficult to control three forty pound Whippets and two ten pound Italian Greyhounds at the same time. (I know – I should do them all in one day – but they get plenty of exercise if they are outside for thirty minutes to an hour.) There is only one problem with doing them one at a time; the other five like to protest. At least I don’t have to listen to it until I return.
Yesterday was Bilee’s turn.
He isn’t the heaviest, but he is a fast walker which means I am constantly pulling him back. Not to mention he is a little dense at times – lights on, no one is home. He was very excited to take his walk and eventually calmed down so I could put his leash on him and we started out – to the discontent of the rest of the pack. I began with an iPod, my smartphone (measuring the distance), an empty poop bag and clean hands. Because he is very hyper he was bouncing around and I lost the bag. Of course I didn’t realize this until he decided to take a dump on the sidewalk. I continued on, no bag and a dog that kept wanting to run after every noise. As I hit the mile mark of the journey I saw a coupon bag in the middle of the street.
‘This would do well enough.’ I thought. Most dog owners would not worry about their dog dropping a load in the middle of someone’s sidewalk – but I do. My normal route would wrap me back the way I came so I would be able to pick it up.
A few minutes later, my phone rings, an unlisted number. It is the cardiologist that was working on my mom over the weekend and they were calling to make a follow up appointment. They claimed they didn’t have her phone number but I know they did. It is hard enough to read that screen so I told them I would call them back in about twenty minutes but I needed their number. I suddenly got the bright idea of sending a text to my mom, but first I had to get to the application. This is something I don’t normally do but I managed, throwing Bilee’s leash on the ground and stepping on it so he would not run away and I could use both hands while I held on to the empty bag. Finally I manage to send the text message to mom with the phone number, name and people that are calling me telling her to call them as I was talking to the lady that called me. (It is very difficult to see that screen in the daylight). Before I finished, Bilee saw something a lot more interesting them watching me play with my phone and he started to take off. He almost got away, but I grabbed the leash in time yet I dropped the bag. A cold gust of wind grabbed it before I could and the bag disappeared.
I continue on – getting more pissed at this dog every minute. He is the only one that cannot just walk and ignore everything else. He is also the only one that takes a dump during the walk.
I saw visions of me getting home, grabbing a bag and driving to the spot where Bilee left the present. Then I smiled, there in the middle of the sidewalk – another bag! This one is smaller and cheaper than the last one. I continue on…find the poop and manage to pick it up as Billie is trying to get away to catch a tree bunny, again. I’m not laughing as my fingers break through the bag and I now have Billie’s little present all over my hands. Then my mom texts me, “What’s the rush, I’ll get to it!” So now I have to call her, as I am juggling a bag of poop, a dog and earphones that just do not want to stay in my ear on this windy day. I try to explain the situation to her – but with the wind blowing harder she can’t hear me so I end up raising my voice and now I am yelling at her.
I think Bilee either got worn out or knew I was having a bad walk because for the next few minutes – until we got home – he walked slower, head and eyes straight ahead and ears flat against his head.
I don’t think I will be taking him for a walk next week.
Today – I’m taking a twelve pound Iggy (Italian Greyhound).
Authors note: I wrote this last week for the Mention Monday, but it got lost because of
a case of stupidity a computer error. I am glad I found it. If you ever wondered “What are they really thinking?” read on!
The Ancient One awakens, first startled by the sound of foot prints sinking into the surrounding carpet. ‘Is it time? he wonders as the creature that woke him up releases the bouncing little young ones. They drive him nuts and he knows they are bothering him on purpose. No matter how much he tries to grab them to settle down, they just move too fast for him. ‘I am so happy there are only two of those,’ he thinks. As he tries to lift his weight off the floor the door closes so he lies back down.
It seems like an eternity to him, he is thirsty, hungry and he wants to play in the ‘outside’ as his pack leaders call it. He doesn’t have to wait long, the Master that left returns carrying the two little ones that hop. He calls them trouble1 and trouble2. Trouble2 smells of pee.
The Troubles are returned to their cage and the leader walks out – leaving the door open! This is his chance, the ancient one thinks, as he uses all of his strength to raise his old body. He stumbles along, walking up and down the hallway in search of an open bowl to drink from. It figures that this Master has closed them all. ‘He does that every morning because the smaller younger Masters never listen as well as I do.’ Giving up his search, he realizes that he too must go ‘outside’ because it is time. The ancient one continues his journey through the dark house until his ears pick up the click clack of someone tapping in one of the rooms. He enters the room, waiting for his old eyes to adjust. Now he sees him, the glow of two dimmly lit monitors and the well used keyboard highlighting his face.
He smiles, as best he can, and wags his thick 13 inch tail, banging it on the wall. The Leader raises his head, the dark brown eyes looking over the black framed glasses, and the Master lets out a long sigh. He rises from his workspace, the body cracking in joints he didn’t remember having and the ancient one is happy, once again.
His tall lean body seems to bend like a snake as he turns around and heads back into the hallway. At the top of the steps leading down into the dark depths of the house he pauses, glancing at the Master with the never ending frown on his face. He looks down the treacherous steps, he has taken the easy way before, and it was quicker that one time he did a belly slide. He’s had a little more trouble getting up recently and he didn’t want to chance it again. He waits, looking up and then down the steps, waiting for the stupid human to get the message. It doesn’t take as long as it usually does. The light comes on as he grumbles.
With carefully measured steps, one at a time, he makes it down the stairs, almost losing his footing when he touches the floor as each leg tries to go in a different direction. He catches himself quickly and lumbers on; the Master is in front of him as it should be. He has to take each step carefully because the soft things covering the floor, rugs, he thinks they are called, have been disappearing. No one hears him when he tells them he really has to go to the outside, and if he is old, well he cannot do anything about that. Sometimes he can’t hold it.
Finally he feels the cold wind on his face; the ‘outside’ is getting closer. It is a little slippery out on the white stuff, but it tastes good and is almost as good as water. The coldness numbs his tongue so his noise is low and hushed. He walks around the guard points, making sure all is as it was yesterday and no intruders have entered the area. Once he feels all is safe, it is time to return.
But he is lost, turned around and disoriented, his brain can’t remember directions anymore and sometimes he can’t even see. He remembered the time he ran into Master and fell down. Noise and smiles came from the Masters, young and old. He felt embarrassed, but couldn’t figure out why!
Finally, he spots the light that leads to the inside and soon stands in front of the door. He can’t see anyone moving around so he tries to tell them he is done and wants to come inside where it is warm. As his noise becomes more urgent the Master finally opens the door.
Safely inside, he shakes any of the cold white stuff off that he can, almost falling on his chest again. The Master disappears after the entrance is closed so the old one follows. Soon he comes to more steps – these are going up – that’s where his Master went. One sniff of the ground and he smells the fresh scent lingering over the older ones. His mind is slow, but he recognizes all, the Troubles’, the medium ones that look like the Troubles, there are three of them, one female, he likes the female best but they won’t let him do what he is supposed to do when it is her time. The Masters keep saying ‘No Komopitts!’ He calls them the Chasers
He focuses his mind; he needs to get upstairs and soon stands above the slanted drop off. That was a little tiring so he decides to patrol, making sure all the Masters are home safe and sound. One is missing. He walks to the room she is usually in, sniffs the Master at the desk, the garbage can, the Master makes a horrible sound and he backs away. More pacing until he feels the urge and once again stares at the Master, one soft throat clearing cough gets his Master’s attention and he is also glared at for his efforts.
The Master smashes his hands to the desk and stands up. Once again – he takes the treacherous steps to the solid level where he is let out again. After remembering why he returned to the cold outside he heads to his favorite spot and marks it as his own. This time it takes a while longer for the Master to come when he calls. ‘Master is not happy, maybe he is doing something.’
After another slow climb, he makes it to the top of the stairs again and decides that this will make a great place to watch over things. His eyes close only for a few moments…
…they open again as the Troubles and the Chasers (called that because they chase after everything – and he hates them because he can’t) are suddenly jumping over him and running down the dangerous steps, “be careful!” he calls to them but they don’t listen. Now both the Masters are up and tell him to move down the treacherous incline again. Not very eagerly he does what they say and is forced, (this time against his will!) back to the Outside. It is colder now; more snow to eat, more walking the designated path checking the line – no breaches again.
It seems like forever since he was forced out here, but he wants to be with his Masters, especially the one that feeds him – but that one is missing today. Suddenly; he hears his Masters footfalls by the door. It is time! But wait… he isn’t letting him inside to enjoy the warmth, just the Chasers and the Troubles! “Don’t forget me! I want to come too! I’m still out here!” he protests in vain.
Finally, they let him back in. No further than where the food is created. He lies on the floor, closes his eyes and sleeps again; waiting till the next time one of the Masters comes back. He knows they are gone, he can’t smell them, but he can smell one and the noisy ones. He sighs, ‘it feels like I did this yesterday…’
I met my wife a little over 9 years ago. She told me she had a couple of dogs. I think it was a little bit more than a couple. The first day I actually visited her house I rang the doorbell to the sound of what I thought were an army of dogs.
I didn’t meet them right away, we watched some DVD’s on her ex-husbands big screen TV with his super expensive DVD player. Then I met the dogs: one very calm and polite Airedale, two watchful Komondors, one male, and one female about 5 years old, their showing days over, they were now retired. She also had one Komondor that was about two years old, her showing days had just begun.
About a week after she tossed her ex to the curb, the older Komondors decided to have a little unauthorized fun. The heavy breathing woke her up, but she didn’t want to deal with it. I don’t blame her. The outcome was nine puppies. Yes, she had a total of 13 dogs!
My mind was saying “Run!” My heart wasn’t. I stayed, married her eventually. Attended her dog shows for a while and a little ways down the road of life; we managed to sell off or give away the nine puppies and the youngest of the pack. We were left with three. Now three dogs I can handle!
Soon after we settled down and stopped showing, a cat followed the daughter home (yeah, right!). We decide to keep it, even if the Airedale was known for catching cats, it stayed in her room.
A couple years down the road, the Airedale died of cancer, a very sad time for all; she was a Champion and always well behaved. We were now happy with two, it was easy – except for when the female went into heat and we had to separate them. She could have taken care of that, but both dogs were approaching old age now. She didn’t want to risk it.
Four years ago, the female started slowing down, and we decided to get one more dog. I choose this time, a Whippet. Known for their speed and prey drive these dogs were awesome racers, and that is a main reason why we got them. I wanted to race them.
( Meeme, Razzie, Billie)
Now we had three Whippets, one cat, and two Komondors. When the female Kom began to pass, we helped her along, it was a hard decision, but it was time. She went quietly – just the sobs of the family ringing through the Vets office.
About a month later, she was ready to get another one. Maybe a little one this time, a lap dog that she could cuddle up with when I worked second or third shift. After some research, and a lot of looking, she found a breeder of Italian Greyhounds. We went there one night to buy one. We walked away with two – a brother and sister.
The male Komondor, Bully, is still with us, he is getting old, 77 in human years, and has a little trouble standing and going up the steps and holding his bladder – but he is happy, even when the Iggies pay a little too much attention to him. All three whippets are getting along fine, except when the female is in season. I hope this is the last year that we have to separate them when they go outside, it is a pain.
Our ferret count totaled out at 7 eventually and the daughter added 2 rats to her collection. The rats and cat still share the same room – the rats in a cage where the cat just stares at them. The ferrets were old when we first got them, now there are three left. A young one she adopted off of a friend that didn’t want it and two old ones. They are hanging in there.
The dominate Whippet male, Billie, has picked up a good habit from the ancient Komondor – he is our guard whippet and will bark every time the bell rings, even if it is the TV. We don’t race them as much as we use to, only because they seem to be out of state and further than we can afford to travel – but they get their exercise.
Me? Well I am a survivor – between letting them outside a few times a day, we manage to keep the messes down. They behave for the most part. Besides feeling like the underpaid kennel help sometimes, life isn’t too bad.
Razzie is wearing number 5
Billie is right beside him in blue
That’s simple really, it started as a soft whimper, whispering from the other side of the room. Slowly it began to grow more urgent. We (I) did set the clocks back last night, but my brain was so fuzzy I didn’t know if it was 1:30 am or 2:30 am.
It really didn’t matter, some one had to go out and water the lawn. After I took the two littlest out, started the coffee pot, brought them back in and put them away, grabbed a lightly tanned cup of coffee and sat down in my office, it was the old ancient ones turn.
Once he was taken care of, I finally started up the computer, clicked on the WoW beta icon, and nothing happend.
This was actually a good thing. Yesterday, as I was fishing through my writing notebooks, I found three different bios I had written for my detective and four short stories, and one long one, that I had started. Never finished them.
Now, I had a chance to figure out where I was, and which one I should do first.
Only interrupted once, an hour after I let him out, the old ancient one hobbled into my office and stared at me for a few seconds before a low cry began to grow from his throat.
“Let me guess, again?”
Just a low quiet roar came out as an answer.
“That’s a yes,” I sighed.
There are only a few times the old man gets really excited, when he thinks he is getting food, which is every time someone enters the kitchen, or he gets to go out side.
Or that certain odor is in the air and he is thinking, “Maybe this time!”
Once the five trips up and down the steps were done I began. Now I’m organized, (don’t have a heart attack) and ready to work on them.
First one will be a short story, a way of introduction.
I’ll be back once I get the feeling back in my finger tips.