Puppy dogs and grandchildren offer constant amusement
By Linda Albert | (email@example.com)
There are times when I just can’t light on a single topic for a column. Too many random thoughts, combined with too much work, not enough play — and not enough sleep — run through my brain like a bunch of rabid squirrels looking for a nut.
I guess I could write about my dogs. With the recent passing of Lucky, the ancient (20-year-old) Pekingese, the rest of the household is coming to a new “normal,” each grieving in his or her own way.
Ziggy the Shih Tzu and Sophie the German shepherd mix have finally come to the conclusion that Lucky is gone. It took a while, especially for Sophie, who has known no other life than life with Lucky. She came to us as a wee pup and was kept in line by the little tormenter, even when she grew to several sizes larger than the Peke.
In Lucky’s latter days, he had to wait for me to set him outside for his potty breaks. Sophie always watched for him to come out and “play,” although he rarely did much more than hobble behind her these last few years, if even that much. For several weeks after his death, Sophie gazed intently at the door every time it opened, to see only Ziggy emerge.
One day, when the baby gate was down between the kitchen and the hallway, Sophie jumped in the patio door, determinedly walked out of the kitchen and explored every room. She never leaves the kitchen and never shows any desire to do so — but on this day, she was on a mission to find Lucky. The night before he died, I had carried him to the bathroom for a warm bath and fixed him a bed in there so he would be more comfy. The next morning, he was gone — but Sophie and Ziggy didn’t see his body as I made burial preparations while they were outside. I explained it to them and thought they understood. But it was not until Sophie satisfied herself that Lucky was really gone did she stop looking ... She hasn’t looked for him since.
Sophie and Ziggy tolerate each other, and that’s about it. The food dishes are constant bones of contention. I finally came to the conclusion that feeding Ziggy in the kitchen as usual and feeding Sophie outside was the safest course for us all. The animosity is still there, though. After feeding them recently, I left the kitchen only to hear Sophie barking and growling. I went to the kitchen to find her baring her teeth ferociously at Ziggy, who was on the opposite side of the patio door.
I never claimed they were the sharpest crayons in the box.
My grandchildren, Ellie, 5, and Seth, 3, are usually pretty good topics for a column, too.
Seth is quite the comedian and manages to charm himself out of many scrapes, at least with his mommy. He knows if he can make her laugh, the discipline he deserves will be much less. An example: Awhile back, as his mommy and I were talking in the kitchen, Ellie came running in, smirking, and telling Emily that Seth was stuck and needed help. Emily walked into the living room, her eyes widened, her mouth fell open and she immediately got that certain tone all mommies have when the children are In Trouble. Seems that Seth, at the suggestion of Ellie the Instigator, had taken the vent cover off the heat and air duct and climbed in. When I saw him with half his body below floor level, like the result of a bad magician’s trick, I had to leave the room and laugh. I told Emily to leave him there until I took a photo.
His latest comedy routine was last week. Emily posted on Facebook that the highlight of her day was seeing Seth, clutching some of his daddy’s screwdrivers in each hand, raise his arms high and proclaim, “I am a MAN!”
I can’t wait to see the next act ...
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)