IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
6 November 2007
Sen. Larry Craig isn't the only one with a wide stance, I realized recently, as I glanced down at my feet and saw that I had spread my legs wide apart so that one leg was under the desk to my left and the other was on the other side of the legs of the working desk.
It's not that I want a wide stance. It's not even that it's comfortable. In fact, it's pretty darn uncomfortable. But you have little choice when a 40 lb dog has chosen the space directly in front of you as her place to be when you are working. Togetherness is very nice, but a little goes a long way.
I dunno. I think the dogs have been having meetings at night when I'm asleep. I think they've decided that it was time to undertake a retraining program. "Surely," they must have reasoned, "we can do better around here if we can get her to follow a few simple commands."
Start with mealtime. For months...perhaps years...mealtime has been somewhat "fluid." Generally I wake up and get up (when I want to), make coffee, check e-mail, watch the Today Show and sometime between 7 and 8, when I get up to make my own breakfast, I feed the dogs. They have been just fine with this.
At the end of the day, I sit down to watch Keith Olbermann, then Jeopardy and then when Jeopardy is over I feed the dogs and start our dinner. This has been the routine for the entire time Lizzie has been here, and long before that.
But the dogs have decided that this schedule is no longer acceptable. Now if I am not awake by 6 a.m., the dogs wake me up. Lizzie licks my face. If I ignore her, she jumps on my stomach. If I throw her off either she and Sheila run outside and start barking or Lizzie begins to rip upholstery off of chairs. Amazing how effective the sound of ripping fabric is in getting you on your feet. Immediately.
I get up to dogs who are leaping and grinning and bouncing about, ecstatic because it's obviously TIME FOR BREAKFAST! If I sit down to check e-mail, read the paper, or watch the morning news, a look of incredulity comes over their faces. What? No food? NO FOOD???
Then it starts. Lizzie leaps in my lap. Sheila does her happy dance and it doesn't stop until I get up. As I walk to Sheila's bowl and then to the dog food, both dogs are leaping and jumping on me and just so very HAPPY. Over the past two weeks, using this technique, they have succeeded in moving their breakfast time from 8 a.m. to 6 a.m. because it's just entirely too much joy too early and the only way to make it stop is to feed them. (We won't even talk about what the "fall back" to standard time has done!)
This means, of course, that they aren't willing to wait until 7 to eat dinner. I sit here at my desk (with a wide stance so there is room for Sheila) and around about 4 p.m., Lizzie jumps up against the back of my chair and puts her paws on my shoulders. If she could speak, she would ask, "can I have dinner now?"
"It's too early," I tell her. "I am NOT going to feed you at 4 p.m."
The dogs interpret this to mean "Yes, of course I will feed you now, if you want to eat," so both of them get all excited. If I continue working, they redouble their efforts.
If I'm sitting in the recliner watching Hardball, Lizzie jumps into my lap, rolls over on her back and begins batting me in the face with her paws. She's like a toddler who is determined to be noticed no matter how much you want to ignore her.
I have managed to put them off until 5, but I'm sure I will soon be feeding them dinner at noon.
The problem with giving them dinner at 5 is that by 7, their normal eating time, they have conveniently "forgotten" that they have already eaten and when I go into the kitchen to cook dinner, they both do their happy dances because obviously the only possible reason I could have for going into the kitchen is to feed them again.
When we adopted Sheila, I was very strict. She was never to be given food from the table, or while I was cooking, or when we were snacking in the family. Consequently she never begged for food. Unfortunately, I once gave her something from my plate. It was in Kimba's last days and I was being kind to Kimba, knowing that she was not going to live much longer, and just sort of forgot that Sheila wasn't supposed to be fed. The dog who cannot retain the command "stay" for more than 10 seconds has never forgotten that and has now become a food beggar. At the table, in the kitchen, in the family room. If there's food, she begs for it. And of course so does Lizzie.
They have trained me to give them treats before I leave to go anywhere and as soon as I return from wherever I was. In return for this they condescend to let me share their blankets and their couch at night when I go to sleep.
But I'd darn well be up at 6 so I can feed them. They would like to have breakfast at 4 a.m., but this matter still under negotiation.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The dogs are kind enough to let me use their
This is entry #2778