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mail to Walt
22 August 2012
I decided awhile ago that I would feed the dogs when Jeopardy is over (7 p.m.). Polly keeps trying to bully me into feeding her earlier, starting at 4 p.m., but lately she seems to have accepted that I won't feed her until after Jeopardy.
Tonight when the Jeopardy think music started for Final Jeopardy, suddenly all three dogs, who were sleeping in the living room, came running in, all happy and eager, ready for their dinner.
We have settled into a routine around here, possibly thanks to Polly, who runs the house and lets all of us know when it's time to do various things.
When it gets dark, the dogs, one by one over the evening, settle into the living room to sleep. However, any time after 11, if I am sitting in the recliner and go to get up, all three are instantly in the family room, excited because I'm going to sleep!!! I have pretty much given up sleeping in the recliner at the start of the evening because Polly just won't have it. She will take it just so long, but then barks at me...time to go to the couch! She is so happy when I stand up.
I go to the living room, take off my glasses, get my pillow and settle on the couch. Immediately Lizzie leaps onto the table behind the couch and lies down, Polly jumps up and settles somewhere around the area of my waist, and Sheila first stands next to the couch so I can pet her (and if I don't she will keep nudging me until I do). I pet her, tell her what a good girl she is, and she lies down next to me, where she sleeps for the rest of the evening, or until I wake up in the middle of the night.
I wake up around 3 or 4, get up and move to the family room. Sheila then goes outside to sleep (because she really prefers to sleep out there, but feels she must be with me when I'm on the couch).
If I'm lucky, I am able to go back to sleep again and usually wake up anywhere from 5 to 7.
Now, waking up is very tricky. The second my hand touches the lever to lower the foot rest, Polly needs to be fed NOW. She has gone several hours without food. She is ready to DIE if she doesn't get food IMMEDIATELY. As soon as she hears that touch, she lets out a bark which I KNOW says "she's awake! C'mon, guys, let's EAT!" and she keeps barking and leaping (now joined by the other two) until I fix their breakfast. There's really no point in trying to delay them.
This morning I had a minor triumph. It's garbage day and the dogs always go nuts when the garbage truck comes, so I sat in the recliner, not admitting I was actually awake (but able to change channels on the TV without Polly realizing it). As soon as I heard the garbage truck coming and the dogs racing down the hall to the living room window to kill the garbage men, I quietly slipped out of the recliner and into my office. Dogs didn't even know. But when Polly came back into the family room and realized I was gone, she appeared at my feet, her head cocked and the funniest little questioning whine in her voice.
Tonight Walt went outside while the dogs were eating, to move yard stuff out to the curb to be picked up in the morning. He locked the dogs inside because the back gate was going to be open. The dogs didn't pay any attention until they finished eating, then Sheila realized Walt was outside and tried to let me know that the door was locked and she was on the wrong side. When I didn't open the door for her right away, she issued on VERY demanding bark. Sheila and I really do talk to each other, and understand each other. When I told her "no" she didn't ask again.
But the strangest "understanding" that I ever experienced was when I was getting the dogs' dinner ready one time. Polly was leaping about excitedly, but Sheila was still in the back yard. I turned to Polly and said "Why don't you go outside and tell Sheila it's time for dinner." She whirled around, ran outside, barked once, and then came back in again, followed by Sheila. I'm still amazed by that.
As for Lizzie, poor dear, her life is ruled by only two things: her question for food and her quest for affection. Any hint of my entering the kitchen is enough to bring her running in the hope that I might be going out there specifically to give her a treat...or (more likely) that I will drop something tasty on the floor. She's pretty good about not taking food off the table, but today Walt fixed himself a nice roast beef sandwich, and then went to get the mail and came back to find Lizzie taking off with the top piece of bread.
In the evening, again on cue from Jeopardy, when the show starts, she climbs into my lap and just lies there on my stomach, eyes closed, with me petting her. Lasts about 10 minutes and then she's done.
I do love these dogs. And I love that we are so often in sync.