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LEADER OF THE PACK
4 May 2017
When I was a kid, I devoured animal books. I read all the Back Stallion books, all the horse books written by Dorothy Lyons, and any book I could find on dogs. My favorite dog books were those written by Albert Payson Terhune. He didn't write them for kids. I believe they were originally written as newspaper articles and told the story of his collie, Lad, but then expanded to the other dogs of "the place" (as his estate at Sunnybank was called) and then fictionalized books on other collies.
One of the things I liked about his Lad books was that he always talked about working at his desk, with Lad in his "cave" under the desk. I thought how nice it would be to have a collie in a cave under my desk.
This isn't Lad and it's an outdoor desk, but it is Terhune, writing with three of his collies in attendance.
When you make a bond with an animal, you become part of their pack. Dogs are very much pack animals, and the closer bond you have with them, the more you realize that you are part of a pack.
So Lizzie has a cave under my desk. When Ned remodeled this office, there was lots of storage space where the work desk meets the craft desk and I could pile stuff there, or I could put a dog bed in there. Naturally I put a dog bed there. Lizzie loves to be in the bed, where it's dark and relatively quiet.
Lizzie is rarely far from where I am. Unlike Polly, she doesn't make a big deal of it, it's just that if her pack leader moves from room to room, she quietly gets up and moves too. the other day Polly had commandeered the under desk bed, unbeknownst to me, and when I backed up my desk chair, I almost ran over Lizzie, who was sleeping on the cold floor right behind my chair (much as the dog Wolf is doing in the Terhune picture).
In the afternoon, if I'm in the recliner, she is in her bed until I make movement to get out of the chair and she hopes the reason I am getting up involves food for her.
When I watch TV at night, Lizzie sleeps quietly in one of the 3 dog beds, or in one of the two unoccupied chairs. When I get up to go into the living room, she plods behind me and climbs into her bed in the living room.
If Lizzie and I have a quiet pack relationship, Polly is the real leader of the pack. She has a mental schedule in her little head and she lets us know what we are supposed to do and when.
She lets me sleep in the morning (I'm almost always in the recliner) but if I try to keep the dogs from knowing I'm awake and sneak the iPad onto my lap to check my email, as I close the iPad, no matter how quiet I am, it makes a very soft click. Polly is on her feet instantly demanding breakfast It's the same for afternoon. From about 4 on she tries to convince me that it's really time to feed her. When I finally give in, this is what it's like.
When it is late in the evening, she goes outside, sits on the patio and barks softly. This is her way of telling Walt that it's time for him to give her a treat. As soon as he stands up, without even calling her, she runs in does the "dinner dance" again and gets a bit of a treat and then settles in for the night until I go to the living room, when she follows me along with Lizzie and we all settle in for the night.
It's nice to be a member of the pack. Sometimes it drives me nuts, but usually I like looking around myself and seeing the other members of my pack sleeping quietly just waiting for me to get up so they can follow me to wherever else I am going.
Nice to feel like I have such power!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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