Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Weekend Houseguest

We had an interesting adventure this weekend. Our brother in law took our sister out of town on a surprise trip for the weekend. They had made arrangements for their son, but needed a place for their pooch to stay.

Enter "Bear," a gentle, elderly Pekingese.

Our doggie, Caesar, is just under 3 and has never lived in a home with another dog. As far as we know, anyway. We were his third home when we adopted him from the Humane Society, when he was 18 months old. If Caesar is just under 3 (he's 34 months old this month) and dogs age 7 years for every human year, then that makes him equivalent to a young whippersnapping 19 year old brat. Bear, on the other hand, is over 10, so when he arrived we had a senior citizen meandering through the apartment, looking for a comfortable place to sit. Peacefully.

Here's a little replay of events at home when Bear arrived on Thursday night...

Young Whippersnapper: Hey hey hey hey hey hey! (That's him barking.)
Hey hey hey! Huh? Oh, it's you. (They had met before, a few times. After the ritual sniffing in their earlier meetings, they tried each had humping each other to learn that this was probably not going to get very far. No point carrying on if you were at risk of having your da-da snapped off my a snarling partner.)

Old Man: What? Oh. Where's the couch?

Young Whippersnapper: Hey why are you here? Where are you going? Hey, that's my kitchen.
(sniff sniff sniff) Nice butt.

Old Man: (sniff sniff sniff) Yep, that's your butt.

Young Whippersnapper: (sniff sniff sniff) Dude, you've got dog breath.

Old Man: Get out of my face. (wandering toward a bedroom) Where's the best place to lay down around here?

Young Whippersnapper: (marking the floor in the doorway of mom and dad's bedroom) This is my bedroom. Keep out.

Old Man: (sniff sniff) Hey, my humans have a smelly room like this, too.

Young Whippersnapper: (marking the floor in front of the doorway of the bathroom) This is my bathroom. Keep out.

Old Man: (sniff sniff near Rachel's room) Whose bedroom is this?

Young Whippersnapper: (trotting toward Rachel's bedroom doorway then getting scooped up and put in his crate) This is my - hey! You can't put me in here!

Old Man: Thank God. Peace at last.

Later, when the Young Whippersnapper was released from prison,
Young Whippersnapper: Wanna play fetch, huh? Hey, let's play tug-o-war! C'mon old man. Ooh-ooh I know - Let's chase invisible bugs! Hey hey! I know! Let's play leap frog. I'll be the leaping frog. Here I come; Duck!

Old Man: If I hold very still he'll think I'm a statue.

Things calmed down when Caesar realized Bear was most content to lounge (and snore loudly) in the bed that arrived with him.

Mealtime, however, was lots of fun to watch. Bear has allergies and so his humans have him on a special diet. He gets soft food, while Caesar gets dry kibble. Bear was too depressed to eat at first, but by Sunday he decided he was hungry enough to eat. While preparing Bear's bowl, Caesar would drool. To slow Caesar down and keep him at his own food bowl, he got a glob of schmaltz (chicken fat left over from the roasting pan) in the bottom of his bowl under the kibble. We put down both food bowls in front of each dog. Caesar dug in right away, stealing glances at Bear to see if he had started eating or not. Bear sniffed his food, looked longingly at Caesar's bowl, then stood there as if deciding what he was going to do about the obvious discrepancy between the two meals served. Hunger may have gotten the best of him and he dug in.

The two furballs finished at the same time. They walked over to each other, sniffed each others' snouts to see what the other had eaten, then nosed over to the opposite bowl and licked any flavor remnants from the meal they hadn't had.

On Sunday night Bear's humans arrived and the quiet, depressed, sedentary pooch suddenly became a wiggling ball of happiness. Soon he was out the door and heading back home. Our hypermutt, realizing he was the solo dog again, sat down by the door, stuck his nose in the air, put his ears back, and grinned.

Be sure to check Pam's Inbox for today's giggle:
Pam's Inbox

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