A Dog’s Love

Rufus’ only job is to love me. He thinks he has to protect the house from the mail carrier, the cat across the street, the leaf blowing down the sidewalk, and anyone who happens to walk past our door… those who have the audacity to knock must die of course, and if it weren’t for me foiling his plans, goodness knows how many notches he would have on his belt by now. But in reality, his only job is to love me, and he does it very well. The below is evidence of this.

I’m not sure whether I should feel guilty for leaving him out in the cold, as it were, impressed with his staying power (he apparently stayed this way for 30 minutes), or comforted at the idea that someone loves me so unconditionally that they would willingly stand guard awaiting my return from the bath.

Rufus the Invincible

All in a Day’s Work

As you can see, Rufus is very tired. What you may not know, and certainly can’t really tell from this very badly taken photo, is that he’s exhausted from a long day of protecting hearth and home from … mail. Yes. Villainous mail. While I was out and about doing human things, Rufus was at home tearing up every bit of mail his snaggly little teeth could reach. You can see some of his work on the floor by his bed … the rest is under his blanket, which is why his blanket is so puffed up. It’s not that the blanket is resplendent in and of itself — it’s the shredded stash of destroyed bills, correspondence, and sales papers under the blanket that make it so poofy.

So, here’s to Rufus the Invincible, my knight in shining armor. Saving me, once again, from the evils of capitalism.

Friend Therapy

My dog Petra, I may have mentioned before, loves to burrow under blankets, or anything really. It’s her thing. Petra is not the bravest soul in the universe — with good reason, her life before coming to us was not the best. To make a long story short, burrowing under a blanket, preferably her own, makes her feel safe and comforted, and it has the added effect of being completely adorable. My house is full of blankets. They’re on the couch, the chairs, in the corner by the bookshelf, in a box (just as an aside, it was NOT my idea to keep this Amazon box indefinitely, but the animals — cats and dogs alike, have taken a liking to it, so I figured, what the hell), and in the dogs’ beds. Whew. That’s a lot of dog blankets.

Not being particularly smart, or perhaps not realizing, even after all this time, the depths of Petra’s need to burrow, I washed ALL of the blankets at once this past week. The drama that ensued…the whining, the whimpering, the crying…as this dog searched the house for a blanket was a sight to behold. I almost sat down and cried myself. I felt guilty. I felt stupid for not thinking to leave out one blanket. I felt bad for making Petra sad and uncomfortable. And then, I felt stupid for feeling all of the above.

In comes Rufus to the rescue. Rufus the Invincible.  He didn’t like that Petra was nervous and whimpering. He didn’t like that at all. I don’t know if he understood why. He couldn’t care less for blankets, but he does have favorite toys — and knows where they are at all times, so maybe he did understand her discomfort. At any rate, he swooped in and saved the day. As an aside, I must state here that Rufus and Petra love each other, they play and hang out and are always concerned about each other, but they like their own space. Rufus especially. They don’t lay together or sleep together…they never share the same bed (they’re much too prim and proper). But one afternoon this past week, when Mom was dumb enough to wash all of the blankets at once (a day that will go down in infamy, let me tell you), Rufus let Petra join him in his favorite bed, and there she stayed, comforted by his presence.

And I learned a good lesson: that in the future, one blanket would always get washed separately…so this horrible day will never be repeated.

dogs in bed together2

Rufus was giving me the side-eye because he was not happy with my laundry choices or my decision to immortalize the event on film (okay, it was really just my phone, but you get the idea)

Canine Symphony in C

Back in the day, I had a wonderful dog, a Shih Tzu named Boopers. I loved her to pieces. Among her many attributes (not least of which, was just being a smart, loyal, loving companion), she was a great watch dog. She might not have physically been able to do anything about a person breaking in, like attack anything except his ankles and maybe his calves, but she was phenomenal about alerting us to possible Ninja intruders. Which, when you think about it, was really her job…the job of any small dog, actually. They’re the alarm system and either the larger dog, or you, as the human of the house, are supposed to do the rest.

Boopers was especially good at her job. She could tell the difference in cat noises permeating the darkness throughout the inner sanctum of the house…of which there were many in the night due to our own personal zoo. She could tell if the noises outside were “normal” noises, like an owl on the roof, or a squirrel scurrying across the deck, or maybe the neighbors coughing a bit too loudly out on their own back porch. Hey, what can I say? Sound travels here. So, when she barked, or worse, growled deep in her throat, you knew…you just knew…you had to get up to look to see what was going on to cause a disturbance in the force. She was trustworthy and reliable, and an amazing alarm system.

The dogs I have now? Not so much. If so much as a leaf blows across the yard three doors down, they bark. If the neighbor next door sneezes deep within the realm of her kitchen, they bark. If they hear a car that’s just a tad bit too loud in the exhaust system somewhere out there in the neighborhood, they bark. Maybe the couple two streets over slam a door in the midst of their argument debate over “Star Wars vs Star Trek.” Yep, you guessed it. They bark.

Sometimes, I think these dogs bark just to hear themselves bark. And once one loses it, the other one loses it, and then the cacophony is truly a thing to behold.

“What are you barking at!? What’s going on!? Where’s the danger? Let me at it!” 

“I don’t know, I just thought maybe I heard something but then I started barking and it sounded cool, so I kept doing it!”

“Oh wow, that’s a fantastic idea, I think I’ll bark too and then we’ll both be barking!? How cool is that??”

“Hey, that’s awesome! We can get into sync so there’s absolutely no lag time and all the human will hear is constant ear-splitting yaps in completely different timbres!”

“Why do you think she’s holding her ears and looking fierce?”

“I don’t know…maybe she just can’t stand the symphony that is our high-pitched barking because it’s simply too awe-inducing and lovely beyond words. We should bark louder!”

I love Petra and Rufus beyond belief, of that, there is no doubt in the world. But when these 2:00 a.m. concerts come around to awaken me from a dead-sleep, I sure do miss my Boopers.