If anyone needs an outrageously expensive stuffed toy disemboweled in record time, Rufus is your man…errr…dog.
If anyone needs an outrageously expensive stuffed toy disemboweled in record time, Rufus is your man…errr…dog.
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.
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.
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.
I would have thought that by the time I had reached the age I am now, I would be able to walk through my own house without much fanfare, and certainly without chaperones. But apparently, I was wrong. Sometimes I feel as though I need a parade leader’s scepter…you know, something befitting the pomp and circumstance that is the journey to my refrigerator, or bathroom, or laundry room, or anywhere since I can’t seem to move without an entourage.
The other day my dog, Rufus, took a little spill off the bottom step that goes out my back door. It was such a short distance that I knew right away he was okay. Still, bless his heart, I think he was upset that I didn’t help him up quicker (not from lack of effort on my part, trust me). Seriously, he fell all of a little bit and even then, he landed on a bag of soft potting soil, you know, the good kind that is mostly air and fluff anyway. I’ll admit, a quickly stifled giggle did escape when I saw him lying there on my gardening supplies gazing up at me with his big, brown eyes. Despite knowing there was just no way he could be hurt, and further knowing that had he wanted to, he could have simply gotten up on his own, I nonetheless dropped my end of the leash that was hooked to his harness and rushed over to placate his pride.
Despite my loving assistance, I guess he was offended by how long it still took me to get there, because he gave me a stricken look me as if to say, “Are you seriously moving that slow? Oh, the betrayal.” I picked him up, brushed him off, snuggled with him, and then he was off doing whatever it is he wanted to do in the yard as if nothing happened. I even gave him an unexpected snack when we went back into the house. No harm, no foul.
Or so I thought.
On Monday, I fell face-first from the TOP step of a 4-step staircase right onto a concrete patio. No rhyme. No reason. No one pushed me. I didn’t trip. My feet just didn’t work. Go figure. I didn’t land on my face, thank the gods that be, but I definitely messed up my hands, wrists, and knees. So yeah. Hello there, karma. Nice to meet you. My bad for not taking Rufus’ misstep a bit more seriously.
I thought the fall was the worst part, but there’s been a ripple effect of delayed pain that’s been even worse. The day after the fall my back decided to get into the game too. Maybe I twisted it funny. Although really, whoever thought it was funny should have their head examined.
To top it all off, guess who was walking around the yard without a care in the world while I was trying (and failing) to get back up on my feet. You guessed it…Rufus. There I am, flailing around on the ground, unable to get up, and after a while, starting to give serious thought to, “Gee, maybe I should just stay outside for today,” and there’s Rufus idly traipsing around, sniffing the grass, and looking for squirrels, leash dragging behind. Not one ounce of concern for his ailing mom, no sir. I’m not going to say I deserved his cold shoulder, but damn, that was a reality check. Thankfully I still had Petra, who stayed glued by my side worried about me and whining. Guess who got a snack that day when we finally made it back in the house!?
There’s always a silver lining, regardless of how bad a situation is. The blessing in all of this was ultimately my laziness. Yes, you read that right. Laziness. You see, all of this happened on Monday. Well, on Sunday, I never finished the laundry, so I was out of shorts. Hey, don’t roll your eyes at me. It was just one of those weekends. So, anyway, even though it was certainly hot enough outside to warrant shorts, I was in fact wearing pants. It was a good thing too or my knees, which took the brunt of the fall, would be scraped to hell in addition to being just swollen. Fun science fact: concrete is hard. Who knew? Another fun fact: old concrete is jagged and crumbly. Even worse.
The lesson I’ve learned here is that laziness is not always a bad thing after all. But not being able to move as fast as The Flash to grab your pet when he missteps to save his pride? That can be a serious problem.
Admittedly, I do most of my best writing while lazing in bed with a cup of coffee on the side table and a Midsomer Murders marathon flowing on the tube. But this office of sorts does come with distractions, as even the best of work stations do. Mine just happens to be four-legged, furry, and impossibly cute. So if I miss a day or two or three of blogging, it’s likely because some little someone has decided I have better things to do during my allotted “me” time. And if I’m being honest here, a rousing game of “who stole my sock!?” or a walk in the cool night air is not always an unwelcome interruption. What can I say? I’m a sucker for adoring brown eyes.
Three of the four major powers came together today to declare a temporary truce. The fourth and strongest of these combatants declared the treaty, however tentative and short-lived, a farce, and refused outright to participate in any peace talks. Despite the cautious optimism raised by this show of solidarity among the three lesser sovereigns, the coalition quickly collapsed, and within hours any hopes for long-term stability were dashed.
Whatcha doing Mom? Huh? Huh? Whatcha doing? You trying to write? You trying to write, Mom? Huh, Mom? You trying to write? Whatcha writing, Mom? Huh? Huh? Whatcha writing?
And then…and then, I ate all of his turkey dinner too! He never even knew it was me! He thought it was the ne’er-do-well!
Er, umm…he’s right behind me, isn’t he?