Sunday, February 16, 2020

Biggie—Year Nine—The Granddog

Biggie has been in my life for nine years now, and for this entire time he has been my part-time dog.  His mom is a friend who currently lives in a different city from my wife and me, but Biggie gets to come for regular visits for a few days at a time.  However, his current visit has lasted for over nine months, and I am beginning to forget he belongs to someone else.

Biggie’s mom is having trouble finding quality work and an affordable place to live.  While this is something most of us have experienced in our lives (past and/or present), it is making it difficult for her to keep Biggie at home and care for him properly.  Therefore, “Grandpa" and “Grandma" stepped in. 

We love this little doggie.  A lot.  But we never expected to have him for nine months and counting.  It’s like having a 2-year old with bad habits (or maybe it’s Grandpa with the bad habits), but still we love this little doggie.  A lot. 

Biggie brings us a lot of joy, fun, and laughter.  Everyday he does something fun to watch.  Lately he is starting out each day with a back scratch by crawling under my feet and moving back and forth so my feet do the scratching.  Needless to say, it wakes me up.  So does crawling up on me and licking my ear.  This, along with a series of doggie dances, ultimately gets me up.  As soon as I am vertical, he starts nudging me toward the kitchen for his breakfast. 

As he begins eating I start making breakfast for me, but Biggie considers it his second breakfast and does not allow me to walk away from the stove for any reason.  If I try to step over to the refrigerator, for instance, he will begin barking non-stop until I return to the stove.  He will allow me to leave the stove only if I am about to plate my (his second) breakfast.  He will even allow me a few bites of it before becoming worried I will eat all of it.  Ultimately he wins, and my plate gets a Biggie licking.

About two hours before sunset every day Biggie begins announcing he wants to go out.  Not outside, but out, as in “out to a park."  A walk around the neighborhood will sometimes be acceptable, but a park is always preferable, if not demanded.  So about 5 to 6 times each week, Biggie visits a local park where he gets the same exercise as when he takes a walk around the block.  In our back yard he can run free if he wants to do so, but everywhere else a leash is required.  But Biggie still prefers a park.

We have made several dog beds for him to sleep in and placed them around the house.  There is one in my workroom/office.  One is located under the bed in the bedroom, and one is located in front of our living room television, and he knows these are for him.  Just try to move one, and he will let you know to whom it belongs.  But that doesn’t mean he is confined to sleeping there.  Biggie will sleep where Biggie will sleep.  Last night my wife was working on a craft item and a large square of paper fell to the floor.  Biggie immediately claimed it as a bed.  He stepped onto it, scratched it a few times, circled around for a bit, then laid himself down and took a nap.  Later he abandoned it for a drink of water, and my wife picked it up.  When Biggie returned, he looked around for it, let out a low growl, and went over to a space between a lounge chair and the wall to lie down and stare at me for a while as though I had something to do with removing his new bed.

Biggie also has a number of small soft toys to play with.  For the most part he just lets them clutter up the floor around his beds, and he will rarely play with any of them.  And for Biggie, play never lasts more than just a couple of minutes at best, but Biggie knows what is his, and what is not.  When we bring home a new toy, he seems to know instinctly it is his.  Biggie likes to inspect the contents of every bag we bring into the house.  Groceries, clothes, hair care products, etc., it doesn’t matter, he just wants to look at and/or sniff everything entering our home.  Sometimes we will buy a toy for our neighbor’s toddler or newborn, and Biggie gives these a pass.  But if it is for him, he always knows it.

Recently we purchased a small toy for Biggie, but we didn’t give it to him immediately.  Somehow we got it past his inspection and hid it away for another time.  My wife put together a small box of kid's toys for the neighbor’s children to play with when they come to visit and included this small (unused) toy we had purchased for Biggie.  A few days went by, and the toddler came over for a visit, so his new toy box was brought out for him to go through.  Of course Biggie wanted to inspect the contents of this box.  As usual, Biggie examined the toys as each one was taken out of the box, and as usual, Biggie gave each one a pass, that is until his own toy was brought out.  Even though he had never seen it before, Biggie grabbed it and carried it over to his bed and sat there guarding it the remainder of the day.  How did he know?

Oh, how we spoil our “granddog.”  The only problem right now is that we can spoil him, but can't send him home.  We have to live with the results, but I’ll keep on spoiling him as long as I can.  He is worth it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Enter the Doldrums

A new year is upon us.  Now everyone should have 2020 vision.  Sorry.  I couldn’t help it.

According to my calendar year, this year is actually 3 ½ months old.  In about 8 ½ months my year will close with the 52nd Annual Wild Game Feed, and I’ll start a new year.  The problem is, however, it’s 8 ½ months away – the equivalent of being stranded in the doldrums of one of the great oceans.  No wind.  No movement.  Nothing but a long, long wait, all the while hoping for some distraction to help speed up the passage of time.

Actually, there is much to do.  I’ll pack and repack my car several times to make certain I have everything I want to bring with me.  I’ll check the humidor every day at least once to be certain the cigars are there (minus one or two of course).  I'll look at the calendar a few times every day hoping a day or two got dropped from the month.  Actually, there is not much to do but wait.  And wait.  But it's worth the wait for the best Wild Game Feed anywhere.

See you at the Feed!

Meat and Beer!