Friday, July 27, 2012


At 5 a.m., Tia the puppy's wet spongy nose arrived in my face, soon to be followed by her entire wiggly little body. Reluctantly opening my eyes to the sight of her bare, speckled belly, I groaned my way out of bed and into the yard to let her pee. After investigating every bush, weed, leaf of grass and the odd blown-down bird's nest--particularly fascinating, that--she finally elected to pee and then dig up an old rawhide chew. The puppy who ordinarily cannot wait to escape from her yard settled down, contentedly gnawing on it.

"Fine," I muttered. "Be that way." I went back to bed, but took the precaution of leaving the back kitchen door open, since she is now a confirmed escape artist. Sure enough, just about the time I was settling in for my fifteen remaining minutes of sleep I heard the thud-thud of four eager paws and the expectant whine of a puppy looking for breakfast. Anyone's. After cruising all three food dishes in the kitchen, regardless of whether or not another dog had a nose in them, she fastened her leech-like gaze on my breakfast. Which I was devouring in haste, I might add. These days, food is eaten in a hurry.

It's off to the barn in few minutes, then back to the yard to hose off a muck-covered puppy. And then we will take the morning tour of the neighborhood, this time on a leash. She has outgrown her baby collar and maybe the baby leash, too. I'm thinking a ten-foot training lead would be a lot easier on my back. It worked on my last pit bull pup. Tia is smaller than that one...but I'm older now! Growing older by the minute...

Postscript - Tia did not wait for her walk. As I was typing this, I heard frenetic barking from my yard--not hers, but my other dog, Lilah the snitch. Lilah always barks frenetically when Tia has made an escape. Sure enough, there was my puppy, leaping all over another dog being walked up the road. His bemused owners were fending her off, laughing (fortunately). I was not laughing. I retrieved my puppy and also one of my favorite short boots which I found in my neighbor's yard. How did she get it? God only knows. Only He knows where the other one is. I have renamed her Satan's Child.


  1. Well, I chuckled out loud all the way through this Odyssey. The finding of your boot reminded me of a long-gone puppy who used to carry personal belongings--he loved shoes and smelly socks--to the back yard to create what my husband called a "midden"--a growing hill of purloined possessions. Then the pup, who'd apparently been pulled off the teat too soon, would clamber on top, kneading and sucking. If dogs can be said to suck. Grand times. Many lost belongings.

  2. I had a kitten weaned too soon who used to suck on my shirt. But a puppy with a midden pile? Now that's a new one!

  3. so this is what it means to have a pappi. I enjoyed reading this a lot.

  4. This does seem to be what it means to have a puppy. No food, no boots, no sleep! But at least it's entertaining. :)

  5. Oh, in case anybody is interested, I found my other boot in the front yard--right by the empty cat food dish.