Finally. It’s the end of a long and difficult year for many of us pet loving pawrents. We lost far too many pawsome pups and kitties, not to mention a political campaign that never seemed to end, and experienced celebrity losses I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I for one am totally looking forward to the bright promise of a new slate, otherwise known as 2017. Can I get an “Amen, preacher?” So with a final adieu to 2016, let me just say…don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ok?!
With the new year ahead, and because there was a new addition to the Ranch, I thought it prudent to revisit the Dog Rules that I shared with
the resident knucklehead Sam at the beginning of 2016, adding some specific rules and observations specifically for the newest addition…Ms. Elsa after a rebroadcast I wrote for Sam’s benefit since his reading skills seem to be a bit on the ‘lite’ side.
- Sure, I realize it’s cold out there but those chilly temps don’t require you to be so cotton-pickin’ frisky. Even though I’m retired now and don’t have to wake up at “oh-dark-thirty” to get in our morning constitution before going off to slay work dragons, I don’t particularly feel that same draw to being frisky, especially when I haven’t had my daily coffee ration. On the bright side, we have postponed those early and late night winter walks by adjusting the time when we go out. Waiting for a few extra degrees of sunshine makes a big difference on our aging joints, doesn’t it buddy?
- Your 4 legs manage to keep you reasonably balanced on icy sidewalks but alas I still only have 2 and don’t possess quite the same navigational stability that you do so PLEASE. please. walk. slowly.
- Zero to 60 in a nanosecond, makes for a real challenge for this 2-legged upright to stay in fact, upright. See above rule about the number of legs necessary to reinforce that steady but slow pace. Factor in clueless neighbors who think they don’t need to shovel walks and I hope you realize that quick starts will make Mommy crabbish. And trust me when I say I don’t fancy looking like a new-born colt with legs splayed out in multiple directions, or worse, landing bottom side up. The fall down…go boom factor is definitely unwelcome and not to mention, mom’s in a heap are very unattractive.
- Please don’t suddenly stop behind me while we are moving at a steady pace forcing me to yank on your leash and pull my thumb or shoulder out of their sockets. My joints and bones are cold in winter (ha…who am I kidding…they are cold all the time!) and again sudden movements get mommy’s balance out of torque. Besides, it jars my brain and we can’t have that, now can we? Think of shaken baby syndrome. For adults.
- Jack-rabbit loping is a definite no-no. We don’t live in Alaska (though some days I might dispute that when Siri tells me the outside ‘ambient’ temperature). Therefore, loping as if you in the Iditarod isn’t necessary or appreciated. May I remind you that we live in Central Denver and mushing is rarely necessary. Just saying.
- Finding the deepest snow at the farthest point from the end of the leash is completely frowned upon. Having my boots fill up because I’m fishing out little brown nuggets from deep snow is at the top of my short list for things to NOT do. Trying to corral both you and the squirrel hunter, maintaining my balance, trying to unfurl a duty bag in subzero temps, picking up after you while trying to hang on to the glove I had to remove to unfurl said bag…well it’s all just a little too much, ok?
- And for dog’s sake, PLEASE DO NOT try to scamper around behind me, wrapping your leash around my legs or around your sister. This feeble attempt to ‘get out of the way’ falls flat on its face as will I once we resume our meanderings. Besides, your sister isn’t nicknamed the “Sniper Ninja” for nothing. She will punish you if you get in her face. Guaranteed.
- Most mornings the temperatures are in the low-teens or single digits during the winter and we’re out for a walk…walk being the operative speed, got it? Also this time isn’t referred to as the “hey, we’re going for a sniff.” Like a travel guide, I will be moving along at a reasonable pace, so keep up, pal! A moving pace assures a healthy walk for all of us. When you dally, it makes me
irritatedcrazy. Please remember… we’re walking not sniffing or reading pee-mail every 27 inches and we’ll be golden and toasty warm without those aggravating delays.
- Oh, let me remind you, you’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger so it is not necessary to develop bodybuilder strength neck muscles every winter. See Rules 2 and 4 above for review and understand that pulling makes me crabbish and we wouldn’t want a crabbish mommy, now would we?
- It would be most appreciated if your back yard pee outings didn’t involve hovering over or near Ms. Elsa when she’s squatting, with your intent to pee over her pee. Your aim frankly sucks and she and I will be really cheesed off if I have to bathe her because of your mis-aim.
- Finally could you step it up when we’re on our walks to pee only a couple of times rather than the 87 stops now? Trust me…no one is interested in what you’re saying in those pee mails, you’ve said it 8700 times before. You’re just repeating yourself.
And now for dear sweet Elsa.
All the above rules go for you too, sweetie. It’s vital you comprehend that. For yours and my safety. But additionally, please take note…
- Even though your leash manners have dramatically improved over the past 3 1/2 months (thank you very much!), it is still extra critical to not fly out of the shoot at the sight of every single squirrel we encounter. Same goes for all those blowing leaves that you obviously ‘think’ are a squirrel. My shoulder would be ever so grateful. I could sue you for whiplash, you know?
- And when you see a pup along our walk, it really isn’t necessary to bounce like a yoyo and then woof at them on top of your exuberance. Sometimes you flat scare little dogs and the big dogs don’t realize you just want to play. They think you might be questioning their male hood. As one female to another, I realize you could probably kick all their butts, though there just is no need to tempt fate. We’re above that. And more cerebral.
- When we come back from a walk, trust me, it’s not necessary to freeze as soon as you get inside. I’m right behind you and I will walk in. But not when you’re in the way.
- At night when we go to bed, would you not dig like a coal miner rearranging the new bed. Trust me, it doesn’t have any lumps (yet) and that scratching sound for several minutes is not conducive to my getting a good night’s sleep. This isn’t the Princess and the Pea story, ‘kay?
I know there are no doubt loads of other rules that will (or should apply to you, sweet Elsa). I just thought I’d kind of familiarize you with the more important ones since we kind of got off to a rough start with the seizures and all which have been our first focus. We are thrilled you’ve joined our merry little band of knuckleheads and hope you can maybe teach Sam a thing or two. Other than that eye-glass munching skill you have mastered so well. Ear scratches and belly rubs for you both!
Do you go over the rules with your pup each New Year?
Live, love, bark! ❤