Bear: So, I’ve been thinking.
Tramp: Dude! Pretty sure Mom does NOT like it when you do that.
Bear: We haven’t had a Tramp story in like forever.
Tramp: Wait, What?
Bear: Yeah, I want to tell a story about you!
Tramp: Uh, no. Mother!!! Bear is getting in Trouble!!!
Bear: She’s busy, she won’t hear you.
Tramp: Busy? After how you’ve been for the past couple of days? Seriously?
Bear: (Grumbles) She made me take my morning “nap” said it worked like a charm and went off to do “something”.
Tramp: (Snorts) Nap? Hahaha
Bear: So, ever tell all our friends why you have a harness for walks now instead of a collar?
Bear: (Snickers) We were on one of our walks at our park. Mom had found this great open spot so we were working on training. Tramp had already has his turn with all his tricks and Mom was helping me get better with mine.
Tramp: Which always takes longer than everyone else….
Bear: Hey! Anyway, Tramp is really, really short which is kinda important to this story, little tiny legs.
Tramp: (Snorts) I know where you sleep brat.
Bear: While Mom’s attention is completely on me where it should be.
Bear: Tramp sees a squirrel across the clearing on a tree. He kinda forgets he’s attached to Mom and goes after the squirrel. She always links our leashes and he’s got short legs so he was running at full speed by the time Mom realized what was going on and he hit the end of the leash.
Tramp: (Tucks his head under his paws)
Bear: Mom swears he almost hung himself he was running so fast. We had to walk slowly back to the car because he was coughing the whole way. He was fine a little bit later but he had a pretty new harness a couple of days later.
Tramp: Yup! Mom says there are too many squirrels in Texas for her to chance that again!
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Bear: So, I’ve been thinking.
In an effort to not break any bones due to tripping over all the little bodies who squeeze into my itty, bitty, little kitchen when I’m trying to make dinner I have started a new ritual.
It goes something like this:
Pull out 6 chew toys (no I haven’t gotten any more dogs)
Give one to each of the dogs, throw the extra two in the living room and scare the cats.
Head back into the wonderfully empty kitchen and start dinner.
Get dinner a little more than half way done.
Trip over Tramp who is looking lost and has no chew toy.
Make a little more progress on dinner.
Trip over Rommie who looks downright upset and is missing a chew toy.
Look in kitchen doorway.
Wave at Lady since she doesn’t like walking on the kitchen floor she is standing in the doorway, no chew toy.
Finish dinner, carefully stepping over Tramp and Rommie.
Walk out into dinning room, find Bear surrounded by five chew toys and chewing on the sixth.
That’s my boy…
Me: (Quietly getting broom and dust pan)
Tramp: (From hallway) She’s sweeping!
Me: SIGH (Heads into kitchen)
Bear and Tramp: (Run into kitchen at full speed)
Me: (Starts sweeping at far end of kitchen, lots of shedded Bear fur)
Bear: (Plops down in doorway, no dust-bunnies will escape this exit)
Tramp: (Starts stalking the building dust pile as I get it about halfway down the kitchen)
Tramp: (Pounces, scattering dust in all directions)
Bear: (Joins the fun and slides by sending most of the dust right back where it started.)
Me: (Going to other end of kitchen, starting from that end. Gets dust a little more than halfway, thinking positive thoughts)
Bear: (ATTACKS dust pile, scatters it in all directions)
Tramp: (In hot pursuit, jumps and lands on broom, looks at me)
Me: Boys! The point of this job is to get all the dust in ONE place so I can pick it up.
Tramp: Really? We’ve never done that before!
Me: I know, I normally give up after about 20 minutes and send you two outside so I can finish.
Bear: (Pounces on another patch of dust)
Tramp: Let me guess we’re going out?
Bear: Out? I want to go out!
Me: Let’s go out!!!
I live in Texas. This is a widely known fact, I love living in Texas. I’m pretty much a Southern girl with all that entails. I know how to use polite as a deadly weapon and when necessary I can cook a down home meal that will clog your arteries for years.
I work for a company based out of Connecticut, most of my management and coworkers are in that area. When I first transitioned from local management to North-East based management I was a little concerned what the cultural differences would mean. They didn’t create the saying “separated by a common language” for nothing. Then my curiosity took over, I started asking all sorts of questions to anyone silly enough to call in early to one of my meetings.
The last two winters have been awesome for me! (Not so much for the people who have provided an abundance of new things for me to learn) I provide a southern perspective, the concept of living in a place where snow plows are non-existent is just as novel of an idea to my co-workers as the idea of not only snow plows but little ones that people own for their houses to clear driveways and sidewalks. How cool is that!
Then there was the conversation with my boss about a white Christmas, I confidently said we rarely get cold enough for a white Christmas which led to a conversation about how well Santa’s sled worked without snow (just fine). Imagine my amusement when, for the first time in 17 years, we get upwards of three inches of snow on Christmas.
Two years later, we still talk about the weather, a lot. I still learn things and I still teach things. It’s fun, interesting and oddly enough I don’t think it’s small talk.
Normal day in my life:
I open the bathroom door, Bear carpet in place across threshold guarding door, Tramp sitting a few feet back monitoring door for any unusual activity. Both dogs look at me, Bear hops up, both head to the living room.
Day one of my not normal days:
I open the bathroom door, no Bear carpet. No Tramp. I walk into the living room, see Bear sitting in front of the couch looking at the fireplace. Tramp, sitting on the couch, looking at the front door. All seems to be fine until I see Rommie, she is glaring at me. Suddenly I realize The Toy, check on my bed where this treasured toy resides and it’s gone.
Before I go on with this story I will explain. The Toy is Rommie’s toy. She isn’t a dog that plays with toys very much but she loves this toy because my daughter gave her this toy, she sleeps with it every night like a pillow. It was a gift and it’s hers. This also makes this Toy the hottest commodity in the house.
I head to Bear’s kennel and find The Toy in the back corner (of course). Once I have captured the toy, crawled back out of Bear’s kennel through Bear and gotten back to my bedroom surviving all manner of attempts to stop me I put The Toy up on the shelf for the rest of the day.
Day Two of my not normal days:
I open the bathroom door, Bear carpet, more than a little crooked across the threshold, no Tramp. Bear jumps up and heads directly for his kennel. I look at the bed and notice a missing Toy. I walk out of the bedroom to a glaring Rommie. When I get to Bears kennel I see a corner of The Toy peaking out from under one of his blankets. I climb back in his kennel rescue The Toy and put it up for the day.
Day Three of my not normal days:
I open the bathroom door, Bear carpet back in place, Tramp watching the door, all is good. I walk into the living room and Rommie glares at me. Yup, toy is gone, the boys are getting good.
My morning ritual now includes putting The Toy up. If I manage to forget, Bear invites me into his kennel to retrieve the toy, Rommie makes sure I do.
Bear: (Comes out of my room with a sock and a shirt, heads directly to his kennel.)
Me: Bear, those aren’t toys. Bring them to me.
Bear: (Seems to have gone deaf. Gets to kennel, plops down loudly)
Me: (Following, stands in front of kennel, notices a couple of other socks behind his fuzzy body) Goodness you’ve been busy.
Bear: (Looks at me, shirt and sock still in mouth)
Me: (Squats down in front of kennel, gently opens his locked jaws, withdraws soggy shirt and sock. Climb into kennel rescues other socks, climb back out. Returns clothes to bedroom.)
Bear: (Steals lap blanket off couch, heads to kennel)
Bear: (Plops loudly in kennel)
Bear: (Laying in kennel, on top of lap blanket, looking at me)
Me: (Crawls halfway in kennel, starts Mom scritches at head, down neck, shoulders, toward tummy till Bear rolls over. I grab blanket and run to living room with Bear in hot pursuit)
A little while later
Bear: (Walks out of my bedroom with my pillow)
Me: Bear! Stop!
Bear: (Stops, looks at me)
Me: Bring that to me please.
Bear: (Brings me the pillow)
Me: (Gives Bear a couple of training treats) Thank you (Puts pillow off to the side)
Tramp: Wait! You did not just reward him for stealing your pillow, did you?
Me: No, I rewarded him for saving me the time and effort of climbing in his kennel for the third time today.
Tramp: Oh I’m pretty sure you just rewarded him for stealing
Bear: (Walks out of my bedroom with my other pillow and brings it directly to me.)
Tramp:(Snorts) Right that saved plenty of time!