Monkey was running a little temp last night, and then again this morning. He wasn’t deathly ill, or anything, but just sick enough that we needed to skip church… and he, apparently, needed to whine a lot. So I was worried that it would be a long day of being cooped up in the house with the children bickering.
But I’d worried needlessly, because it was a long day of being cooped up in the house with the children bickering and Princess Puppypants either proudly bestowing gifts upon me or slinking away from the kids as they yelled, “Drop it! Drop it! GIVE IT BAAAAAACK!”
Ask not for whom the dog fetches. She fetches for you. (Unless she really likes what she fetched; in which case, you’d best have a Milkbone to trade.)
As I sat at my desk this morning, the kids lounged on the couches and watched cartoons. I checked email, they ate bagels. And the puppy raced the length of the house again and again: Family room to mudroom, mudroom back to family room. Each lap returned her to my feet, stumpy little tail wagging, and a new treasure in her mouth. I kept removing items from her maw and setting them up on the desk.
Here is what is currently in that pile, blocking my printer:
* one of Monkey’s rainboots
* two gloves from two different pairs
* my scarf
* one of Chickadee’s hats
* several receipts
* a sweater
* three socks
* a book of knock-knock jokes
* a napkin
* three kleenex
To be fair, she also brought me my slippers. Well, my slipper. One slipper. But I put it on, and went and rescued the other one. All of these items were delivered unharmed.
Here is what was rescued from a reluctant puppy deathgrip and either put immediately in the trash or is destined for it very soon:
* 4 chewed lego pieces
* a very soggy Christmas gift bag
* Spiderman’s leg. Sorry, dude.
* a delicious empty yogurt cup
* hmmm… maybe a barrette? (heavily mutilated)
* a pencil
* a twist-tie
* a homeless junkie
So it was all pretty exciting. When she wasn’t bringing me something, or being stripped of something she wasn’t supposed to have, she was generally alerting me to her desire to play by trying to eat my fingers. I spent about half the day with my hands inside the dog’s mouth. Mmmm… slobbery!
Chickadee and I did give the puppy a bath, on account of she’s a very itchy little thing. Her mom hadn’t had time to bathe her before they took off on their impromptu trip, and the puppy has a bad case of winter skin. (Hey, around here, who doesn’t?) So after watching her trying to gnaw off her own legs for a while, I suggested we get her into the tub.
She was quite good–didn’t try to escape, and more or less just stood there and gave us doleful looks. “I thought you LIKED me,” her sorrowful gaze reproached us. “I thought we were FRIENDS. Why are you trying to DROWN ME?” I scrubbed her down as quickly as I could, then rinsed her, and warned Chickadee to stand back.
“But wh–” she started, and then (of course), the puppy decided to shake off.
“That’s why,” I said, coming out from behind the shower curtain.
“Oh,” she giggled and dried her face.
We rubbed her all over with a nice fluffy towel, then tried to brush her. The brush–much like the evil Swiffer from yesterday–required vanquishing. Or so her growls and snaps at it led us to believe. She would show that brush who was boss! Well, I did finally get her brushed out. But later tonight I discovered that she ran upstairs and peed in my bedroom to get back at me. Hrmph.
Chickadee wants to hold and cuddle and smooch the puppy, and the puppy, well, she wants to climb inside my clothes. She likes the kids, you understand. They are a great source of crumbs and contraband and even head-rubs. But if I move, she’s under my feet. If I sit down, she’s clambering into my lap. Clearly she’s concerned that her family may be gone forever and figures she’d better ingratiate herself to me, the head of her new pack.
This results in Chickadee being somewhat wounded that the dog doesn’t like her best, and Monkey succumbing to the kind of jealousy that only the baby of the family can muster when Mama’s lap is occupied.
I tried to restore the peace by teaching the puppy to give kisses. Basically she will do anything I say, so if I encourage her to slobber on the children she will do so and then return to me for praise (which I’m happy to give). The only problem ends up being that it’s JUST SO EXCITING that she has some trouble controlling her unbridled… puppiness. Puppies are HYPER. And CHEWY. So more often than not, she would return to me with such glee that she just couldn’t help nibbling a tiny bit at my clothes. And I would make the “ah ah ah!” noise which is universal for “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” and she would stop.
Until the time that she’d just given Chickadee a rather thorough face-washing (Chickie was still giggling) and had run back to me, and I was crowing about WHAT A GOOD GIRL she was, and suddenly in a paroxysm of glee this little puppy clamped her jaws around my bare wrist.
I looked down to behold my arm jutting out from her head, and was amazed. It didn’t hurt; she wasn’t BITING me, just nibbling. But she definitely had the whole thing in there. “What are you doing?” I asked my puppy friend, in a very low voice.
Her eyes flicked up to my face, then down to my arm. She froze for a moment. And then she released her grip, and simultaneously rolled over on her back and started licking my wrist. “This was all a silly misunderstanding!” she seemed to be telling me. “I have NO IDEA how your wrist fell into my mouth! A thousand apologies! Allow me to lick your wounds, which, by the way, were completely inadvertent! Do you want to smell my butt? Because you can! I’m just laying here at the bottom of the pecking order!”
The children were amazed. I heard, “Puppy! Don’t eat Mama!” several times throughout the day, after that.
By evening the kids were tormenting each other and I was considering letting the dog eat them, but decided against it. Narrowly. Instead, I put them to bed, and then enjoyed some quiet time with my furry friend. For some reason, I can’t get her to stop licking me, now.
Tomorrow is her last day with us. Unless we kidnap her and move. But that seems an unlikely proposition, mostly because it would take way too long to pack up all the stuff I have stacked up on my desk now.