All posts tagged: animals

My work colleagues are dogs. And no, I’m not a sheepherder.

Miss Tibbit the Useless Little Black Dog and Hamish the Corgi work with me all the day long. And they work hard on their dog chores. Miss Tibbit holds the cushion down on the chair. Hamish holds the chair in position. They sigh and stretch and mumble over their tasks. Every now and again, Hamish has to squirm into a better holding position, Miss Tibbit must squeeze herself tighter into her little dog-round position. Today Miss Tibbit worked in the window seat in the front parlor. Hamish occupied himself with holding down the old red settee. I was so lonely. The keys wouldn’t type right on the keyboard. The words wouldn’t come in my careful writing. The day was bleak. Now we’re back up here for the evening round of work. Sweet Tibbit is snoring and twitching with her full post-dinner belly and Hamish looks like he may have actually passed out. And, sure, the WideEyedSpouse is across the room, sighing and creaking around in his chair doing mysterious Spouse office things.  But he’s with …

Sweet Tibbit gets her money’s worth out of a jelly bean.

Hamish the Corgi and Miss Tibbit can’t stop thinking about jelly beans. I’m looking at Sweet Tibbit now and she’s laying on the window seat gazing into the middle distance. She seems vacuous, blank-eyed, awaiting stimulus. I assure you she is thinking about jelly beans.  Hamish is lounged on the sofa, chin propped and contemplative. He is also thinking about jelly beans. Because they are dogs, they both like, or rather, don’t dislike, every color jelly bean. I believe that there is a slight preference for pink, red and purple jelly beans over black, orange, and green. It is hard to tell with Hamish because he crunch-gulps so swiftly that the experience is over by the time his Corgi brain has the opportunity to form an opinion. Sweet Tibbit, she savors a jelly bean. She snuffles the bean with her strangely mobile little black nose.  If it proves acceptable (and it always does but certain colors are approved more quickly), if acceptable Sweet Tibbit takes the bean with her tiny front nibble teeth and pursed …

Three’s Company, Two’s Just Awkward

As it turns out, Miss Tibbit the Useless Little Black Dog and I don’t have all that much to say to each other. Hamish the Corgi was in the dog hospital yesterday. This left Miss Tibbit and I alone in the house. Hamish left early in the morning, and Miss Tibbit sat on the bed and stared out the window at the Pathfinder as it left the driveway. When the truck was out of sight, she turned to look at me over her shoulder. I shrugged at her. What could I say? Hamish went somewhere and she didn’t. Morning walkies were weird. Miss Tibbit didn’t pull at the leash. She didn’t bark at other dogs. She sniffed everything twice as hard as normal, lingering over the little hedge branch that sticks out too far and rubs against EVERY dog who walks past. I think she sniffed the bark right off of it. She kept aiming quick little glances back at me. The office situation was even odd. I sat at the desk, clacketing away as …

Lemme me see the other side.

I’ll tell you what. I have lived in Minnesota. I know what cold feels like. I spent a couple of winters in Anchorage. I know what big snow looks like. I grew up at the South Jersey shore.  I am familiar with bone cutting, sand carrying, January winds that administer the midseason microdermabrasion treatments. Stings a bit when the feeling comes back into your cheeks. Now I’m in Buffalo. And I am becoming expert in the wintry mix. Sloppy.  Gusty. Raw. The Christmas pine garlands are flopping all over the place. And dog walks are wretched. “Yeah.” Sorry, that was Miss Tibbit interrupting us. This afternoon she pranced onto the back porch, got blasted in the face with a sleety snow, and turned around to come back inside. Wasn’t worth it. No thank you ma’am. Buffalo winter means that Hamish the Corgi and Sweet Tibbit come home from walkies with salty wet feet. Hamish’s undercarriage is a cindery mucky mess. Every time. (The cat just sneezed in my wine by the way. Just saying. Nice …

Walking dogs in the fall has a certain frisson.

The leaves changed in here Buffalo in that last week or two. An orangey road glow replaces the striking sun to shadow dichotomy of summer. Bowers formed by century-grown wrinkled and twisted tree branches, trimmed into arches over the sidewalks, allow a little more of the post autumnal equinox sun through so that there is a gloaming rather than pools of shade. Miss Tibbit and Hamish kick up leaves as they trot along, noses in the air to catch the damp scents. Fall dog walks joyously beautiful. They are peaceful. The fair-weather dog walkers have abandoned the parks and streets and Miss Tibbit has fewer dog friends to yowl toward. Hamish has fewer challengers to his tiny and vulnerable Corgi dignity. Yet, fall dog walks are fraught with danger. It is a social danger, sure, but no less frightening for that. It is all Hamish’s fault. As you may know from past chronicles, Hamish is a Master of the Craft of Display Defecation.  His joy in his craft is unsubtle. A car full of family …

Miss Tibbit Takes Herself to Brunch.

“I’m feeling peckish,” Miss Tibbit, the Useless-Little-Black-Dog, thought to herself this sunny Saturday morning. She was curled tight on the Big Bed next to the Person. She laid there for a few moments more, thinking through her options. The Person had coffee and a book, nothing worth asking for there. Wiggins the Ancient Cat now lives in a sequestered room and his food bowl was not accessible. Miss Tibbit had cruised the kitchen counters during breakfast two hours ago. Empty. Also empty was the Sesame Melba Toast carton abandoned by Hamish the Corgi on the living room floor. Miss Tibbit sighed and resigned herself to hungry napping. One ear perked. Miss Tibbit had an idea. An elusive memory tracked across her tiny mind. She felt that something wonderful sat on the kitchen floor, unguarded, far away from the Person, and certain to satisfy even the biggest snacky appetite. The Person mistrusts Miss Tibbit’s intentions as a matter of habit, so this had to be a cunning operation. Miss Tibbit made a plan. “Yaaawwnnn,” she said, …

Miss Tibbit, the Useless-Little-Black-Dog, had a bad week.

Friday: There was a horrendous, apocalyptic thunderstorm and she was forced to go out into the yard for bedtime peeing while the storm still rumbled in the distance. It was scary. Saturday. It was still raining, and Miss Tibbit had to go for morning walkies in the rain. Her coat got all wet and her paws splashed through endless puddles. Plus, all the worms were floating and mushy instead of barbequing on the sidewalk the way she likes them. Who wants worm soup? Sunday. Even though the sun was shining everyone was too busy scrubbing the traffic soot off of the front porch and making a screen for the front window. No one offered a nice, long park walkie. No one lounged around in the back yard for hours. It was boring. Monday. The vet’s office was smelly with other dogs, none of whom were available for playing. Miss Tibbit had lots of treats, but she was stuck by three needles dumping stuff in her, one needle taking stuff out, a nasty nose drip medicine …