Today Kenny and Dudley and I were ousted from the house again, due to the increasingly noisy and extremely dusty construction work that has taken over the better part of our downstairs. We piled in the car and drove out to my parent’s house where we had the place to ourselves (they were spending the day out – Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!)… well, mostly to ourselves: Madison, the crazy, one blue eye, one brown eye Cavallier King Charles Spanial (her breed name weighs more than she does) and Rusty, the wild and often panting, yet lovable and loyal Golden Retriever were there to greet us.
The sun was shining and the air was warm when we arrived, so we played outside for awhile before going in. Dudley and Rusty ran laps around the house, and Madison ran laps around Kenny. My parents have the ideal yard: lush green grass on a flat acre, with the Chesapeake Bay right across the street. Beautiful.
After some playtime, I plopped Kenny into the stroller to walk the big dogs down to the park at the end of the neighborhood. Kenny and I counted horseshoe crab shells washed on the shore of the Bay while Dudley and Rusty sprinted back and forth, trying to catch the geese and herons landing on the rocks. When we got home, we puttered around the house, had gingersnaps and cheese for lunch (ok – I’m usually fanatic about feeding Kenny healthy food, but he was starting to get ornery and I couldn’t find anything else on short notice), then played “naptime” for about thrity minutes. That was not as fun as it sounds. So we traipsed back outside, got Kenny back into the stroller, Dudley back on my left and Rusty on my right, and did a slow loop around the block until Kenny fell asleep. That’s when I noticed that the left tire was completely flat, and it looked like the axle was bent. (Did I mention that I backed into the stroller with the 4-Runner last week? Details…) We bee-lined home, and I parked Kenny on the front porch in the sun, and with the three dogs frollicking in the yard, sat in a rocking chair with an enormous pile of my Mom’s magazines, nothing to do but wait for Kenny to wake up.
The most amazing thing happened during those two (yes, he took one of his rare two hour siestas!) hours. I became the leader of the ad-hoc dog pack in the front yard. I noticed it first when I got up to use the restroom… all three dogs, who by that time were worn out and napping in various spots in the sun, got up and followed me in the front door. When I opened the bathroom door, there they all were, sitting like perfect statues, watching the door with eager anticipation. Then they followed me in a perfect line back out the door and onto the porch. I peeked at Kenny, and as I walked away, one by one they went up to the stroller and looked at our sleeping boy. I sat down for only a second, then popped back up to get a soda and a cookie. All three of them jumped up from where they had just laid down and followed me in a line to the kitchen. They watched intently as I popped the tab on my Fresca, then drooled in unison as I reached into the gingersnap bag for a treat. They followed me back onto the porch and laid down in their spots again.
I thought that was all pretty fun, so I decided to play a game of it.
I stood up. They all stood up. I sat down. They laid back down. I walked back into the house. They paraded in behind me. I went outside. They trotted outside. Ok – I’ll stop there, but let’s just say that this went on for the next hour. I was revelling in my pack leader status. This sort of thing doesn’t come along everyday. The physical differences in the dogs made it comical enough to see them doing the same thing in unison, as I did things.
I finally gently woke Kenny up – it was getting time for us to go – and when Madison and Rusty realized that they weren’t coming with us, they started howling. Even Dudley, a veritable snob when it comes to other dogs, whined forlornly at the door when I separated them. Kenny thought that was funny, but started crying himself when he realized that we weren’t taking Madison with us (I think he thinks she’s a stuffed animal that just happens to move and make noise).
But a great day, all in all. From the looks of our house at the moment, I may just have to try a repeat of it tomorrow.