Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I think I have Writer's Freeze.  And I don't even live in a severely cold part of the country.  But it has been record setting for a couple of days.  I've been listening to faucets dripping and encouraging the dog to hurry when I put him out.  Some days it is really not good to be a canine, except for the love and attention when returning from his morning constitutional around the Artic-like backyard.  At least he has a good thick coat.  But I think he understands this is some crazy kind of cold not experienced in over eighteen years.

He is my buddy and faithful follower during the day.  But he has never been a bedtime snuggler.  A few years ago we broke down and bought the bed we call "exceedingly, excessively comfortable."  When Cate comes home for a visit, she always manages to take a nap or two snuggled up on the bed because it is so comfortable.

Oreo will be ten and he has figured out where the softest spot in the house is after all of these years.  He is not a dog-on-the-furniture dog and even if we placed video cameras around the house when we were gone, I know we wouldn't catch him racing up and over every sofa, bed and chair.  He is happy to start bedtime on the bed and then jumps down before he goes to sleep, in a little crook of pillows which are tossed off the bed at night, next to a low window sill which gives him access to use his special nighttime vision, when necessary.

However, we have recently had a visitor in the house.  And I have sworn up and down about grown adults talking about their grown up childrens' pets like they were GRAND-DOGS.  But I am experiencing this writer's freeze and my brain is clogged and I forgot that I wasn't going to mention the cutie-pie who was hand delivered in a rental vehicle because he has grown too big to fit under an airline seat (which I originally said would never work, just for the record because I had seen pictures of the puppy's legs, precious).  In four years of marriage, this is the first time Cate and Finn have driven the seventeen hour journey home because it is quicker and easier to fly.

But this year we have Zeke.  He is supposedly a miniature Australian Shepherd, albeit a larger version than expected.  Oreo is the original Aussie breed.  Considering that Oreo is the head dog in this house and the grand Marshall of any parade he should decide to participate in, he somewhat accepted Zeke into the pack with open paws.  Only a couple of snaps.  Once he figured out he could chase this small usurper all around and around the back yard, things got better. 

I am trying not to tell the GRAND-DOG story but I do have to tell you how active that cutie-pie can be and the speed and agility with which he can run around, up and over the back of the sofa and the ottoman and then just as quickly give out into a serious nap right on the cushion top.  Good Oreo is sitting on the floor rolling his eyes, with all the smug self-righteousness of an older and wiser relative who knows they have never been allowed such behavior and are only a good dog.  Actually, the best boy, to hear the folks tell it.

The most telling picture shows Cate waking up from a nap on the "exceedingly, excessively, comfortable bed."  Oreo is at the foot, holding down the fort, trying to be polite because the gymnast has taken up residency next to the girl who was his girl first.  And Zeke is snuggled up to one of the pillows.  To make matters worse, the head guy is snuggled up next to Zeke.  This just goes to prove the old adage, "You can teach an old dog new tricks."  He may not be smiling but he's not about to give up his spot on the bed.

Which is where all of my writer's freeze was going.  The night of the big freeze, Mr. Oreo just decides to curl up between his two owners and go to sleep.  This has never happened before.  True story.  He thinks, "I'm no fool. Even I know when some crazy kind of cold makes it a three dog night."

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