They come when called and they are snuggly. Oh, right, that’s what dogs do!! I’ve lived with Alice so long I guess I had just forgotten what the relationship usually involves. Chuck and Thelma have settled in nicely here on the backside of the mountain. After five days on the road coming across the country (Chuck’s 9th trip) they were overjoyed to sprawl in the sun on the deck and listen to the world.
For her part, Alice is the perfect hostess. She doesn’t challenge their choices of toys or become protective at meal time. The play-time of racing through the house at top speeds keeps her physically tired and the comradery of others to patrol the boundaries and ward off potential intruders is quite helpful in her opinion.
They are close in age and stages of life, 5, 6, and 7 years old. Chuck has been here before for an extended stay the year Hanni went to Italy and Greece. He is dashing in his “tuxedo” with the muscle-bound little body of a prize-fighter.
If Chuck were a homo sapien vs. a canine, his preference would be “tighty whitey” jockey’s beneath his gleaming black and white muscled body. Those tighty whites would of course have dinosaurs, because, well, he does love dinosaurs.
Thelma is the same size but carries less muscle. She is not a beauty, in fact, “white trash” best describes her countenance and attitude.Thelma would be most happy as a “trucker dog” living out of an 18 wheeler with only one human to train. She would be Loretta Lynn without a guitar, charming the world for just long enough to get a meal before her charade ran out and it was time to move on. She is on her last shred of good behavior; which is dangerous for everyone, but extremely pleasant for the moment.
Two days later, Gaia arrived. A gorgeous, gregarious one-year old, she has endless energy and is like a toddler who sees the world as her personal, giant sandbox.
Chuck was somewhat put out, having established his order as the only male with Thelma and Alice. He has lived with Gaia for the past six months in California, but the pack of four required some readjusting on everyone’s part. They raced through the house, leaping from couch to floor in the never-ending “chase me – chase you” game. Alice stood back in horror as her quiet little life turned upside down; then joined in the chaos, following at a good distance.
On the fourth day, I awoke to Alice standing over me with a quizzical look. “Is it still doggie day care today?”
“Yep, and it will be getting a little more rowdy with the addition of young Harvey when Lex and Shana arrive.” She sighed and curled back up to catch a few more minutes of rest.
Harvey is a hound mix puppy, all legs and ears. He is well-behaved at just over two months old but still very much a kid. He and Gaia became inseparable crashing through doorways and strewing toys from the basket. Outside toys cluttered the rugs, inside toys disappeared into the woods. Mayhem reigned supreme. But Harvey also has the diligence of a hound and the desire to please. He respected his older pack-mates but found Gaia irresistible in her irrelevance of rules in life.
The beauty of a ‘Pack’ is that we all finally find our place of comfort and settle in for the night; slights and injustices are forgotten, we take a deep breath of comfort in belonging, and sigh out our surrender to this day. We all lie down and forgive and vow to start over tomorrow with a fresh perspective.
Oh, if Humans were so simple…