Husband has sciatica, which is pain in leg and back. Medication and therapy exercises cause him to sleep more. Weekend comes, Husband wakes up early, goes back to bed. Wife goes shopping in meantime. Husband wakes up at noon, feeds Dog. Dog goes outside, enjoys temporary break from single-digit temperatures. Husband eats lunch, gets on Facebook. Husband reads various Facebook posts, then sees “Everyone Poops, But Dogs Do It With Magnetism” article. Husband reads article. Husband thinks about pigeons using magnetic fields and is intrigued. Dogs choose places of business based on magnetic fields. Husband writes short dog blog post about article. Husband almost posts blog, then suddenly stops when question comes up. Article never says why dogs care about magnetic fields or what makes one field better than another. Husband wonders why, has no answer, posts blog article anyway.
Wife and Husband go to Rochester for Christmas, have fun. Husband drives. Wife calls kids on way back, discovers that kids had fun. Husband and Wife arrive home at 10pm. Wife is tired, goes to bed. Husband slept too much during previous night, is not tired at all. Husband gets on computer, tells Facebook how much fun he had in Rochester. Husband putters around on computer till 3:30am. Husband is tired, carefully avoids stepping on Dog in bedroom, and goes to bed. Shortly after, Dog barks. Husband recognizes bark as animal-alert bark, pays little attention. Dog barks again, then keeps barking. Husband has no idea that Wife has been awake for some time. Wife suddenly gets up to check on Dog. Family room is opposite side of house from bedroom. Dog is in family room, barking at deer laying down in back yard and second deer standing nearby. Wife tells Husband what is happening. Wife orders Dog back to bedroom, all go back to sleep.
Morning comes. Husband and Wife are still full from Christmas feast, have tea and cinnamon bread instead of usual tea and cereal. Wife asks Husband how Dog knows that deer are around house, when deer are on opposite side of house from where Dog is. Husband knows that Dog is always on animal patrol, but has no answer. Wife posts question to Facebook, hopes to get good answer.
Wife complains that hot water isn’t hot enough and suggests that tank should be drained. Wife says that hot water tank is twelve years old, with ten year life span, and tank hasn’t been drained in at least two years. Husband is not interested in draining it, is irritated because it means he has to learn how to do it, and bring bulky hose from shed outside into cellar. Husband decides not to argue because he knows Wife is ultimately right on this one.
Husband hits Youtube, Wife leaves for message therapy. Husband decides to take care of dog poo and loose branches on lawn first, then take hose inside. He dresses warmly for bone-cold weather, starts playlist on his phone. Shovel and Wegmans bags are in garage. Husband grabs both items and heads for back yard to clean up dog poo. Dog sits by sliding glass door and watches Husband walk around with shovel. Husband notices Dog watching him, thinks about irony of how he usually stands by glass door and watches Dog make poo, and now Dog is in very same spot watching him clean up poo. Husband continues cleaning up large volume of dog poo. Playlist changes, and “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band comes on. Song suddenly takes on a new meaning, and Husband starts laughing out loud. He checks to see if anyone is around, staring at him and thinking he is a lunatic. Coast is clear, so Husband finishes dog poo, picks up loose branches, brings in hose.
Wife and Husband leave Dog in crate to go out on Saturday night. Meet friends for happy hour. Friend is in drinking mood, wants shots. Friends can’t understand how Husband likes Tequila. Husband says that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and To-Kill-Ya doesn’t kill him. Friend and Husband wind up getting very happy-happy. Neither are driving. Wife laughs at Husband and drives home.
Husband gets up on Sunday morning. Husband and Wife watch CBS news show. Show wasn’t interesting, so Husband and Wife spend more time on laptop computers in front of tv than watching show. Wife looks over before getting up from couch and spies dog:
Dog is using stuffed doggie-toy as a pillow! Wife gets closeup:
Dog has never done this before. Husband and Wife look at Dog and laugh. Husband says Dog partied too hard last night.
Wife and Husband have Friends in Honeoye, New York. When Wife and Husband used to live in Rochester, they used to meet Friends out for dinner every once-in-a-while. Since moving to Buffalo, Wife and Husband haven’t seen Friends much, although they keep close contact over Facebook. Friends planned to come out to Buffalo and visit. Wife and Friends text and call back and forth to make arrangements. Friends suddenly say that they can’t come, have to take their dog Bandit to hospital, has intestinal problems. Shortly after, Bandit dies.
Friends post on Facebook, and many express sadness and compassion. Husband mulls it over, and remembers that Friends brought dog to dinner on multiple occasions, and dog waited in back seat while Friends and Wife and Husband were in restaurant. Husband also remembers that dog met Dog once.
Husband thinks about ScaredyDog and Boyfriend, who also died. Husband believes that death is a powerful reminder to be grateful for and enjoy all that you have, in the present moment, for as long as you have it. Husband has never seen “All Dogs Go To Heaven” movie, but believes that they do. Husband names dog FiestyDog and creates page for him.
Husband and Wife go to Home Depot for a new screen door, come home, water plants and flowers in front yard, then watch tv. Wife turns on Big Bang Theory, watches for a while, falls asleep on couch. Husband watches Big Bang rerun about Sheldon getting a “girlfriend” who is smart and adores his physics knowledge (pre-Amy Farah-Fowler), then goes to his computer in his office to check Facebook. Husband reads a friend’s post entitled “Interview with the Dog”. Husband hasn’t had anything to write about Dog in months, and suddenly gets an idea. Husband interviews Dog.
H: Hi Dog, thanks for talking with us today. Everyone wants to know not only what it’s like to be a dog, but what it’s like being Wife and Husband’s dog.
D: Hi. Oh-yes, I just love them. They’re nice to me, and they give me lots of attention. You know, I normally eat breakfast at 6-7am every morning. My dinner is at 6pm on the days when they work, and at noon when they’re home. But I hear that Wife is the one who makes me wait past noon on those days, and I don’t like that. Makes me crazy. It’s Husband who feeds me on time, and on those days where he can tell that I’m especially hungry, he’ll feed me early. I love that. He gives me plenty of cold water too, and I like that a lot. They say I drink enough for two dogs, and when I’m outside doing business #1, I make a pond. But no matter what, Wife is my favorite. She is always #1, but Husband is a good #2.
H: Was the pun intended?
D: Of course! Husband likes puns too!
H: I see. All righty then. Sooo….do you get a lot of snacks?
D: I get a peanut butter flavored biscuit every morning at breakfast, and it’s awesome! Oh my God, I always eat it first! Husband laughs at me on those days when I’m so hungry at breakfast that I turn circles. But that’s about it. I am not a big chow-hound like other dogs are, so I don’t care a lot about food, but I’d eat a whole bag of those peanut butter biscuits if I could!
H: Do they let you go outside whenever you want to?
D: Yeah, but at the end of the night they make me go out one last time when I don’t want to, because they know I have business. So they drag me out there anyways, I do business #1, then come back in. Other times, I wish they would let me stay outside a little longer, but I’ve heard that they don’t because they don’t want me to get into trouble. I don’t know what they’re talking about, because I’m on a chain. Where am I going to go?
H: They tell me that they don’t like to leave you out there because there are times where they catch you eating your own business #2, and that upsets them.
D: (embarrassed) Oh my God, they’re not supposed to see me doing that! They’re not supposed to know!
H: Why do you do that??
D: (withdraws and gets quiet) Can’t tell, it’s a doggie-secret.
H: Ok. Maybe they don’t let you outside for long because you like to bark at people and dogs who are passing by, even if you can only see them for a second before they disappear from view.
D: Oh-yeah, I do like to bark at them once or twice, but I’m not a yakety-yakety-yak-yak-yak like other dogs. Sometimes I’m saying hello, but most of the time I’m telling them that I’m here, and it’s my party so I’ll bark if I want to. Mostly though, I just watch. I love watching everything that goes on. When I’m in the house, there’s a window right by the front door that’s at my level, and I love to sit there and watch all the passersby.
You know, just the other day, Husband met BarnGuy, who lives in the house behind us. He has a yellow barn and SmallDog. BarnGuy says that his girlfriend enjoys watching me watch them and SmallDog on his chain. I’ve been watching him for a while now – SmallDog’s cute, but he’s a bit too young for me.
H: Oh, come on, we know you’re a cougar – don’t forget that Boyfriend is much younger than you.
D: Well, yeah, but SmallDog has to grow up just a little bit more before he’s cougar material! I don’t take puppies!!
H: And what about Boyfriend?
D: Well, he’s in Rochester. I’m in Buffalo. So I’m on the prowl. And I’ll bet Boyfriend’s hanging out with some new girls anyway. Of course, he’ll need a few girls, because one wouldn’t be enough to make up for me! Wife watches NCIS and on that show, they would say that I’ve got a BOLO for a new man (Be On the Look Out).
H: (laughing) Ok-0k I get it. Dogs will be dogs. But you know, I have something to tell you. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news Dog, but I should take this opportunity to tell you that Boyfriend has gone to Doggie-Heaven. So has ScaredyDog.
(Dog breaks down and cries lots of doggie-tears for a very long time, then wipes an eye with a paw)
D: Do you have a tissue?
H: Yes, but you couldn’t hold onto it. You know, the opposable thumbs thing..
D: Oh-yes, you’re right. Forgot about that. Never mind, I’m ok. But oh-my, I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope they’re doing well in Doggie-Heaven. I’ll miss them.
H: Yes, and so do we.
H: All righty. Onto something different. How’s your health?
D: Well, it’s okaaay. You know, I’ve had a stomach problem since I was a puppy. Husband thinks that it started when I ate a bunch of foil-wrapped vitamins or something, foil and all. Anyway, from time to time my stomach acts up, and I don’t know why. Last week, I ate some grass and then it threw up later, in the house. A few days ago, I threw up something more solid. This kind of thing just happens every so-many months. Wife and Husband are good about it though, they don’t yell at me, and try to take me outside.
H: Wife and Husband do what they can. One of their more mundane jobs is to watch you do your business #2 to be sure there’s no blood or other problems in it.
D: They do that for me?? Oh-my, that’s so nice of them. I like how they take care of me. I’m so happy-happy!
H: It’s not nice for them, but they’re happy that you’re happy.
H: And here’s the big question that our readers are dying to know the answer to. Remember your first deer incident in your new house in Buffalo?
D: So that’s what they’re called. They’re bigger than me, but I’m not scared of them. And I don’t like them at all!
H: Yes. On the cold rainy afternoon when you broke the makeshift chain that Husband made out of clothesline. You chased the deer through the back yard, nearly gave Wife a heart attack because she thought you were lost for good, and then turned around and came back to the house, when it was your first time at the house.
D: Sure, I remember.
H: So why did you come back? How did you know where to come back to? Other dogs would have either chased the deer forever, or would have never found their way back home. Either of which would have broke Wife and Husband’s hearts.
D: Now that’s not just a doggie-secret. It’s my secret.
H: (sighs) Uh-huh. Well, there you have it folks, or more accurately, there you don’t.
H: By the way, did you know that Husband writes a blog about you, and this interview is going to appear in it?
D: What’s a blog, and what’s an interview??
H: It doesn’t matter. It really means that you’re a celebrity of sorts.
D: Really?! Wow! You know, I’ll just have to get my hair done for this!
H: Don’t worry, no pictures on this one.
D: Oh, ok. But I’m a celebrity! Does that mean I get more peanut butter biscuits? Does it? Huh, huh??
H: I’m sorry, but it doesn’t. It means that you’ve got a lot of media coverage via the Internet and social media via Facebook.
D: (somewhat puzzled) Ok, I guess. But I’m a celebrity!
H: We have time for one more question. Is there anything that you wish Wife and Husband did differently?
D: I’d love a bag of peanut butter biscuits every day! Really though, they could pick up the old business #2 in the back yard a little more often. I like walking around and around before settling on a spot to do business, and when there’s a lot of old business in the way, I have to be more careful about where I’m walking. You’ve got to clear out the old business to make room for the new business.
I’d love to run loose all over the neighborhood. I’d chase the rabbits and the terrorist squirrels and play with all the other dogs I’d meet along the way. I’d get to check out SmallDog too, and see what he’s all about. And I’d like to not be in the crate so much. They always put me in there when they go away. I was in the crate a lot less when Husband worked from home, but now he doesn’t do that anymore. At least they play music to keep me company. Wife used to play the radio for me, but now my crate is in Husband’s office. So he made a playlist on his computer. It’s called “Dog” and has a few hundred songs on it, just for me.
I wouldn’t mind going to Doggie Day Care a little more often. I’ve been to the place here in Buffalo a couple of times, and it doesn’t compare to Rochester where all my buddies are, but I would be nice to go every once in a while. Or maybe go for walks. I used to pull the chain real hard, but now they put this funky thing on my nose called a halty. I don’t like it, but I walk much better with them because of it.
H: I can talk to them about clearing out the old business, but running loose in the neighborhood is definitely out. Having you out of the crate when Wife and Husband are away is out too. You’d get yourself into waaay too much trouble, very quickly. On the other hand, a little more walking and Doggie Day Care could be possible, and I’ll see what I can do to get you an extra biscuit or two. Thanks for talking with us today.
D: I’m a celebrity!
Dog walks out of Husband’s office and lays down on floor in a heap, right next to couch where Wife is sleeping.
Husband is in first part of 2-day training class and gets text from Wife at 10:45am asking to call her because she has a story. Husband is excited, hopeful that the story is about Wife getting a job. Break time comes, he calls Wife. Wife starts out with “let me tell you the end first”. Husband is braced for bad news, but Wife says “I got the Dog back”. Wife says that Dog got herself off doggie-post and went into neighbor’s back yard, dragging leash behind her. Dog found neighbor’s garden very interesting and spent her time sniffing around. Wife was able to get Dog back without much problem. Husband recalls that doggie-post is 4″x4″ pressure treated wood, buried a few feet down, with concrete pour at bottom, and bolt-ring at top for attaching leash is a 3/8″ threaded bolt with washers and a lock washer. He also recalls that leash is 15′ long cable made for 100 pound dogs, even though Dog is only 50 pounds. Dog must think she is Houdini. He asks Wife how in hell Dog did it. Wife says that thumb-clip on leash broke. Husband is puzzled, does not doubt Wife, but explains that chance is very small. Husband says he will look at it after work. While on break, he talks with buddy at work about cutting off broken portion, and together come up with ideas and pictures of clips and connectors.
Husband comes home and examines leash. Thumb-clip is locked in open position. Husband wonders at how Dog miraculously finds weakest link in chain (pun intended) and takes advantage of it. Husband is somewhat annoyed with Dog, but is happy that cable loop can be used, and there is no need to cut anything off. Hardware store is very close by, and is still open. Husband goes in and looks at quick link hooks. He selects a hook that looks good, tests it against identical sized ring that is on doggie-post now, but screw-opening is too small. He finds a much larger ring, and it fits. Husband leaves store and returns home.
Husband installs new clip between loop on leash and bolt-ring on doggie-post, tightens screw-opening with pliers. As if on cue, Dog suddenly has to go outside. Husband calls Wife to inspect new hook before putting Dog out. Wife agrees that it is much better. Husband puts Dog out. No problem.
Later in evening, Husband is on Facebook, and Wife posts that Dog escaped again. Friends who know about Dog’s first escape episode at new house in Buffalo say that Husband should stick to making party food instead of making doggie tie-outs. Others say get fence instead. Husband explains that pie-shaped backyard is too big to fence, would look very ugly next to remaining non-fenced backyards, which look beautiful. He says deer and other animals would make letting Dog run in fenced back yard and trying to get her back in a complete nightmare. Husband goes back outside and takes picture of new leash attachment for blog.
Husband has been working hard on new house. Paints five rooms. Three ceilings, two are high, each with 45 degree angle. Husband plops down on couch next to Wife to watch tv. Dog comes by and lays down. Minutes pass. Dog turns over, Husband notices. Dog is laying on back, has all feet up and is wagging tail. Husband thinks about hours of painting and is suddenly envious of Dog’s dog-life. Husband snaps quick picture with cell phone. Husband gets idea for caption immediately afterward.
Wife is unemployed, has to do presentation for job-search group she belongs to. Presentation is about avoiding job search burn-out. Wife asks Husband for input on nearly-finished presentation. Presentation is based on strategy for maintaining balance. Wife invents a 123 strategy based on existing strategy she learned from a professional contact. Relaxation is important part of presentation. Husband suggests 5 in the air photo for presentation. Wife laughs and then adds it. Husband asks Wife if she named new strategy, but has not. Husband christens new strategy as Venus 123. Wife says group members will laugh, then adds it to presentation.
Wife, Husband, and Dog move from Rochester to Buffalo. Backyard configuration in new house is completely different. No fences in any backyards. No posts for tie-outs. Patio is much bigger and shaped differently, reduces Dog’s business area. Wife has an old screw-in doggie post laying around. Husband puts it in as a temporary fix and stretches chain to fit next to sliding glass door to patio. Dog uses chain, but business is landing in bed around patio instead of grass. Husband finds a length of clothesline amongst pile of boxes. Husband ties clothesline to screw-in and to chain. Husband used to fish, and ties improved clinch knot at both ends. Husband knows fishing knot is very strong, stronger than clothesline. Husband also thinks about Dog possibly breaking line, and dismisses it. Dog uses new chain configuration, and business is better.
Husband is on vacation all week in order to move. Rain forecast is 100%, and proves to be true. It’s late afternoon, and Husband is removing wallpaper in master bedroom. Husband is busy thinking about how wallpaper is evil when he hears Dog making unusual “time to go out” noises, and Wife putting Dog on chain. Moments later, Wife rushes into bedroom and says there’s a deer outside. Husband and Wife look out back yard windows, then go to sliding glass door and see a deer under a pine tree at extreme end of back yard, and Dog on chain, standing like a statue. Husband starts back towards bedroom, then hears Wife screaming Dog’s name. Dog is loose and chasing deer!! Wife and Husband break into a full run across backyard in pouring rain, with no coats, Husband in khaki shorts in cold weather, but can’t find Dog. Neighbor says Dog went across road towards woods. Husband and Wife go back to house, get coats. Wife says she wants to call 911. Husband says no, no need. Both get into cars, but Wife takes off first, doesn’t know how to get to road behind house, and takes wrong turn. Husband knows how to get to road and proceeds immediately toward Neighbor’s house. Neighbor says Dog was just at his house a second ago but he wasn’t able to grab her, and points back towards Husband’s house. Husband parks car and goes through back yards towards his house. Husband sees Dog waiting on patio! Husband walks towards Dog, is talking to Dog, but she starts barking. Dog has different barks for different things, and this bark is Intruder Bark. Husband figures that Dog hasn’t seen him in hoodie sweatshirt with hood up before, but he is able to grab Dog without incident and lead her back into house.
Husband thought Wife ran out without cell phone, but calls Wife anyway. Wife answers. Husband tells her that Dog is safe. Wife says she lost her way but will return shortly. Husband dries off soaking wet Dog, cuts across back yards in pouring rain to get to car. Husband stops to thank Neighbor for assisting him, learns that there is a major deer run that goes across back yards, then returns home.
Husband goes back to patio and looks at screw-in. Screw-in is still in place, as before. Husband observes that Dog snapped clothesline in middle, and fishing knots did not come loose! Husband is surprised. Dog is modest mid-size dog, not 800 pound gorilla, but somehow broke line in middle.
Wife returns home. Wife looks like Dog’s antics scared business right out of her. Wife says she was very scared that Dog would get hit by a car. Husband didn’t mention it, but at old house, Dog would have been dead. Old house is on a major road.
Husband and Wife think it over and talk. Dog has very-very likely never seen a deer before. And Dog was inside and heard deer outside before she went out, which was why her behavior was unusual and she wanted to be outside. Husband and Wife are puzzled as to how Dog figured that out. Wife is completely surprised that Dog found her way back to house. Dog had been in house only a few days, parts of which were spent at LittleDog’s house instead, as Dog needed to be out of mover’s way. Husband remarks that Dog is very smart.
Husband is surprised that Dog didn’t take right off into woods and never come back, as he has heard that dogs will chase deer down for days on end. Husband says he thinks that territoriality saved Dog’s life – Dog ran deer off her property, then returned to protect her territory, even from Husband-in-hoodie-disguise. Had she not returned, she could have died on road or in woods, or been killed by chain that was still attached getting wrapped around something, perhaps even a moving car.
Husband is considering options for new backyard configuration. Old house had two posts connected by a line, one was fence post, other was porch post, and line was about 6 feet up. Dog could run back and forth along length of line, from a short chain attached to it. Currently, new house has no provisions for two-post configuration, but could be added. Screw-in configuration is only inches off ground, but Dog was already wrapping herself around a not-too-expensive shrubbery that previous owner has in place. Husband has sawszall with a blade for branches, but can’t consider removing shrubbery until house officially closes next week. Husband has decided that no matter what configuration he goes with, he will have to inquire with Buffalo’s Call Before You Dig first, and Dog will have to be walked outside for business in meantime.
Husband has to work an extra day in Buffalo, is on road, headed home. Wife calls and says she is meeting a friend she hasn’t seen in a long time and won’t be home for a while. Husband arrives home, grabs something to eat, and putters on computer. Wife comes home and tells husband that ScaredyDog died. Wife calls Nephew who posted it on Facebook. Nephew says ScaredyDog died in her sleep. Nephew needs help with Ethernet cabling, Husband provides advice. Wife calls Brother, who owns ScaredyDog, leaves voicemail. Husband is sad to hear about ScaredyDog. Husband writes Dogblog.
Dog knows nothing, and is happy-happy.