Been There, Done That by Laura Nethken

Published:

In better weather our dogs, 12-year-old Duke and 2-year-old Bo, love to spend time outside. Duke's not all that energetic, but he does do the big loop all the way around the yard and finds a shady spot by the shed to lie down in.

Most dogs look for a sunspot to lie in. Not Duke. He must be in menopause. He and my husband, Dave, sit directly in front of the fan blowing air from the A/C on them. I think we ran the A/C until mid-November.

Bo and I sit wrapped in my sock monkey blanket, huddled together like little freeze-babies.

Outside, Bo races around like a lunatic until he practically falls over from exhaustion.

With the temperatures in the single digits, all they do now is sleep all day, waking up only occasionally to switch from the couch to the chair or the chair to the loveseat.

They're storing up energy for when I get home from work. Then all hell breaks loose. They probably only go outside once all day. Then it's four times in the first 15 minutes when I get home.

I guess it's not all Duke's fault. He's on medication that makes him pee like a racehorse all the time.

The good news is the medicine makes his back legs work a lot better. He can get up on the couch by himself on the first try now. And he seems happier. Dave said he even caught him wagging his tail in his sleep once.

It's a good thing he wasn't on those pills for Bo's second birthday celebration. Just like at Christmas, they got identical piles of chewsticks -- the same exact number, the same exact kind.

And the fights and dirty deals were never-ending. Move your feet, lose your seat (or your chewstick). Duke tries to defend his by never letting it out of his sight. Even if it's his nap time. He sleeps on top of the chewstick. If he does have to go outside or get a drink or a bite to eat, then it's on like Donkey Kong.

Bo swoops in seemingly out of nowhere to claim his prize and swipe the chewstick.

Bo defends his chewsticks by taking them to the upstairs landing. They had one that they had been swapping back and forth for quite a while and there wasn't much left of it.

Bo took it to the landing and Duke stood at the bottom of the steps, barking furiously up at Bo, demanding he relinquish that 1/2-inch wad that was left of a 9-inch chewstick, threatening to come up there and take it.

With the new meds, he just might manage to get up there. Of course, I tried to appease him with the 6-inch chunk that was left of an identical chewstick, but neither one of them wanted that. Duke eventually ended up with the little wad. Bo gave in to his big buddy.

Bo's kind of growing into his own -- being the first responder when he thinks he hears something outside, of course knowing he's got heavy-duty backup.

Once Bo sets off on his Beagle yodel-bark, Duke thunders in with a bark-bark-bark-wheeze. And repeat.

The other morning, Duke got up earlier than Bo, a very rare occurrence. Bo was so out of it, he sat on the remote control to the bedroom TV and changed the channel twice. A new meaning to butt dialing, I guess.

He was really freaked out when he didn't find Duke in his usual spot between the bed and the wall on Dave's side of the bed (with his own fan, of course). He raced downstairs and actually passed him twice without seeing him.

By the time we pointed out that Duke was on the loveseat hidden under my sock monkey blanket, Bo was really worked up. He flung himself up on the couch and tried for the loveseat, missing with nearly his entire rear end. Then he went into three nasty bouts of asthma.

I think he loves the big lug, although heaven forbid he'll ever let him have his own chewstick.

Copyright 2014 Laura Nethken

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.