He’s getting mighty cantankerous in his senior years….stubborn too. I’ve called him some ten times already; still he refuses to budge. It’s not his hearing that is the problem. I could whisper one word…cheese…and he’d shoot down the stairs like a missile.
No, it’s not hubby that I speak of though his stubborn streak is long and deep. I’m talking of The Poodle, of course.
With leash in hand I stomp up the stairs miffed that I even must.
The Poodle, comfy in
his…my…study chair is aware that I am none too pleased. I stand before him with the look.
“Come on old man…let’s go. I’ve got things to do and places to go.”
He complies but ever so reluctantly. He’s almost sloth-like as we make our way down the stairs. But then, as I reach for his smart winter coat that is in a pretty wicker basket by the front door his energy picks up—he practically runs in the opposite direction.
Rocket-man howls with laughter. Me? I’m peeved.
“You think this is funny?” I say in exasperation as I go in search of The Poodle. “I really don’t have time for this.”
“Yo…Brando….get over here,” I all but bellow. Clearly, I am not in the mood for games this morning. I suppose it’s the stress of the season. My house looks like a bomb went off. I’ve got boxes of Christmas decor all over the living room. I’m behind in everything–from laundry to Italian, and a list a mile long of stuff to do…. which makes no sense at all since I’m not a working gal. How is it I got more stuff accomplished when I worked full-time, took care of kids, went to school and trained for marathons?
Finally The Poodle inches his way back to the front door.
I sit on the floor and coax him into my lap. Looking into his eyes I whisper, I love you as I caress his head and torso. Then I begin putting on his coat. With his tail down between his legs he looks awfully pathetic….like he is being punished for some far-flung reason.
I’m practically gushing with “good boy” praises as he lets me arrange his coat on properly.
“Good boy….you’re such a good boy! I know you are not fond of this coat but you do look so very handsome in it.”
His look tells me he is not at all convinced by my words….of course he isn’t! “Look…It’s 27 degrees outside–and it’s very windy–so it’s gonna feel like it’s 19. Besides, you’ve got a hitch in your giddy-up with arthritis….and well….it’s a Pendleton coat for goodness sake. How can you not like it?”
If he could talk I’m sure he say: I much prefer my own coat, thank you very much.
We make our way out the door and into the woods. It’s a beautiful day–just freaking cold. Round this bend and that our walk in the woods is quiet and lovely….until I see a woman walking her two Scottish terriers coming towards us. Her pups are dressed in Argyle sweaters, one pink and one blue. Both dogs are all snarls and snaps. It is their usual demeanor every single morning as we pass them during our walk. The Poodle always ignores them as if to say “What atrocious manners you two have.”
Except for this morning. My boy snarls right back. If fact he’s barking and pulling as if he wants a piece of them! Whoa! What gives?!
“Leave it!” I say as I pull him close to my side. “Easy boy….easy.”
Not five minutes later he does the same thing with another dog–a chocolate lab. Normally my boy is as easy-going as a Sunday morning.
When we are out of ear shot range I stop and order my boy to sit. He complies immediately.
“What’s with you this morning?” I ask gently as I rub his snout. It’s not like you to be in such a pissy mood.”
If he could talk he’d probably say: You weren’t too chipper this morning either mom….like you humans, we have our bad days too. Now take off this damn coat….
As we head back home I take in, once more, the delicious quiet of the morning. Yes, my Poodle-love…we were two peeved peeps this morning. And really, there was no good reason for mine! There are far more pressing matters happening all over the world to get one’s tinsel in a tangle over. Let’s go home and make things right: it’s off with the coat and a treat for you and Christmas singing whilst trimming the tree for me.
There is bliss in that.