Friday, March 27, 2009


We have a dog. Temporarily. For a week.

Uni-gal (our daughter in law) is doing a presentation at a conference in California. Her first international presentation. (Not the kind of thing that hurts one’s CV.) So that’s wonderful.

She leaves behind Warlord, Celtic Boy and Celtic Girl. No major problems. Kids are pre-school; Warlord is SAHD.

But the dogs are another story. Old Dog has beeen part of the family of ages. She is the essence of ”laid-backness.” Young Dog, however, is absolutely full of energy (he's only a year old -- what would you expect?). He needs to go adventuring at least twice a day -- 15 minutes is OK -- half an hour is a lot better. Moreover, his ability to "get into things" is legendary. Since Young Dog is really Uni-gal’s dog, she’s the one who walks him. Trying to walk two kids and two dogs all at the same time is a bit much for Warlord. And that's understandable (at least to the Bear).

So the agreement was struck. Young Dog would stay with us for the week, and the Bear would walk him -- or, perhaps more correctly, he would walk the Bear. (The Bear desperately needs to build up his stamina after hibernating all winter.) So this will all be just fine. Bear and Young Dog already have a strong bond; I always spend time with him when we visit the kids and grandkids.

Last night was his first night with us. We got home and let him thoroughly explore the house -- upstairs and down. G3 and I thought we had “dog-proofed” the house (like “childproofing”). Young Dog however demonstrated in short order that our planning was totally, abysmally inadequate. However, we sorted out the imperfections in our plan (mostly the Bear’s imperfections, to be honest).

G3 had made what we thought were appropriate sleeping arrangements for Young Dog. When it came to bedtime, however, Young Dog absolutely refused to settle. Finally G3 thought, “Maybe he needs to do out one more time." So the two of them headed to the back door. Did Dog go out? No, way, Jose! Dog came tearing downstairs and into my bedroom. G3’s plans notwithstanding, he knew where he was gong to sleep! (Did I mention that Dog and I have an attachment?) So we decided not to argue the point with him, and let him sleep in my bedroom. Even at that, it took him quite a bit of time to settle -- with all the strange sounds of a different house and different neighbourhood. But he did much better with me than in the previously-planned place.

G3, Bear and Young Dog all got a good night’s sleep, more or less (very more or less!).

The end (or as we journalists would put it, — 30 —).


The Blog Fodder said...

Young Dog will keep you young just trying to keep up. Will you make a permanent arrangement to keep one of them? I assume Old Dogs would stick together.

French Fancy... said...

I loved this post Rob, but then I am crazy about dogs. I think you made the right decision about his sleeping arrangements. Did he end up on the bed?

By the way, the comment you left on A Woman of no Importance's blog - is it true or is it spin? You don't have to say if you'd rather not.

Natalie said...

Beautiful post, Rob. Why -30-?

Thanks for kind thoughts.x

Rob-bear said...

BF: Old Dog has always been part of Young Dog's life, and they had a love-hate relationship, like most siblings. Yet the two of them often curl up together. That's one of the things we considered when we let YD come here for the week. Permanent arrangement? I don't know if Uni-gal can part with him.

FF: Thanks for your concern. The facts of the matter are: 1) I have no recollection whatsoever of the events of the early morning of December 24th, 2) I had a couple of CT scans in the hospital (yes, I had my head read -- some might say "about time!") -- no sign of significant injury (not a Natasha Richardson situation, though it could have been; I'm very fortunate!), 3) I subsequently had problems of balance, confusion, and memory loss, but those have cleared up, 4) When I added that note to W/ni I should have followed "blogging etiquette" and concluded with a ;) -- so everyone knew my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek. Mea cupla. BTW, YD did NOT end up on the bed; he'll have to go home (I think) and Warlord would NEVER tolerate a dog on a bed, so I don't want to teach any bad habits. If YD ended up being mine, however, . . .

Nat: Ending a story with - 30 - is a (print) journalistic tradition. The story (I suspect apocryphal, but can't be sure) is that stories used to end with "The End," so that the typesetters knew there was no more. The story goes that one particular reporter was so inebriated (a common situation in times past) that instead of "The End" he typed -30-, and couldn't be bothered changing it. And that notion caught on. And that's the truth (I think). Even in radio, I've known of news readers/editors (I think your call them "presenters") ending their casts with "And that's thirty." But the phrase never really caught on in radio or television.
Meanwhile, I hope you're all getting very much better, and getting decent sleep. Hugs from the bear.

French Fancy... said...

Thanks for the explanation - at least you've been checked up on thoroughly and not found wanting :)

Go on - get a dog, you know you want one.

Rob-bear said...

FF: I have, indeed, been "checked up on thoroughly." As to "found wanting" -- that's an entirely different matter -- jury is still out! ;)

Not sure about getting my own dog; we may end up with some form of "joint custody" re. YD. Jury's out on that one, too.