If you walked through my house right now, you might wonder why there’s mulch on the living room carpet and why do I have a basket of dirty laundry on the kitchen counter. There are reasons for these things, and other things besides: our 6-month old puppy Freya is a force of chaos.
We all know dog training happens all day long and teaching moments occur unexpectedly. Thus, it makes all the sense in the world to welcome my dog even to the areas where she isn’t allowed without supervision. She joined me in the basement, switching the laundry, and since that went without incident, I let her come upstairs to the bedroom level. While I was transferring the dark-colored laundry into the basket, she slipped into our bedroom. “Freya, let’s go!” I tapped my thigh twice. She knows what that means – but she was stuck under the bed, exploring the space between the two rows of drawers.
“Freya, let’s go!” Ah, she emerged! Gray dust bunnies covered her black muzzle, making me wonder how white that carpet under the bed might actually be. “Freya, come!” Eager to obey, she came. She even took a short-cut! Instead of circumnavigating our huge king-size bed, she jumped up on it. That was very efficient of her – or would have been, had she not gotten stuck rolling on it. “Freya, off!” Basket of laundry in one hand, I dragged the dog by the collar off the bed with the other. She jumped off, only to slip into our bathroom, unerringly heading for the garbage. “Freya, leave it!” She came out, and aware of the menacing tone in my voice, she proceeded to submission-pee on the carpet. Just a little, to let me know how very sorry she was. “Noooo!” I wailed, shooing her out the door with my foot. If she at least did it on the hardwood floor…
I tipped the laundry basket in my hands. A black sock fell out. Freya grabbed it and darted down the hallway. Oh, whatever. “Freya, downstairs! Good girl!” See, it’s important to praise them whenever possible. Finally we were down on “her level,” the one where she’d chewed up a stick she brought in from the outside on the rug, the one where we don’t leave anything out she might destroy – such as important documents, and books. This connosieur of old literature relishes in consuming the old, yellow pages and has made quite a dent in my husband’s old sci-fi paperback collection.
I took the sock away from her, gave her a chew toy, and life was back to normal. Until I notice her feast on yet another sock (mine!), all black and smelly with that special terroir of “mommy” and “sneakers” and “woods” all over it. For a dog, chewing on a sock is like watching an olfactory movie of happy things full of comfort and love and adventure.
Which is why she got to practice “Drop it,” upon which she got praised again. The laundry basket is now safely on the kitchen counter, and I’ll vacuum the wood chips sometime soon. Maybe even this century – there’s writing to be done.
Speaking of which, my new book “Sire” is available for preorder at AllRomanceEbooks, Amazon, and the award-winning Dreamspinner Press. It should pop up on Kobo and B&N in a day or two. This “young adult” companion to “Broken Gait” explores Brent’s teenage point of view, his identity struggle in the face of family expectations, and the power of both friendship and family that save the day. This LGBT book is YA-friendly in terms of content (i.e. not explicit or violent.)