“I’ll take Bess with me,” he said, “but why don’t you walk Nellie this morning. I’m sure she’d prefer it.” (Pepper and Bess together are just too much for Nellie.)
Nellie watched with interest as Mike and Bess left. Some minutes later she rose from her pillow and went to stare out the door. “We could have a nice, peaceful walk this morning. Why don’t you get dressed and put on your shoes,” she seemed to say.
I said I would, and she stretched out on the carpet to wait. Then we were on our way, taking our favorite route which leads to grassy hillsides. We walked together in companionable silence, as they say. She stayed a comfortable distance ahead of me and when I said we should go back, she was right with me.
The bedtime routine has become a mind game between Mike and the dogs. He brushes their teeth and then lets them visit the field behind the house before he pens them. The thing is, they take their time coming back, and he gets impatient with them.
“You didn’t come back fast enough to get a treat,” I heard him say the other night as he locked the kennel.
Most evenings, once we finish the dishes, the dogs go out for a few minutes before coming in to snooze on their pillow while we watch t.v. If they aren’t back in 15 minutes or so, I call them. Last night I called them and they didn’t come, so I blew the whistle. Suddenly two heads popped up in the kennel. Bess came running but Nellie stood there looking at me, her lifted ears denoting a questioning demeanor.
“We’re in bed here,” she said. “What do you want? I don't want to come. Do I have to?”
I apologized for disturbing her. Then Mike brushed Bess’ teeth and put her to bed.
Sometimes Nellie goes to bed early and misses the teeth brushing. I suppose at this point it doesn’t matter so much if the old dog misses a brushing now and then. KW