Saturday, March 19, 2016



Does the time on the clock seem later than it should be? That’s Daylight Savings for you. Doesn’t seem to bother Bess and Nellie. We don’t know what the triggers are in their sense of time, but the fact is, they segued from standard to daylight time without a blink.

As soon as Mike is around in the morning, he lets the dogs out of their kennel. Nellie heads straight for the pillow on the living room floor, while Bess pesters for the morning walk. (Bess is a vocal dog.) Both dogs are supposed to go for the morning constitutional, but sometimes Nellie comes right back.

Next, it’s breakfast time for the dogs. We give Nellie fish oil now, and she likes the oil but not the gel tab, so I squeeze the contents over her breakfast. She reminds me if I forget. She then settles down for a long morning nap, but Bess anticipates activity with Mike. She loves to go wherever Mike goes. Sometimes Nellie goes, too.

Both dogs are hunting dogs, hence they love the outdoors. Now that Nellie’s old, though, she loves the pillow more and more. Bess naps outside in the sun, or sometimes she goes out and comes back in as though the slider is a revolving door.

But when it’s time for the afternoon exercise walk/constitutional, both Nellie and Bess are insistent. Once the school bus passes the house at 2:45, they get restless. “You ask her,” says Nellie, and Bess comes over and gets in my face. Then Bess gets back on the pillow and Nellie takes her turn at pestering, stretching, yawning, and staring at the door.

It’s not easy to walk a young dog and an old dog at the same time. I’ve discovered the best time to go is after 3:00. The school kids have been picked up and all is quiet at the county shop, which we pass on our route. Bess runs up ahead while Nellie dawdles behind. Once we’re beyond the shop, the chance of vehicles on the road greatly decreases and I can relax a bit. The walk takes 30 to 45 minutes.

Then they expect their supper. They might not devour it at that time, but they want to see it in their bowls. If Mike doesn’t feed them, they pester me for it. There’s no explaining to them that it’s too early. They live in the “now,” you know.

About 5:30, if I’ve made no move to get supper, Nellie reminds me that it’s getting late. She moves with me into the kitchen to become my assistant. Bess has discovered that she need not stand around in the kitchen. Attuned to the sound of Nell’s munching or licking, she only joins the party when she discerns the need.

Once the humans have eaten, the dishes are done, and the dogs have had their teeth brushed, then it’s time to settle down for an evening of napping. Bess likes to cuddle up on the sofa with Mike while Nellie stretches out on the pillow. They expect – and prefer – to sleep in the kennel, and if Mike hasn’t taken them out by 10:00, they are quietly restless.

And that’s life when dogs are in control. KW

[The reason I took more pictures of Nellie than Bess is simple: Nellie stands still more often and for longer periods.]


Chris said...

You are a good woman to take those doggies for a walk each day!!

Kathy said...

I SURE AM a good woman!!! It's good for me, though. Otherwise I might not ever get out of the house. And believe me, the dogs would have it no other way. They love to exercise, and they love to have someone with them. It's in their psyche to share with their human.