It’s a matter of happenstance that we own three dogs. Both Pete and I heard what Rainbow, Jenna, and Ryder told us, which was that they wanted to be with us. Sometimes I think about it: how if we had bypassed going to the animal shelter with our Butte neighbor Jan, that in time Rainbow would have been euthanized. I suppose the same might have become of Jenna and Ryder, if we hadn’t taken them on. This morning, all were in the kitchen, right now the warmest room in the house. It’s -8°F here, and the wind is still blowing hard. Most likely we’ll forgo the daily woods trek. The following conversation took place with the dogs as I was eating my breakfast.
Alys: Everyone warm?
Ryder, Rainbow, Jenna: Yes, yes, yes!
A: Any special requests?
Ryder: Please bring the dog bed in here from the living room and put it next to the woodstove. The floor is cold.
Rainbow: What a dogdamn wus.
A: Rainbow, is that any way to talk to your trail buddy?
Rainbow: We are not out on the trail. We are inside the cabin.
Jenna: We are in the kitchen.
Rainbow: Well, that’s a step in the right direction.
Alys: What do you mean by this?
Rainbow: Jenna knows where she is today. Yesterday at this time she insisted that she was upstairs when she was downstairs.
Alys: We all need to be tolerant of Jenna’s mental idiosyncrasies. She is suffering from doggie dementia.
Rainbow: Jenna knows where she is today.
Ryder: I’d prefer not to share my bed with her.
Jenna: Move over or I will bark.
Rainbow: I’m staying out of this one. I’m staying right here, on my bed, which is under the kitchen shelf.
Ryder: You do that.
Jenna: Yeah, you do that.
Rainbow: I don’t need to be next to the woodstove. MY internal heater is working just fine.
Ryder: It’s warm here.
Alys: Hey everyone. What if we got a fourth dog?
Ryder: Nope. This would mean less food for the rest of us.
Jenna: Fourth dog? Where? Oh I see it. It’s over in the corner.
Ryder: I don’t see no dog.
Rainbow: Ryder, Jenna is losing it.
Ryder: Losing what? Her car keys?
Rainbow: Let me put it this way. Her toy box is half empty.
Ryder: She can have some of my toys.
Alys: Ryder, that’s really nice of you.
Rainbow: What I’m saying is that she’s losing her mental facilities.
Ryder: I don’t know what that means.
Rainbow: Never mind.
Ryder: Alys, why don’t you give her the green lizard? It’s sitting on the living room shelf.
Alys: Ryder, are you sure you want her to have it?
Rainbow: No, leave it where it is. It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. It humps along and makes odd noises.
Ryder: Alys, where did you get that thing?
Alys: At the place where I get all your stuffies.
Rainbow: This time you sunk to a new low.
Jenna: Ryder, move over.
Alys: (Ignoring Jenna) Next time I’ll take you into the thrift store and you can pick out your own stuffies.
Ryder: Good idea.
Jenna: What’s a good idea.
Rainbow: It’s time for me to clean my butt.
Ryder: Good idea!
Jenna: What’s a good idea?
Ryder: Alys, are you going to clean your butt?
Alys: I don’t do this the way dogs do this. I take baths.
Jenna: Bath? Bath? I don’t want a bath.
Alys: Jenna, we take you to the groomer.
Jenna: Groomer? Groomer? Oh no, not the groomer!
Ryder: What’s a groomer?
Rainbow: Groomers bath, cut, and clip dogs.
Ryder: I get it. Jenna gets taken to the groomer. She comes home smelling funny and looking like a caterpillar.
Jenna: After, I feel really good.
Rainbow: I feel good after taking a nap.
Jenna: Me too.
Alys: And you Ryder?
Alys: Well then, today I’m going to let sleeping dogs lie.
Next: 40. 2/9/15: Calm after the Storm