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Monday, June 18, 2012

Dog thoughts upon a house painting

We moved into our house some years ago.  February of 2002.
Teresa has chronicled the run-up to today quite well in her recent post which is about neither pea soup nor fuzzy unicorns.

I faced the weekend past with some trepidation.  It began well enough with a Friday off for me wherein a ran several errands, including a lovely coffee with a friend who I wish I saw more often--this despite the fact that she and I work two buildings away from one another.  
I also planned a visit to my favorite-est bike shop in all the world, Topanga Creek Bicycles where I dropped two of our four bikes off for work, had coffee with Chris the shop owner in my new handmade TBC mug.  

It had been a nice day and I offered to pick up supper on the way home Friday.  T and I discussed plans for the next day over said supper.  The plans were overly ambitious.  We were due at her parents' house at 12:30.  I wanted to leave early, have breakfast, stop and buy coffee beans at Klatch in Rancho Cucamonga, preview the antique auction in Redlands and still arrive by 12:30.  I should have remembered the old joke about passengers departing at Rancho Cucamonga.  That is that they should take care when getting off, as the train does not stop there.

So, as we got ready for bed, I felt sick.  Really sick.  And then I gave back the supper I had picked up.  

I did not make it to breakfast.  I passed on coffee.  No antiques were previewed.  And I was useless helping with the set-up for the party, as I was home on the couch, which is 75 miles away from anything needing set-up.

Sunday was to commence the three to (perhaps) four day house painting fandango.  Teresa's brother arrived to do the job.

Yesterday, I tried to help, but still felt pretty lousy, which didn't make scraping paint off the house very easy.  We did learn that, however unfortunate the current green color is, the previous color was pink and decidedly worse.

We also learned that having four dogs in exponentially more complicated than two.  

Everyone is getting along well, but I feel insufficient next to the force of canine will.  

One very recent incident illustrates the complexity.  I decided to go outside and play with the dogs because they looked very sad.  

My dogs took the opportunity of my presence to try to dominate Teresa's brother's dogs.  My dogs are of the 35-40 pound type (variants:  black and cocker-ish, earth tone and shephard-ish).  His dogs are of the great type (variant: dane) and pin type (variant: min).   

I then thought I should let them inside, but needed to check on the whereabouts of the cat (variant: small calico; afraid of dogs).  As I was doing so, the dane lifted himself up and placed his paws on my shoulders from behind, while the minpin tried to squirt between my legs.  After fending off the dual assault, I determined that the cat was in her cozy cup and as safe as she was going to get.  

I let the dogs in.  Mine both flopped on the ground as if shot.  The other two set out to exploring.  And did not stop.  Well, the dane stopped to dunk his whole head in the water bowl and flood the west end of the kitchen while doing so, but that was the only pause.  

I decided that the inside experiment wasn't working and invited everyone outside.  Three of four thought going out the sliding glass door a splendid idea.  

Minpin did not.  She thought going out the side door was fine, but then refused to go into the backyard with the rest.  

This set-up then allowed her prime barkpertunities at both passersby, and more vigorously at the UPS guy.

Let's photoblog that a little shall we?

Halo stayed in her cup.  Calico cats may be odd, but they're not stupid.

You can barely see it, but Biscuit has primer in her ear hair.

Scout is pretty sure he's got it going on, relative to the great dane.

Size comparo, black dog division.

Size comparo, visitor dog division:

The floodplain

No pictures of my daned back are available.

The medium and large dogs in the back and small dog on the side remained the status quo until Teresa's brother arrived home from the depot of homes.  Then the min pin squirted into the front yard to greet him and the dane rose over the fence to loom.
As I said, it's all going well.

Oh, except for the broken windows.  Not the theory of the broken windows (Wilson and Kelling) that argues:

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars. Atlantic Monthly, 1982

We're not there yet.  But we do have two broken windows, one of which due to dog (variant: earth tone shepherd).  I'm not sure it signals the end of law and order at our house.  Order maybe.

I just took a break to try to curtail the attempted tunneling under the back side fence by one of the prisoners (variant: black cocker-ish).  Between prison escape and broken windows, I must say it feels like an intro to sociology class and I am not a social scientist. 

So the medium sized dogs are now inside with me.  Two more days to go.

I can say with certainty that I am intensely glad to be going back to work tomorrow.