The week we finished putting together our 24-page Progress section, I decided to take Friday as a vacation day and sleep in.
I didn’t take into account the fact dogs suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The week we finished putting together our 24-page Progress section, I decided to take Friday as a vacation day and sleep in. I didn’t take into account the fact dogs suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dogs love routines. They love knowing certain things are going to happen at certain times of the day, in a certain order. So on that Friday, my wife and kids got up and headed to school or work, the same as always. I stayed in bed, expecting to be there at least another two hours. Almost immediately after the door closed behind everyone else, the dogs starting going nuts. This was the time of day when they were supposed to be put in their kennels until lunch time. What was wrong? They ran all over the house, scrambling for an explanation. Rufus the Wonder Dog, nearly three years old, found me first. “Aaaaaaah,” he sighed. “I get it now. There’s still someone here.” He hopped onto the bed, curled up next to me, and instantly fell into stage four REM sleep. Raffi the Dog of Destiny, age 19 months, would have none of it. “Wurf.” (Stampy stampy stampy.) I opened my eyes and looked over the side of the bed. Raffi stood there glaring up at me. “Wurf,” she said, and stamped her little feet on the wood floors. “It’s okay. I’m taking today off as a vacation day. I get to sleep in today,” I reassured her, and patted the blanket to invite her up. “Wurf!” (Stampy stampy stampy.) That went on another 10 minutes. Every 45 seconds, I’d hear “Wurf!” and more foot stamping, getting louder and more insistent with each repetition. To the untrained ear, it sounded like “Wurf!” But I knew enough to interpret it as, “Still lollygagging about!? Why, this is intolerable! There’s no excuse for this laziness! Get up! Get up at once!” There was no way I could sleep through that, try as hard as I might. I finally said, “Okay, okay, I’m getting up,” and did. When we got Raffi, no one told me she was a reincarnated schoolmarm. . . . . . Right now I’m reading Pride and Prejudice because it’s one of my wife’s favorite books, and because she says the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy has some parallels to our own in our early years. So far I’m about a third of the way through the story, and haven’t encountered one zombie yet. Not one. What a rip-off. . . . . . I think a good practical joke would be to put a nice, sturdy ice house out on a lake — held up with underwater stilts. When the surface of the lake freezes, everyone would think, “Oh, there’s a big ice house. It must be safe for me to put my ice house in that location, too.” In spring, when the ice melts, all the other fishermen will say, “Well, that big ice house is still up, so the ice must be pretty thick still. I guess I’ll leave my ice house out for a little longer.” Then, when the ice is thin enough, everybody else’s ice house will fall into the lake! What fun!