I will never understand my dogs.

Sometimes I wish I spoke dog. One recent afternoon, the boys were rough-housing and got kicked outside to play in the rain which really isn’t a punishment for my water-loving dogs. Drake and Percy went out and Haas hid in his crate. I watched quilting tutorials and enjoyed the silence.

Suddenly, a giant fuzzy face blocked out the tv and eyes tried to peer into my soul or maybe communicate telepathically. When Haas stares, that means he wants to go out. As Haas went out, Drake and Percy came in, so Haas, of course, no longer wanted out.

Then, the weirdness happened. Percy jumped up on the couch next to me and sat tall. Haas and Drake sat at attention facing Percy while Percy proceeded to growl, grunt, and yip at Haas who just watched for at least two full minutes. Percy dismissed his troops with a last bark and then they all wandered off to chew on various toys. Just a few minutes later, puppy wrestle-fest 2018 commenced and the boys were sent out again.

Since they went outside, I had a few minutes to imagine what Percy was saying. I’m probably way off but since I don’t speak dog and Percy doesn’t speak English, I’ll never know.

This is what I imagined…

Percy: Giant Dummy! (I think Percy was being rude) You will listen to Mom! Mom said go outside. You didn’t go outside. It’s not fair for you to have Mom all to yourself when Drake and I aren’t there. She is my mom. I was here first. Just because you are bigger than mom and dad doesn’t mean you are the boss.  Mom is the boss…I mean, I am the boss. Ha!

Drake: She likes me better.

Percy: Doesn’t!

Haas: She likes me better.

Puppy wrestling commences.

Or maybe he was giving orders instead…

Percy: Boys! Mom yells at me for barking so you must do your part. Haas–there is a new puppy to the south. Bark at it three times a day. Drake — you are now tall enough to put your face in the hole of your neighbor’s privacy fence to the north. The chickens can’t out-noise us. Our dignity is at stake! Remember, bark a lot. Mom can’t afford to buy bark collars for all of us.

It seems I need more human interaction. It’s a good thing school starts soon.

Why does he do these things?

When Youngest Child was just a bitty thing, we would hear a crash followed by “I’m okay!” Generally, I would sigh and ask if I was needed. Then, Youngest Child grew more discreet with her disasters so that particular status update seldom happens these days.

Yesterday, I had a flashback of those moments. This time, there was a loud bang but no “I’m okay!” I turned around to see Percy standing on top of his crate messing with the pictures on the wall. Since he can leap over the couch without touching it, I shouldn’t be surprised that he could get up there. I guess he was tired of his diet and after the treats that were supposedly out of reach on top of Haas’s even taller crate. They aren’t weren’t. Fortunately, Percy hasn’t figured out that he can clear our fence yet. Thank goodness for microchips, name tags, and Percy being a momma’s boy who doesn’t want to leave me.

At this point, if I had to pick the best behaved of the terrible trio, it would alternate between Drake and Haas. They can’t both stay out of trouble at the same time. That doesn’t mean they become my favorite because I love all of my troublemakers. It just means they know that if all three of them go nuts at once, they’d have to go to puppy jail. Instead, they make sure one of them is being sweet to calm Mom down. Today, Drake has that job so he is extra cuddly. These boys are devious and I am almost scared of what they will come up with next. It will always be an adventure!

Drake is almost being patient while Mom writes.

Vacation is over. Time to get to work.

Last week was quite busy with visiting family from out of town so training has been put on the back burner. It’s not the best time for this for a couple of reasons. First, we are running out of time on our six-month class and Percy still has a long way to go. I would love for him to be able to advance but he really has to graduate from the group classes to do this. Second, Percy had his annual trip to the vet and he got some bad, bad news. Percy has to go on a diet.

While we wait for the diet food shipment to come in, that means fewer treats and reduced portions since the heat is limiting outdoor exercise. We will increase our in-door training sessions but they aren’t as active. Percy does not like this one bit. It’s amazing how well this dog can pout.

Percy is also sneaky and tries to help the other boys finish their food. Now we have a new feeding routine. Each boy gets fed in his crate and bowls are checked before Major Pain is released. If we don’t remove Haas’s bowl, Percy goes in to lick the crumbs. There’s no dignity where dinner is concerned.

We suspected Percy was getting a bit heavy before his trip in because he was looking more like a loaf of sandwich bread than an hourglass. It even inspired new nicknames from Oldest Child (aka the Mayor of Angstville). We have “rat baby” Drake (I prefer Captain Wigglebutt), “brat baby” for Haas (Fluffy), and “fat baby” for Percy. Few people or animals are called by their actual names in our house.

Starting tomorrow, Percy and I will be having an early morning stroll. Just prying things he shouldn’t eat out of his mouth isn’t enough exercise for me to get healthy either.  Since I always come up with excuses not to do this for myself, I will use Percy for motivation. I am more likely to do something for his health than for my own so I guess this is another benefit of my furry friend. Here’s to both dog and human training!

Percy spectating instead of participating in Drake’s chaos.

Can we make ice jackets a thing?

When someone asks me what my favorite season is, I always answer “whatever comes next.” In the summer, I like autumn, in autumn, I like winter, and so on. It’s not that I am impossible to please, it is that I don’t have the attention span to deal with one season for more than a month. Haas and I are done with summer. It’s too hot and too muggy and all we want to do is sleep in the a/c. Unfortunately, in our neck of the woods, it will still be hot and gross for at least 2 1/2 months.

My snow loving monster dog refuses to go outside in the afternoons. I can’t blame him, really; 78 degrees is much more comfortable than 98 degrees. When puppy playtime gets too rambunctious and the boys are typically kicked out, Haas tries to hide in his bed. I may not see well, but a 100-pound horse-dog isn’t something I am going to overlook. To keep them healthy, they are on an even stricter time limit than when it is single digits outside. The only real difference is I have to force them to come in out of the cold. They don’t argue in the summer.

Inside is soooo boring!

We take precautions and the boys don’t go out for more than a few minutes at a time in the hottest part of the day. They have a covered deck and a tree they haven’t managed to eat yet that provides plenty of shade. They also get a big bowl of water that allows some summertime fun. Haas enjoys putting his snout in the bowl and blowing bubbles. I so wish I could get a picture of that for proof.

After bubble-fun-time, that scruffy giant face will then come try to snuggle. Dripping dog face in mine is not something I enjoy. He’s a sweetheart, and I love him, but…eww. Haas hugs are no fun when you need a towel afterward. It’s also a little too warm for a dog to act like a blanket and sprawl all over me.

So since it is gross, we will take it easy and hope you can do the same. If it’s hot where you are, the puppers and I wish you air conditioning, iced water, and binge-worthy tv. I am off to find some Andy Griffith Show for these boys.