Saturday was an eventful day. Percy the Pain was back with a vengeance and we celebrated one year with the other two terrors.
I was hoping our one year Gotcha Day with Drake and Haas would be nice and snowy as these three can’t get enough of the white stuff. Instead, we just got a thin coating of sleet so they are still waiting for fun and winter games. To keep the disappointment low, I headed to the pet store for new toys. This provided the perfect opportunity for Percy to get in trouble.
While Mom was gone and Dad out of the room, Percy drank Dad’s coffee and was caught picking his coat pockets looking for cigarettes. Obviously, we don’t let Percy have either nicotine or caffeine. He doesn’t even get second hand smoke as Dad goes outside for that terrible habit. Percy was in so much trouble he almost missed out on Gotcha Day festivities.
Mom is a sucker though. Percy got to enjoy homemade pupcakes with his brothers. The boys all got new toys for about 20 minutes until they were utterly destroyed, but I think they all had a good time.
I can’t believe it has been a whole year. The two rescues have changed so much. Drake is no longer standoffish and wants to snuggle with and smile at Mom as much as possible. Haas is still convinced he is a lapdog but is much more confident and has become quite the escape artist. They are all expensive and a lot of work but I am sure glad they came into my life.
Today I started my first full week back with kids and the neediness (oh the neediness!) is going to drive me bonkers. The students are great. I have a wonderful group of students this year. I even get Oldest Child in class. It’s the boys who are worse than static cling in January.
Since I am not at their bark and call all day, I can’t seem to leave the dogs’ sight when I am home. If it isn’t Percy gnawing on a blanket while staring mournfully at me, it’s Haas hugs and snuggles on the couch. Drake tries for cuddle time with Mom but Haas just sits on Drake who then must vacate if he wants to breathe.
As soon as I walk in the door, it sounds like a bison stampede. They are so wound up, I fear for my furniture. Even with repeated “No!”s and “Off!”s at full teacher volume, there’s still a better than average chance to see a dog soar through the air after launching himself from the back of the sofa.
If it isn’t furniture, then it’s a broken record of “Don’t chew on your brother!” Percy is actually the good boy lately with Drake taking over as King of Obnoxiousness. Haas currently has Drake pinned with Drake’s head firmly between Haas’s jaws. I guess he is tired of Drake’s crazy like the rest of us. It took both Percy and Haas working together to get that monster subdued. On the bright side, I am proud of them working together.
It’s all about optimism, today. My students are going to continue being wonderful, the boys are going to calm down within the next six months, and Percy will finally test into his next training level. While we are at it, Drake will keep making sure Haas gets his exercise and Haas will stop breaking into the kitchen to scare the cat. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. If I repeat it enough, it’ll be true, right? Even if it doesn’t, I have an amazing team of co-workers who will keep me sane when either kids or canines go crazy. Let’s get this year started!
The boys are in the doghouse (figuratively — they don’t actually fit inside Stump and Gypsy’s old house). They destroyed their pool. It started with a small puncture I thought I could fix but now it looks like it fell into a giant’s garbage disposal. No water play now unless it rains. What a long, hot summer it will be.
Maybe next year I can get them a metal watering trough or something. We had one for a summer when I was a kid that would work beautifully for these terrors but I am sure it is long gone. Should I have to buy metal everything?
How much can 3 dogs destroy? Everything. The answer is everything. There is nothing these dogs can’t decimate. I worry constantly about toxicity levels. It can’t be good to try to eat a sharpie (where did Drake find that?), or a soda bottle, or whatever I am about to pry out of Percy’s jaws.
They also ate my nativity set this last week. I have had to rescue the poor Mary in the past from Haas’s jaws but this is a total loss. I thought it was put away but I was so wrong. It is time to find a puppy priest for some canine confession. I’m a little lot concerned for them.
I briefly considered finding a yard ornament type made from cement or concrete or something like that for a nativity replacement. Then I remembered Haas’s taste for concrete as a chew toy. Could I try metal? Surely someone makes metal nativity sets that are small enough for a crowded living room. Maybe a framed photo of someone else’s is the right way to go. Maybe I should stop thinking about Christmas decorations in June. I really need to work on my other hobbies.
I’m off to quilt so I don’t use bad words at my boys.
I love my dogs. I need to keep working on house manners. I love my dogs. I love my dogs. Sigh.
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect for airing out the living room. The dogs are cuddly.
While I sat in the sun with Percy at my side, I contemplated the beautiful weather and nice boys. Happily, I patted my boy and dust rose in clouds from his back. Gross.
Maybe that was a sign that I needed to vacuum. The boys were outside so the timing was perfect. There was even a commercial on tv so it was meant to be.I fired up the designed-for-pet-households vacuum and my canine superheroes rushed in to save the day! Major Percival the Pain sprinted to my side to investigate while Captain Haas staged a frontal assault on the growling beast. He retreated at the counter attack and fled, barking, to the back yard.
As soon as Major Pain’s favorite spot was relieved of dog hair and dust, he decided enough was enough. With much snarling and bared teeth, Percy lunged for the hand tool. Alas, he was no match for his sworn foe and it managed to swipe his sides until he also retreated to the back yard having suffered the loss of his protective dust jacket.
I swear I heard Drake laughing from the couch.
Is this the end of my fierce protectors? Will the evil vacuum return?
Have I been watching too many comic book movies? Will I make it through the last 14.5 days of school? (There are no bonus scenes after the credits, so you can find a different blog now. Have a nice day!)
Every job has benefits and drawbacks. April, for teachers, is one of those drawback times. The kids are done (mentally) and getting them through testing season requires super hero stamina. Add in the sudden realization that we have a large, year-long, project due and if kids don’t start turning in work they will get to spend not just 47 minutes each day with me but allllll day long for 2-4 weeks of summer school and people start to get irritable.
In my infinite wisdom/stupidity, I do the year-long project with my kids. This year, the project revolves around Percy. I have the rough draft of the paper done but I need to finish the project presentation. My original plan had been to have Percy all trained and ready to bring to school. That ain’t happenin’ so now I get to figure out how to make a video.
Percy has improved tremendously but he is still a wild man. He’s handsome, loving, and maybe 1/4 tamed. He also tends to be a bad influence on the other two. That happy face, according to online articles, should be lowering my blood pressure and making my stress vanish. I think the jury is still out on that one. The study and article authors probably don’t have giant dogs who tore up a window screen, ate a crepe myrtle bush, uses a log for fetch, or left a paw print like this on a front door when someone knocked.
Actually… the list of current things that drive me nuts about my trio of terror was a bit hard to come up with. Yes, prying a paint pen out of the shark-pig’s mouth can cause a jolt of fear (poison!) and going after the suspicious item you caught from the corner of your eye disappearing into Haas’s mouth is disgusting, the sweet moments outweigh the infuriating. I tell myself that it’s like exercise to emotionally swing back and forth in this manner.
Last night, it was about 10 minutes until bed time and my boys put themselves to bed. I could handle starting bedtime early, so I began the nightly routine.
First to bed, Haas gets a scratch on the head every night and praise for going into his crate. He was sitting quietly in the back corner and when I reached in, somehow I fell over, landed on my right knee and skidded to the back wall. There may have been some loud and not quite polite words.
As Haas tilted his head in concern or confusion about why mom was taking up half of his room, I heard the other two bolt from their crates and try to crowd into the still open kennel door.
Fortunately for me, Drake’s wiggly rear kept both him and Percy from being able to enter what they must have thought was one of Haas’s famous house parties. I was stuck since I couldn’t back out of the crate with Percy and Drake in the way. I ordered them “out” and Haas gave a doggy shrug and tried to do what I said. This meant he would have to walk on me to do what he thought he had been told. (The other two seemed to think I was just joshing them.)
After much confusion about who was to “stay” and who was to “go,” my skinned knee and I finally got everyone to bed and situated only to find that Youngest Child (the band-aid addict) had left me with only teeny bandages or some cut-off-a-digit-sized gauze.
Here is where I got some perspective. These three are friendly boys and are only doing what comes naturally. They get tired and fussy with each other just like my students do with each other and their teachers at this time of year. None of us want to do what we are supposed to do, but at the literal end of the day, some of my last thoughts are about my boys, my children, and my kids. I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t love them, terrible or not. Here’s to the next six weeks of the blood pressure roller coaster.
I am not sure which is more frustrating, teenagers who are required to read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar in February or a group of stinky, over-sized dogs. Both of them are driving me to my favorite, wonderful, most excellent, slightly-scary-but-beautifully-decorated-hair stylist for excessive amounts of hair dye to cover the grey. (I go see her in a few weeks, so Hi, Sis! See, I appreciate you lots!) Currently, it is a toss up as to which group I would want to spend the rest of my week hanging around.
On Monday, we had a snow day. It was perfectly timed. Percy went in for the big snip so the new boys and I had a lazy morning. Then, because it was Monday and I have a standing dinner date with my grandfather, I was able to get a little work done and bake a spice cake. The house smelled amazing and looked pretty good for having two kids, three dogs, a cat, and a husband. It was a good day…until I went to get Percy.
For once, Percy didn’t immediately forgive me for taking him to the vet. A month or so ago, this guy forgave me immediately every time I held him down and put multiple cream medications in his eye for what looked like pink eye when it happens in my students. Apparently, this trip was less than pleasant and required some time apart. He went off with Haas and left me to start dinner.
When I came back into the kitchen after an absence of about 6 heartbeats, the Teenager was chasing the big boys out of the spice cake 15 minutes before my grandfather was set to arrive. P-awsome. (The big boys are still alive.)
Teenager saved the day with chocolate mint cookies and life was good. Life was really good until Percy ate a cookie. That required some unpleasant clean-up the next morning but Dad helped with that one. Since I am not 15, I’ll spare you the description, but, ew.
Tuesday, I had the joy of starting my least favorite Shakespearean tragedy with teenagers who are done. They were much more interested in getting out of school early than investigating the political intrigues of ancient Rome. I couldn’t blame them. An hour early is still an early out with the possibility of a snow day the next day, too.
We didn’t get a snow day. There was much sadness. Looks like a full rest of the week filled with
“I don’t get it!”
“What page are we on?”
“Can I go to the bathroom?”
“Do you have any toys you don’t immediately shred and make a mess all over the living room floor? I just vacuumed!”
“Don’t eat that!” (To be fair, this one I say to both my dogs and my students)
So, M-, I’m gonna need the industrial hair color and maybe an extra hour in the chair. I’ll bring extra tea. Love you!
Percy seems to have finally realized his new friends aren’t leaving. The constant urge to play seems to be dwindling and he doesn’t seem so happy to be sharing his toys and person.
No one else, according to Percy, is allowed to sit next to Mom on the couch. Interlopers must be squeezed out. Should the trespassers be too large to evict, i.e. Haas or Dad, then Percy feels he can reassert his claim by sitting on Mom’s lap. This makes any recreational activity such as reading, watching tv, or breathing a bit of a challenge.
Percy has had to share humans before as our old man dog, Stump, had a prior claim.
We lost Stump just before Christmas and Percy had been a bit spoiled in terms of attention. He will eventually accept that he isn’t the most important being in the world.
But, the toys. Oh, the toys! Stump was never interested in toys, so Percy has never had to share. The stuffed animal type toys cause the giant, hairy goofball to transform into Gollum with his “precious”. The eyes get huge, the head sinks into the shoulders, and I would swear I can hear Percy plotting violence and ruin on anyone who dares take his toy away. They must be stopped by any means necessary.
Drake is one who dares. With his superior speed and agility, stuffed animals are snatched from Percy’s jaws and then passed off to Haas so Drake can pursue his personal passion: gnawing on a bigger dog’s hind leg.
This is when chaos reigns. It snows stuffed toy guts, dogs are snarling and tumbling end over end, and humans are yelling for this to be taken outside. Percy quickly forgets about the toys and is happy to play Doggie Demolition Derby. It sounds horrible and I expect blood. There’s never blood. They love it and then take a nap. This makes Mom jealous. Naps are precious.