Don’t tell mom we play catch inside.

School is starting to overtake us. Every year I forgot how tired I am for the first few months. The first weeks are great but by now the exhaustion is getting to me. I am slacking on Percy’s training and many of my other responsibilities. I’d feel bad about it but that takes too much energy.

I refuse to feel guilty about not doing it all, anymore. Well, not too guilty, anyway. Right now I am giving all I have, all the spoons, the entire bucket, and any other metaphor that shows I am tapped out. That’s okay though. It’s sort-of, kind-of, how I do my job. Now its time for the boys to do theirs. It would also be great if the human family members would work on theirs. It’ll be good, though. My humans know the drill. They are experienced at being in a teaching family. They might be a little rusty in the fall, but they’ll get it. They don’t like scary-mom. The boys might have a bit of difficulty, though. This is their first time dealing with start-of-school mom.

Yesterday marked one year of having Percy. It seems like forever but also like yesterday that this Pain in the Patootie graced us with his presence. Of course, last year he had my old man dog to keep him in line. The other boys have been here about eight months. Whoa. Time for them to pull their rather generous weight. Here’s what they need to do:

  • stop eating things they aren’t supposed to
  • remember that there are no bones allowed on the couch
  • learn the difference between “I-need-a-snuggle annoyed” and “Just-leave-me-alone annoyed”
  • Play catch regularly
  • clean the kitchen floor
  • learn to trim their own nails

But really — their main job is to show us love. For the most part, they excel at this job. The boys probably deserve a bonus. They are still ecstatic when we get home. I keep expecting Drake to lift off with his tail moving so fast. He definitely is getting a workout. Today, Haas was so excited to see me he couldn’t stop on the tile and slid 3 feet on his belly like the old cartoon of Bambi on ice.  Maybe I should be nice and order them a new toy, even if it only lasts 5 minutes.

Mom…mom…mom….throw the ball

Maybe I am too tired to work with Percy on obedience tasks as much as I should but he seems awfully happy playing catch with a ball as I catch up on late work, notebooks, essays, and other assignments. He doesn’t care that it is sometimes 3 or 4 minutes between throws. I think he just believes I am playing hard to get.  The other boys get a trifle jealous but we make up for that with extra Haas snuggles on the couch and allowing Drake to slap Oldest Child whenever he wants.  He also gets to supervise the weekly blog post, so I don’t think he is hurting for attention. Drake might disagree but he is currently the biggest troublemaker. Just wait, Drake.  Mom will have more energy and time in a couple of months and your obedience training will go double time. Get ready to work!

This is what happens when I try to work at home. Haas wants to snuggle in my lap, Percy wants to play catch, and Drake plots destruction.

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.

There’s a new super villain in town.

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!)

I’ll have what he’s having.

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.

This was my Stump. He was the best boy and I miss him every day.

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.

Percy and what started out as a rhino

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.

This was an elephant at one time. Now it is just sad.