A few days after the kids moved into our house, a friend recommended that we go to a comedy show to cheer ourselves up and relieve stress through laughter. Dealing with the fire stress, Christmas holidays, and kids has been different and difficult at times.
Then it occurred to me that my family provides a good bit of laughter. I could put on the rosy glasses and adapt a better attitude, therein find some funny. (And take my meds. Those are important.)
So I'm going with the cheaper version of a comedy show: almost middle-age kids, teen grandchildren, child-size grandchildren, and a great-grandie trying to learn to crawl and walk at the same time. Almost all of us living on the same house lot.
Let's add to that menagerie of people, the menagerie of pets: three Maltese pups in the small camper; one Maltese in the big camper; and in the house a sweet schnauzer named Lucy and the newest member of the menagerie: The Mutt.
The Mutt, aka the brown dog, the stray dog, that damn dog, has one or two irritating habits. His moniker depends greatly on his antics and the amount of cleaning required of the the adult dealing with him. His bad puppy habits are so despicable that I decided that we needed to "rehome" him. To that end, I put a small ad on Facebook:
Brown mutt for sale. Real cheap. Answers to every command he knows. Trained to clean trash cans. Will self-load into any vehicle. Eats anything. Can dig trenches and make gates. Loves everyone, good with small children (able to teach them how to fall correctly and rebound quickly). Paying $5 to come look at him, plus $5 if you take him home.
Thus far I have received no takers. Will, however, defended Mutt and insists he is part of the family and Jolie loves him. Therefore, he cannot be rehomed. Uhm, that's coming from someone who doesn't have to pick up after him, repair the fences he breaks, refill the holes he digs, run him out of our camper, or walk in the dark with Mutt jumping on knees, thighs, and ankles. I just know that Mutt is determined to see me fall in the gravel just for the fun of watching me roll. No doubt he will help me up and kiss all the boo-boos.
By now we've gotten used to him and expect him to come bounding into a set of knees at any second. His favorite pastime is to tease the Maltese puppies when they are outside. We built a small yard for them right outside the camper. It's where we feed them, let them get some exercise and take care of outdoor business.
Mutt has been trying for weeks to dig into the yard, which shows his IQ level. Few animals work to get in a cage. We can't allow that because Mutt weighs more than the three Maltese together. Translate that into every day someone has to shovel dirt and rocks back into the holes he's created. When he not escaping his freedom, he's using it to annoy the Maltese by running around and around their yard so that they feel the need to bark and chase him. It's a mean game of "Not It" that no one can win, not even the humans who try desperately to chase him away.
Cotton is my forever dog, so he comes with me almost everywhere, which requires walking from place to place. While Cotton was out few days ago, Mutt ran back and forth in front of him trying to engage a game of tag. He bomb-rushed into Cotton and rolled him into a couple of cartwheels. I barely snatched up Cotton before the second assault and tossed him into the camper.
Believing he's a big boy with a full set of teeth, Cotton was somewhat miffed and wanted blood. He bounced back out yapping and snarling, so I caught him again this time in midair and received a nip on the arm for my efforts. While I dealt with the maniac in my arms, Mutt bounded past me into the camper. You can't imagine the joys of playing hide and seek in a small camper until you play with a mad Maltese and a crazy Mutt, who is actually good at all of his games.