The Dogs of Cookbook Wall

image.jpeg

Dogs dictate much of what I accomplish in a day. I can run errands for exactly as long as it takes the smallest canine bladder in my house to reach capacity. I can cook efficiently only if the shepherd/collie mix doesn’t nap in front of a kitchen cabinet or the oven. I can chop onions only if the Chihuahua doesn’t insist on being held. I can walk unencumbered so long as there’s no thunder to terrify the Lhasa apso. Answering the door is an exercise in futility, as the resulting din from yodeling (the Siberian husky) and barking (everyone else) renders conversation impossible. More than once a visitor has been surprised to see me rocket through the barely-opened front door in a rush to beat the braying crowd behind me. The upside: who needs a doorbell?

You’ve met the Dogs of Cookbook Wall periodically over three and a half years of blogging, but they’ve never been featured in a whole post together. Here they are, in all their wonderful, frustrating, beautiful, obnoxious, noble, affectionate, funny, sweet, murderous, companionable glory. I love these guys, even if one of them left me a puddle in a dark hall to step in Sunday night. Canine sphincter control issues. Geez…

♦ ♦ ♦

image

 

image

Kita’s the grande dame in our home. At 14 years old and 75 pounds, she has the seniority and heft to command respect from the rest of the pack. Gentle with people, she brooks no nonsense from other dogs, especially the young upstart, Kai. Age has taken its toll, though. Kita’s going deaf, and watching her navigate a dozen deck stairs with arthritic hips makes me ache in sympathy. She’s rejected every pain medicine prescribed, so far. Kita would fight to the death to protect her humans. Just once, just once, she’d like to catch that marauding squirrel.

♦ ♦ ♦

image

Where there is commotion and calamity, there is Kai. Also hilarity, hijinks, and chewed-up rolls of toilet paper. He expresses affection like a cat, leaning all of his 50 pounds against my leg when I least expect it. He lopes when he runs, an image of such grace and beauty that to watch is breathtaking — unless Kai’s run is the result of him slipping out the front door by stealth, in which case the only possible response is a stream of invectives. Kai on the loose responds to slow moves and gentle cajoling. Once, a police officer took pity on me as I trotted  in sleet, waving a bag of hot dogs at the fast-disappearing backside of Kai. The officer managed to catch up with the husky half a mile away and drove him home in the front seat of his patrol car, to Kai’s great delight. Last month, Kai threw up possum parts next to the breakfast table. His favorite human, my new son-in-law, rates a standing embrace from Kai upon greeting, and sometimes a face wash.

image

♦ ♦ ♦

image

Macy is a foul-tempered, sharp-toothed Lhasa apso who loves only me, First born, and vegetables. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary Sunday with dinner at a steak house. I brought home leftover haricots verts for Macy, which made her very happy. Macy is the first in our house to sound the alarm for UPS and FedEx trucks, letter carriers, and small children on our street, much as her ancestors did in ancient Tibetan temples, more or less. As fierce as she is, thunder makes her nervous, and firecrackers set off in the neighborhood (illegal in my town, even on July 4) inevitably send her scurrying to take refuge between my feet. I think she’s just misunderstood.

image
Happy July 4, 2015!

♦ ♦ ♦

image

Bruiser the Chihuahua, who owns my youngest daughter, visits often. He used to spend weekdays here before she moved across the river, but we still see him a lot. He weighs the same as 20 sticks of butter, which is what he must look like to the large hawks that ride the air currents over our house. So Bruiser must be accompanied by one of us for protection on every potty trip he makes outside, and he makes many, many potty trips outside in a day. He likes to be held, no doubt in part to avoid being stepped on, and the top of a running dryer is his new favorite place to nap. At my house, if a pillow has a divot, Bruiser’s been there.

image

♦ ♦ ♦

That’s it, that’s the pack. Everyone but Bruiser was adopted as an adult dog from area animal shelters. I applaud the good work done at these places, especially at my local Sherwood (Arkansas) Animal Shelter, and my family contributes money to help the dedicated staff and volunteers there continue to save animal lives and build families. It’s so worth checking out an animal shelter near you, if you’re ready to expand your family and your capacity for love by adopting a pet.

image
Hey, they want in. Would you get the door, please?

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s