Ruler of the roost

Our dog stealthfully places her paws under carpets in order to create chaos and food spills.  (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

As much as I’d like to think I’m the queen of my castle, my dog has other ideas. It is more appropriate to call me her “Lady for Walking” rather than an owner. She has placed me in a caretaker position and there is no room in our relationship to change my status. She owns me. She sleeps in my room but doesn’t care if I need rest. She keeps me awake with her snoring. She whines and nudges me awake if I don’t come when called.

Our golden is a retriever in name only. She learned pretty young that to throw a ball is fine, but the Lady for Walking’s offspring will bring back any item, so why bother expelling the extra energy. She will graciously accept treats while watching the offspring retrieve all objects. Somehow, I managed to teach my dog to expect a treat for just looking adorable, no other work needed. Under those circumstances, by the way, she exceeds expectations.

I have always blamed my children for feeding the dog in the kitchen. Lately, it has been brought to my attention that I am the main culprit for dropping food on the floor. (Not out of my mouth, you beasties.) She watches while I chop vegetables or meat, ready to pounce as I move the goods from the cutting board to the stove. She places herself in front of the stove just in case I drop the whole meal onto the floor. I know she is plotting a dinner heist under the guise of napping. How do I know this? She blocks all exits. I can’t go around or over her without asking her to move. She rules supreme.

A bitter cold won’t stop my dog from pulling a Houdini out of our fenced yard to visit the neighbors. She doesn’t care if I have to work. Whether it’s a vet visit for a squirrel catching mishap or binge-eating birdseed, the dog seeks adventure. She won’t let anything as foolish as my job or work stop her constant leash pushing “hints.” She has me trained to get her into the car and onto a nearby trail so she can roll in the snow while I follow closely, doggy-bag in hand. She lets me believe I’m in charge, but we both know the truth. She is the ruler of the roost.


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