I took a 4-month hiatus from writing, creating artwork, blogging, and other time-consuming activities so I could spend more time “smelling the roses” in life. I began by tossing away my schedules (except that all-important one that allows me to pay bills) so I could live with fewer restraints. This allowed Tuffy, a Chihuahua/Japanese Chin mix and the newest addition to the house, to try to take full advantage of my free time.
Going for walks and just spending time outdoors at my feet was a frequent demand of his during September and October. And I discovered what dog foods he likes to eat, though he’s a mooch when it comes to people food. I think he is able to smell food cooking a mile away. While he played outdoors around noon one day, I made a nice lunch of leftover chicken. Then I took advantage of being alone while my wife babysat our youngest grandchild. I settled down in my recliner, turned on my Kindle, and read no more than a paragraph when Tuffy began barking. I went to the door and saw that he was barking at the door, or specifically, at me. As soon as I let him, he sat in the middle of the living room floor and stared at my plate on the chair. I hate when pets stare at me while I’m eating, so I gave in and shared the rest of my lunch. My wife says I’m too soft and shouldn’t let him eat my food. But she feeds him too, especially parts of sandwiches and pizza, so I’m not the only softie.
November and December brought chilly rain and occasional snow, so Tuff-Tuff, as our grandchildren took to calling him, pestered me a lot to turn up the heat indoors, and to have a blanket to nap under. On sunny days, he likes me to pull back the living room curtains so he can lie in the sun. I figure it’s the Aztec/Mexican part of him that hankers for warmth. To aid in keeping him warm, my wife and I bought him a dog sweater during the Thanksgiving holiday, but he refused to lower his dignity and wear it. It lies at the foot of my recliner, along with the sock monkey and squeaky toys he never plays with.
January, the crappiest month of any year, dumped its usual burial of snow on us, which seemed to disgruntle him more than me. Potty time outdoors became a chore of coaxing him to leave the porch to do his business, which resulted in 5am trips outside because his bladder and kidneys were at their bursting points. Still, he refused to leave the porch, so I found myself shoveling yellow and brown snow away from the door.
Today, the first day of February, has brought mild weather. Temperatures outside have climbed high enough to melt away January’s onslaught and make both my yard and driveway a mud wrestler’s delight. I learned this morning that mud also delights Tuffy. And he enjoys pouncing on a family of tiny rodents that forage around my apple trees. He doesn’t hurt them, though he likes to bat them around the ears with his paws and make them squeal before he lets them go. I tried to sneak off and eat lunch alone, but he was wise to me and was at the door, barking and pleading with his pitiful look that says I’m a lowlife if I don’t share.
What a mooch.