Wonderbutt Goes to the Ranch
*Our Golden Retriever will from now on be referred to as Mrs. P.I.B. (Pain in the Butt) for reasons which will become apparent.
This weekend, Wonderbutt got his first introduction to The Ranch. Being ten, Mrs. P.I.B. has been to the ranch at least ten times, but Wonderbutt, being not even a year old, got his first opportunity this past weekend.
The Ranch belongs to the family of one my best friends. My friend likes to call herself The Delegator. We feel that she is better suited to being called The Dictator (affectionately, of course). T.D. and her husband brought three dogs and a cat. Cap’n Firepants and I brought our two dogs, and, of course, Dimples. Another mutual friend (Nigella, to me, since she is beautiful and cooks wonderfully) brought her daughter.
All in all, it was a happy gathering of five dogs, five adults, two kids, and two cats (one cat is a permanent resident). In a two bedroom no-dishwasher house. WITH NO INTERNET ACCESS!
I was worried about Wonderbutt’s behavior during this trip. As regular readers know, he is not exactly past his teething stage. In addition, he has a dog door at home, and such a thing does not exist at The Ranch. Plus, he has never been within a foot of a cat before. Or a cow.
When we arrived, the usual butt sniffing ensued. Then the dogs had their turn. (Just making sure you’re paying attention.) Everyone seemed to hesitantly agree to get along for the weekend. Except for The Dictator, Nigella, and I. We have a running Scrabble enmity, and we were all determined to win. The atmosphere was tense. This would be good practice for my Adult Spelling Bee, I thought. But more on that later.
Wonderbutt baptized the saltillo tile twice within the first few hours. I felt like a mom whose ten year old still wears diapers. Leaky ones. When I saw all of the possible objects of his chewing affection strewn all over the house, I inwardly groaned. I anticipated spending the whole weekend chasing after him and pulling flip flops, friendship bracelets, and television remotes out of his mouth.
Happily, there were too many other things to occupy Wonderbutt’s time. Figuring out his limits as he stole other dog’s bones and toys seemed to be his primary objective, but he seemed to be pretty good at knowing when to back down.
After an afternoon of racing around and sniffing all of the new animals, objects, and people, Wonderbutt was quite satisfied to curl up with his butt in my face on the sofa after the lights went out. Being one of the rare times that he was not regularly passing gas, I decided I had the best end once his snoring started. I pulled a pillow over my head and fell asleep.
But Mrs. P.I.B. had other ideas. That anxiety-ridden dog cannot relax. She is so worried she is going to miss something that she cannot stay in one place for more than fifteen minutes every time we come to The Ranch. And when animals and humans are distributed in various rooms throughout the house, she comes as close to a dog having a heart attack as I’ve ever seen.
She pants and paces and whines. If you let her into the room she is whining outside of, she stays about five minutes, and then starts whining to be let back out.
This was my first evening. Wonderbutt happily sacked out and sawing logs while Mrs.P.I.B. would settle down, get up, pant in my ear, whine by a bedroom door and start the rotation all over again. At five thirty a.m. I finally tagged Cap’n Firepants in the bedroom and sent him out to deal with Mrs. P.I.B. as I firmly closed the door behind him. Then I got into bed with Dimples. Which, to be honest, was not a whole lot more restful.
Tomorrow’s post – Wonderbutt meets the cat and attempts to slip and slide. And Mrs. P.I.B. narrowly escapes sleeping in the pasture with the cows.