From November 5, 2014
The dogs can hear me coming down the stairs before I even make an appearance in their room. There are four of them at my dad’s house, ranging in size from chihuahua to terrier to standard poodle. The second they see me come through the door their barks and yips of joy fill the room and their kennels rattle from wagging their tails.
I let Kira, the terrier, out first, as she thinks she is the alpha dog and gets pretty bent out of shape if someone else is free first. Plus, I’m already on her dog-house list. Next out is Dolly, the poodle. She is my new running buddy, much to Kira’s chagrin. Every morning I take Dolly out to the field at the end of the street for a slow jog in the cold air, leaving Kira at home. Kira, being a terrier and ridiculously stubborn, won’t listen to me at all, which is why she is left at home. I worry that she’ll get into trouble or cause trouble on our morning jaunt, but she doesn’t seem to understand. On this particular morning Kira stands by my side while I get the chihuahuas out. She barks at me, letting me know that today it is her turn to go running.
I ignore her and open up the last two kennels. The moment I open Buckle’s kennel she races back and forth, jumping into her bed and turning in circles, making it a game to try to pick her up and place her on the floor. Chika, on the other hand, just looks at me, curled up in her little bed. It’s a fairly chilly morning and unlike the other three dogs, she is a short hair which means all winter long she is freezing and reluctant to leave the warmth of her blankets. Fortunately, Chika is my favorite and she knows it, so she let’s me pick her up without struggle.
By the time I have both Chika and Buckles in my arms, Dolly has already loped up and down the stair three times, positively bouncing around in excitement. She knows that I’ll take her out soon, though Kira, still right by my side, is determined that she will go too. In a herd of wagging tails, various pitched barks and dog breath, we head upstairs and to the backyard for a morning bathroom break.
A while later when I start to get my running gear out Chika, Dolly and Kira watch with anticipation. They have all figured me out, knowing that I have to go outside for a bit in the morning. Buckles however, isn’t sure what the excitement is all about. While she is incredibly cute she isn’t the most with it and wanders around the house with her tongue sticking out of her mouth all the time because all but one of her delicate little teeth have fallen out over the course of her ten years of life.
Running clothes on, complete with long tights, a hoodie and warm socks, it’s time to go. Kira won’t leave my side and Dolly is already waiting by the stairs. In a moment of fast action, I trick Kira into going out back then head our the front door with Dolly. As we leave the house, I know I’ll be in for it when I get back. I can hear Kira barking furiously already.
Kira, I’ve learned, holds a grudge better than any person I’ve ever met, let along a dog. I’m waiting now for her revenge to strike. A steaming pile of poo outside my bedroom door perhaps? Or maybe a scattering of my clothes throughout the house? Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s coming…