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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat

With Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

January 2013 issue  

     I once read that if you need an alarm clock to wake up, you are not getting enough sleep.     

     Since I don’t use an alarm clock and generally wake fairly early, I was under the false illusion that I was getting enough sleep.

     It dawned on me a week ago that I DO have an alarm clock. No it’s not the one next to my bed with the red numbers, it’s the one on my bed that starts wriggling around when it feels the need to be let outside.

     You guessed it. My little, 20-pound black dog starts squirming, and it’s a subtle though effective means of waking me up.

     When we get into bed in the evening, Florie will jump up for a quick visit, but then quickly leaps for the floor because, I’m guessing, the bed is too warm. But in the wee hours, when she’s feeling a tad chilly, she hops up and curls in close to my back to warm up.

     Her wriggling in the morning often involves her lying on her back for a tummy scratch. I don’t begrudge her this simple pleasure, and I rub her tummy for it doesn’t cost me a dime and her delight makes me smile.

     In fact, her whole morning routine makes me smile and what better way to get a start to the day but with a little humor?

             ------------------------

     So, you may ask, why doesn’t she just jump off herself and go out the doggie door?

     When she was little, I never let her jump out of a vehicle by herself. I always picked her up and set her down, and I’m still doing it. She learned not to jump out on her own. This training has proved invaluable. She stays in the car even with the door open or stays on the hay in the barn when we are out feeding.

     But this training has also filtered into her brain in the morning, and she waits for permission to jump off the bed and go “pee pee.” Then she heads straight for the doggie door and puts herself into the yard.

             ------------------------  

     And another thing… those doggie doors. When I had them installed, I thought I would be replacing my German Shepherd dog, so I got large doggie doors. One goes from the mudroom to the garage, and the other from the garage to the back yard. I thought I was so clever.

     As it turned out, when I moved in with my two older stock dogs, I could not persuade either of them to use the doggie doors. When I got Florie, she was so small, that when I put her in the mudroom, I thought she wouldn’t learn how to use the doggie door for a month.  

 

     I left her alone for ten minutes, and when I looked back in the mudroom, she had vanished. Yep! She had followed a cat out the doggie door, and was wandering around the garage.

     These days, my house pets are reduced to two cats and one small dog, and we could use much smaller doggie doors. On a winter’s night, the draft sifting through them can be frigid, and I put the slide in them.

     All three pets use the doggie doors, with the cats being the most cautious, but utterly dependent on their freedom to go in and out. Florie is particularly exuberant! When she has finished in the back yard, she comes barreling in through the door! Boom! as fast as she can go!

     We both laugh at her antics… and humor is a fine way to start off the new year!

     All the best to you in this new year!

 

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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