How We Manage II
In part one of this journal I outlined how my wife and I managed a daily routine while being stuck with each other — I mean stuck on each other; as we have been for thirty-seven years — during this pandemic. (One thing I’ve learned while editing my own work is the need for clarity. )
Baxter the dog is also part of our daily routine. Mine mostly. Owing to the fact that I’m usually the first one up and fussing about downstairs. Allow me to correct myself. It’s actually me that’s a part of the dog’s daily routine and not the other way around. It goes something like this:
Baxter: Morning, Richard. I see you’ve just made your self a nice cup of fresh-ground coffee. Mmm, smells good. Also, I see you’re about settle down at your desk to do some work. Commendable, dear boy. No flies on you this morning.
Me: You’ve got to be kidding me, Baxter. It’s 5:30 in the morning. What are you doing up so damn early?
Baxter: I’m getting old. And like you I need to pee. So go put some pants on and get the leash. Come on now! Who’s a good Richard? Who's a good Richard? You are! You’re a good Richard!
It’s not so much a walk as it is a mock search party for nothing in particular. Baxter keeps his nose to the ground and sniffs at everything imaginable. I feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes on the hunt with Toby the dog in The Sign of the Four.
Baxter: No clues to be had here, Holmes. Good a place as any to drop my little treasure. Did you bring enough plastic thingies? I feel a two-bagger coming on. On second thought, I think I’ll hold it in for another few blocks. There’s a patch of smelly weeds up yonder that really gets me going. I long to bury my face in it and shout hallelujah! This way, Richard! Come on, boy!
Me: (Why bother saying anything. I seem to be on the wrong end of this leash.)
Back at the house I sit at my desk and sip tepid coffee.
Baxter: Don’t mind me. I’ll just sit here at your feet and grunt like a hog until you get irritated enough to get off your grouchy butt and feed me.
Me: It’s almost six o’clock in the morning. You eat when I eat. Otherwise you’ll be off schedule. Go back to bed until Darcey gets up.
Baxter: I see, Richard, and I understand that towering over me is one of the few times in the day you get to feel manly. Tell you what’s gonna happen here. You go to the fridge and get me a slice of that mighty fine baked ham, and I walk away from here with my tail between my legs. And to make you feel even less emasculated, I’ll whimper as I slink off to my smelly, but cozy, corner bed.
I haven’t had a hot cup of coffee in weeks. Do they still have those Charles Atlas courses?
What’s My Job?
I Manufacture Weaklings
If so, drop me a line, and stay safe out there. Let common sense be your guide. And be sure to show your dog who’s boss. Otherwise, you’ll never enjoy a proper cup of coffee in the morning.
Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=walking+the+dog&title=S...(3528121).jpeg