Today is my birthday! I’m officially 9 years old.
Feel free to sing “Happy Birthday to Moooollllllleeeeeeee” anytime you’re ready. I’ll even sing along. I’m a good singer. It’s just that Mom doesn’t like it when I sing at 5:00 in the morning.
I’m here today with a little doggie wisdom . . .
Nine things I’ve learned just since being here, in honor of my nine years:
1 ) Keep your tail down . . . sometimes. Those wires around the pasture — they’re called electric fence. If you don’t keep your tail down when you pass under, you get shocked. Getting shocked hurts and makes you yelp. I know, because I’ve tried it 4 or 5 times now. But I’m learning to keep my tail down . . .
2 ) Catz don’t like dogs much. But that’s OK. I’m not real fond of them, either, because they hurt, too. Just in a different way than the electric fence. I really want to chase them sometimes, but Mom says I’m wiser to just leave them alone. And when I chase them, Dad yells . . . really loud.
3 ) Aunt Kate likes dogs a lot. She pets me and treats me like I’ve been here all along. She didn’t even get mad at me for jumping into her car, although she still wouldn’t take me for a ride. I’ve learned that when Mom and Dad have company, I can’t jump into every car that comes to visit.
4 ) The ranch is a scary place outside after dark. Dad says those noises are coyotes, but I don’t really want to find out firsthand. I finally cried at the door enough that they let me come inside and sleep by the bed at night. It’s much safer there, and they don’t even mind that I snore a lot.
5 ) The ranch is a busy place during the day. I can hardly keep track of everyone. It’s especially hard when Dad goes one way and Mom goes another. It makes me anxious. What if I miss out on something by choosing the wrong one to go with?
6 ) Ranch food? Well, let’s just say the pickin’s are slim. They expect me to eat plain ol’ dog food. Every meal! I’m wasting away to nothing! I’ve had a couple treats, and have even resorted to cleaning up the cat food left outside, but still . . . somethin’s gotta give. Maybe I’ll at least get a birthday treat today. I vote for steak!
7 ) Mind your manners. When you are finally granted access to the house (as is your right), behave yourself as much as possible so that you don’t get ushered back outside. Unceremoniously. Especially at night. I usually try to find an out-of-the-way spot and lay down for a nap. Then they forget I’m even inside. Until I start snoring. And, under no circumstances, should you ever chase the indoor catz.
8 ) Only play with your own toys. I was helping Mom and Dad patch the roof yesterday afternoon, and while waiting, I found a fuzzy chicken, and thought it looked like it might be fun to play with. Mom saw me pick it up and she hollered at me and ran to “rescue” the chicken. I thought she was gonna pass out. I guess it’s HER special chicken and I can’t share it with her. I have put in a request for a toy of my own. Mom says if I’m a good girl at the vet tomorrow, she’ll get me one.
9 ) Pay attention. Paying attention makes life a lot easier. It’s how I’ve learned all these things in just the two weeks I’ve been here! And if you always place yourself at the ready, you get more pets, and more snacks, and more opportunities for helping. And you can sometimes sneak into the house even when it’s not dark outside!
Oh, and one more thing — don’t play in the road. In fact, don’t even go near the road — that makes them both yell — loud! (And don’t sing at 5:00 a.m.)