Saturday, August 01, 2009
It Takes a Village . . .
It takes an entire village, or in this case neighborhood, to raise a basset hound. When Bessie decides she's tired, she just plops down wherever she is -- someone's yard, middle of the road -- it just doesn't matter to her. AND she absolutely won't get up until she's darn well ready. Picking her up is not an option, not only because she weighs in at 65 pounds, but also because she screams bloody murder if anyone tries to pick her up. I've learned over the past 11.5 years to just stand or sit and wait the whole ordeal out. I find that it's a great time to catch up on phone chats or solitaire.
This morning I took Bessie for a walk. I didn't realize it was quite so warm outside, and Bessie soon decided she was hot and tired. As we slowly crept up the sidewalk, our neighbor Anissa hollered out, "Looks like a VERY leisurely, slow walk today." She was probably worrying about Bessie dropping right there in front of her driveway since they were packing up to head out somewhere. I urged Bessie forward. Then, PLOP, down she went in Mrs. Bishop's front yard. Mrs. Bishop soon pulled up in her car and commented on the sad state of affairs. I apologized and said that she was tired. "No problem, as long as she doesn't poop in the yard, she can stay as long as she needs to," commented our accommodating neighbor.
After we sat in Mrs. Bishop's yard long enough for her brother to unpack the entire car of his belongings, one by one, for an extended stay, I decided to recruit Rick's help. The following text exchange occurred:
Kathy: Bessie's pooped.
Kathy: Behind Stephanie's house.
Rick: She pooped behind Stephanie's house?
Kathy: NO. She IS pooped. Won't move. Come help!
While we waited on Rick, I decided to try coaxing Bessie as best I could. "Let's go home and see Daddy!"; "Do you want a cookie?"; "I'll race you home!"
Soon, neighbor Stephanie ventured outside. "Looks like Bessie is down for the count," she laughed. Rick walked up. Still Bessie stayed motionless in the cool grassy shade of Mrs. Bishop's house. Rick began the usual litany: "Let's go home!"; "Do you want a cookie?" Bessie just blinked at him. We decided to play "Where's Mommy." This is one of Bessie's favorite games. Mommy (me) hides behind a tree or behind a fence and Rick says, "Where's Mommy?" Then Bessie runs to look for me. Neighbor Stephanie looked on with amusement as I hid behind successive trees and patio fences while Rick yelled over and over again, "Where's Mommy?"
Still, Bessie remained unmoved. Neighbor Stephanie chimed in, "Bessie, don't you want to go home?" (I'm sure she was not happy about the Mansfield clan just hanging outside her back door for the entire day). It was time for the big tease. "Bessie, do you want a peanut butter sandwich?" This is Bessie's all time favorite treat. Her head lifted up a bit. She raised her eyebrows. Then she placed her head back down on her paws and yawned. By now, other neighbors were looking out windows and through screened doors to see how long the ordeal would last. (Although most of he neighborhood is used to seeing this weekly spectacle.)
Finally, we pulled out the big guns. "Bessie? Do you want to go home and play the light game with Mommy?" (The light game is Bessie's favorite -- chasing a laser light through the house. She never tires of it, but I knew she was already worn out and didn't need to run anymore). Well, up she rose quick as lightning! Stephanie just laughed in amazement. Bessie came running towards me like she was a puppy. She never slowed down as she happily trotted home, tail wagging, knowing she had once again proven her abilities to be in charge of the humans.
I guess it doesn't take an entire village/neighborhood to raise a dog after all. It just takes the promise of a laser light chase at home.