Could we talk about my dog for a few minutes?
To begin with, I’m sick. And it’s snowing. So I’m basically combining sick days and snow days like the biggest sucker in the world. But that’s not the point of this story.
Beckett is a border collie. He has some routines. One of those routines is that Carolyn feeds him breakfast and I feed him dinner. (This arrangement began after one-too-many of those “did you feed the dog earlier” conversations.) Part of feeding the dog is being responsible for the post-feeding jaunt to the fire hydrant.
But tonight I’m sick. So when the dog comes to me looking for dinner, I asked Carolyn if she could take care of his evening dinner and outing. So she feeds him and a few minutes later he comes to me like he wants to go out. “Did you take him out?” “Of course.”
Huh. But Beckett is pretty insistent that he wants to go out. He starts crying until I get out of bed. Carolyn explains that he wants me to take him out because it’s part of his routine. And border collies like their routines.
So I put on boots and him out. He walks to the fire hydrant, looks around a bit, then turns around to go back inside—like a dog that clearly didn’t need an outing. Even though he cried until I took him out.
Then he proceeds to romp about the house like a squirrel on uppers.1 Bizarrely enough, this is also part of the routine. I take him for his evening outing. He then has his post-outing evening romp.
Carolyn tells me that the dog feels like he has me trained and that he has to take me to the fire hydrant before he can initiate the evening romp.
Incidentally, “a squirrel on uppers” is the top of Beckett’s wishlist if anybody wants to get him a present. It would, without a doubt, be his favorite thing in the world until he finally caught it. Then it would still be his favorite thing in the world. Remind me to tell you about the one time we had a mouse in the kitchen. ↩