Fresh from the dentist, my mouth still frozen, I let the pups outside on the deck for, hopefully, a pee. At 5 weeks, this is a stretch, but I am, as always, an optimist. As usual, Jax skids to a stop, appalled at the temperature, his expression screaming, “Hey, hey, hey–I did not sign up for this!” I nudge him out the door, relieving him of this pesky ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ moment. He gallops after Leo, Tucker, Xena and Snickers.
I make a cup of Chai then dump laundry from the dryer onto the couch–my laundry room is now puppy central–and begin folding clothes. What are my chances of catching up today? If I feed the pups now, and then they go for a nap … A yip at the door tells me they’ve had enough of Mother Nature. I open the door and in they thunder, big paws thudding across the floor, ears flopping, eyes sparkling. I have no hope of training them to stay on the mat until their feet are dry, so have perfected ignoring my paw smeared floors.
I fill huge bowls with food and water and place them in the middle of the room so all five pups can shove their way in, needing lunch, not now, but right now!
I slurp from my cup, dabbing dribbling tea from my still frozen chin. So attractive.
Hey maybe I can get the rest of the laundry done before they clue in on the oh-so-chewable, ‘how-can-a-puppy-say-no?’ clothes on the couch. I spring into action, inspired mostly by fear, and begin delivering stacks of folded laundry to their designated rooms. The pups are done scarfing their lunch, and are now roaming the house in search of innocent, ‘what-did-I-ever-do-to-you?’ socks and slippers.
I pick up my pace, trying to stay ahead of the mob, then hear a crash.
Turning, I see Leo has pulled my giant spider plant down and is now streaking away like his tail’s on fire. An avalanche of dirt covers the kid’s craft room floor. Dry, thank goodness.
Before the others can find and embrace this new opportunity, I grab the broom and dust pan and begin cleaning. I hear a ting, ting and raspy scrape. This is a new sound; an ominous sound. I stop sweeping to investigate. Oh my God, Tucker is playing with a huge chuck of broken glass! Where did he find it? It’s jagged and sharp, a piece of a drinking glass that had broken months ago.
Distracting him with a scratch to his velvety head, I ease the piece of glass away. He seems okay–no cuts, just curious to where I’d magically disappeared his new toy. I drop the glass into the garbage. Heading back to finish the dirt cleanup, I see someone has peed in the dining room. Totally my fault–puppy training 101–right after the drinking, comes the peeing. Let them outside.
Come on, Ronnie, duh!
Returning with the dustpan full, I see my last stack of folded laundry is now strewn across the floor, and soaking up the puddle of pee. This is Snicker’s work. How to save on paper towel. Grrrr….
I toss my clothes back into the washer, spray the pee spot with Mr. Clean–my true, true friend in this battle called puppy training–then sit down with my cold tea. The pups sit in a half-circle, gazing up at me with adoration in their beautiful eyes. They’d like some tea as well, I’m guessing …
I slur, “I rish you guyz could understand English for just five minutes. That’s all I ashk; a five minute discussion about baf-room expectations and all my problems are solved.”
Puzzled by my slurred speech, they press forward for a group cuddle.
I can’t help imagining what they’d say if we could talk for five minutes.
“I tried to point out you haven’t watered your plant in weeks,” could be Leo’s contribution.
“I found that piece of broken glass you lost,” could be Tucker’s.
“I helped clean up,” could be Snicker’s.
They are so soft and adorable, and eager to be anything I want them to be.
Oh, heck. I have lots of paper towel. And there's that optimist thing I have goin' on …