CHEWY 2020

Seriously, I thought I was a pretty good leader to Chewy before this Coronavirus craziness had us both cooped up in the house for days. I’d get up in the morning, feed him and throw the ball once or twice. Then I’d go out and do errands or see people. On every return, he’d greet me with great excitement and bring me the ball to throw again. We had our evening cuddles on the couch with dinner. My food first, because he won’t eat kibble until he knows he’s not getting any of mine. And at dark, he’d go to sleep away from the TV, in the other room, until I prepared for bed myself and brought him into the bedroom. Then he’d obediently settle down in his little bed while I read and finally turned out the light.

All of that was great, but now he is my constant companion. I make sure to take him out every afternoon for a walk. But he seems to increasingly need to stop and sniff every plant and tree and fire hydrant. I flip between letting him do what he wants and going into my training routine: “With me,” and “release”. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t, but training mode spoils the walk for me. I’d rather let my mind open to the sounds and smells around me and just enjoy it.

I talk to Chewy more than usual. Often I demand, with irritation, “What?” when he barks or growls at me. Most times, I can’t figure out what he wants, unless it’s food. He goes out through his doggie door, but instead of coming back in unannounced, he stands on the deck and barks until I come into the room. He thinks he’s going to get a treat when he comes back in. This has happened thousands of times and continues, even though I NEVER give him a treat just for coming into the house after barking.

I’ve had to get out the citronella no-bark collar. He still quiets down when I show it to him, but the citronella insertion point seems to be plugged up because it no longer works when we’re out walking.

I think Chewy’s problem is he thinks whoever happens to be in the house has the job of entertaining him. And now I’m here all day long. He’s either bringing me the ball, demanding to get up on my lap while I’m at the computer, or barking at the front door, where there is nobody. Then there’s Zoom. Hard to have a meeting with a growling, barking dog underfoot. I’m somewhat anxious and depressed. Maybe he is too? Perhaps I should get out the Thunder Vest. Or the anti-anxiety meds I got him for the drive to Montana. Or maybe I’m the one who should be taking something to perk up!




One-dog Night

Bed (1 of 1)

Warm bodies

snuggle buddies

relax together

hear heartbeats

wrapped in arms

embrace warmth

comfort in each other.


We drift back

to mother’s embrace

perhaps the womb–

place of comfort and promise

perception of life–

so strong, so sure

protected and safe

loved and nourished.


Explains why we like bear hugs

shoulders to lean on

caressing hands.

So lie still, little buddy

and let me hold you

while knowing deep down

you are holding me.




Foxy fall 2011 004

Ellie had been gone for such a long time. Mark slept in the guest room and did all the same things she does. He talked to me, fed me, walked me, gave me treats, but it just wasn’t the same. No cuddles on the bed–well I wasn’t going to let him pick me up. No belly rubs. No squirts in my ears that make me shake my head and run away–well, OK, I didn’t miss that. I had some scratchy things in my fur that nobody was trying to get out. No visits to the doggie doctor–yeah for that.

Then one evening the front door opened and there she was! I had to stop and look and sniff again. Is that really you? She stopped to pet my head, but I wasn’t so sure about this. I’d gotten used to just sleeping all the time and checking once in a while to see what Mark was doing. She went to bed pretty fast that first night, after dragging the darn rolling suitcase into the house.

Over the next few days, she was too busy to do much with me. She kept getting up during the night and turning on lights and rummaging around the house. She unpacked the suitcase in the middle of the night, leaving whiffs of food and foreign smells all around. She left in the car and came back with a lot of food in bags; some of it was even for me.

Soon I was following her around waiting to see what she was doing, if it was time for my walk, if there was any food she might drop on the floor. And then she not only rubbed behind my ears and my back, but she picked me up and put me on the bed and we had a really good, just-like-it-used-to-be cuddle. I started reminding her when it was walk time and sitting under her nose when she was eating in case she felt like sharing a bite. Now I’m back to running at her when she’s putting on her shoes in the morning, just so she knows I’m ready for a nice walk. She even put that darn stuff in my ears. Yuck.

Things are back to normal with me and my human. But wait, she’s taking that rolling suitcase out of the closet again. Nooooooooooo!