Buddy (my bulldog) and I have settled into a daily routine, one that succumbs to tweaks now and then, mostly based on who is willing to budge, acquiesce, or turn the other cheek. So far, I still wear the crown, but my clever boy knows an opportunity when he sees one. Perhaps, you didn’t know the “b” in bulldog, stands for many things, from bossy and beautiful to bull-headed and beloved. So last week, Buddy carried out a land grab, one that I will happily concede to; his own ottoman empire so to speak. (Let me explain.)
When daylight wanes and temperatures drop, I head out to close up the chicken coop. Buddy, a complete barnyard gentleman, accompanies me on my rounds, though truth be told his stellar decorum was encouraged after his first foray into a low wattage chicken fence. Back in the house after we’ve both done our business (Buddy’s less mentionable), Buddy gets a treat for helping me, and we head upstairs.
In the TV room sits a large, albeit sad-looking ottoman, one that would have been thrown out the window if it had fit through the opening. It’s heavy, ugly and soiled from dining dogs and dirty paws. Needless to say, Boz and Gracie loved it. I loathed it, and swore when Boz and Gracie were gone, I’d pitch the monstrosity. (Word to the wise, not all garage sale finds are worthy of purchase, no matter what the price.) Currently, I dress it up with an old Hudson Bay Blanket.
Unfortunately, Buddy latched on the prime pooch real estate before I could say “claim jumper” or find someone to help me maneuver it down a flight of stairs and into my truck. This perch was his throne and I his jester. Entertain me, Tom, entertain me. Last night I watched Downton Abbey, while playing tug of war with Mr. Buddy. Talk about multi-tasking.
His favorite toys have specific purposes: the rope is for tug-a-war; the squeaky toy for fetching; and beef bones for gnawing with wild abandon. But last night our game-playing took a twist, one that made me laugh at first, that is before I saw the need to stand my ground. Buddy, my good man, you get the ottoman, but may I remind you that does not make me your valet. (Just call me Bates.)
As Buddy chewed his bone in full beast mode, it rolled off of the ottoman and onto the floor. Without thinking, I picked it up and put it back in his paws and jaws. Minutes later, said boned rolled off the ottoman again and onto the floor. Buddy turned to look at me in a way that can only be described as one that said, “Well, aren’t you going to get that?”
He looked over the edge of the ottoman like Wile E. Coyote looking down a miles-deep canyon with no end in sight. I said, “Buddy, I’m not getting that, it’s only a foot way.” He started to whimper like the bone was floating on a bed of lava, unattainable and lost forever. I repeated, “Buddy, not happening.” This went on for some time as I tried to concentrate on the more important issues at hand: will Lady Mary find love, will Anna have a baby, and will Lord Grantham survive his ulcer?
My next bathroom break, Buddy settled down, secured his bone and held court in a more courteous way. He tried the bone trick a couple more times, but in the end, I declared domestic victory. Ah Buddy, you already have my heart, and now the ottoman, but I really would like to keep the house. I think these are boundaries we both can live within.