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Imperatrix Gets Cranky

12 July 2008

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the girls were showing my MIL’s puppies at a dog show. Each day I packed the pocket camera in their bag and told the girls to take pictures if they could, but not to stress about it. Wednesday was the first day, and they had enough on their minds figuring out how the show ring works. No problem. Thursday the puppies were a handful, the judge was a bit of a nasty-lady, and since the girls were showing two males, they were both in the ring at the same time, so they didn’t take any pictures. No problem!

Friday, the Consort went along to show the little girl dog (we call her by their technical name here, but I wouldn’t want to scare away any of you with my rude language!). Since girls and boys are shown separately at first, I thought that I’d at least have pictures of Impera and Trixie in the ring from Friday.

When I saw the car pull in to the driveway in the afternoon, I went out to greet everybody; the girls bounded out of the car and shouted, “We brought the puppies home with us!!!”

Now, let me explain a few things.

1) Show dogs are not always house dogs. Often, they are kept in the kennel, with the other show/breeding dogs. They have plenty of time outdoors, they have lots of companionship, and they lead a generally happy life. On the other hand, housebreaking is not something they are introduced to. They don’t live in the people parts of the house, so what do they know about holding it in indoors? They keep their crates clean, but a human habitation is so much bigger – it feels more like their outdoor space than their small den/sleeping space.

2) I am not really a dog person. I enjoy Zephyr, and I’m often amazed at the depth of her personality (even if too much of that depth has to do with not being able to keep a poker face when she does something naughty, like help the cat try to murder the bird). But we have worked with her since she was a puppy, and I think she’s come out a really well-behaved dog. She is in complete control of her bodily wastes. She always lets us know when she feels sick (so she can get sick outdoors). She is respectful of other people’s things: she doesn’t chew stuffed animals, clothing, pillows, books, or shoes (some basenjis are notorious leather-chewers). When we leave the house, she has full run of the place; we have left her for the entire day at times, and she has never misbehaved.

3) I did not enjoy having the puppies in the house so much when they were little. Remember back in January and February? We’d keep one or two pups at the house for a week or so? The girls had fun with the puppies. I did lots of floor cleaning. Yes, yes – even I don’t disagree that puppies are teh kyootness, but they aren’t so cute after the third time they’ve (cutely) climbed over the barricade, run into you bedroom and peed (or pooped) on your duvet (because two certain someones weren’t as vigilant as they had promised to be…).

4) I had made it clear to the Consort that although I had been willing to deal with the puppies when they were little, I really had no interest in them staying with us any more. I was happy to have given the girls the time with the cuties, but I didn’t trust those things in my house (especially now that they are too big to be enclosed only in the kitchen!).

So perhaps you can understand why, when they came home on Friday with the puppies, I pouted a bit (OK, maybe more than a bit). I felt corralled: it was a done deal, despite my preferences, and until Grandma came to pick them up, they would be in my house. “We’re just going to take them for a walk first, so they won’t have any accidents in the house,” the Consort told me. “Yeah, I’ve heard that before!” I replied. (See? I acknowledge the pouting.)

I stayed in our room (a.k.a., the office) after they came home from the walk, figuring that it was better to pout in private than ruin their fun. But it’s hard to stay away when you hear squeals of laughter from the kids enjoying the puppies’ antics. So I went out to the living room, and tried making conversation. I asked how the show had gone. “Great!” “Fun!” “We brought home our ribbons!” And they showed them to me. I asked if the Consort had taken any pictures.

“No, I kept meaning to take some, but there never seemed to be a time when it would have made a good picture.”

Ricking fricking … what!? You have to have the camera out and ready for “a good picture”! So, I’m the only one who cares about having some photographic memory of the girls showing the puppies? Fine! I went back to pouting, returned to the office, and tried to work some more. Zephyr didn’t like the puppies in the house too much, either (that’s my girl!). So she joined me in the office, where we sat in isolation, together. After a while, the puppies were put into crates (because they had reached the point of starting to be naughty), the Consort went in to work for a bit, and the girls went outside to enjoy the lovely weather.

I grumpily took a picture of the ribbons they brought home, since that was all the photographing I would get of the dog show adventure.

Then the puppies went home, the Consort came back, and as the evening progressed I found my mood to be much more manageable.

And Zephyr provided me with a much funnier photo to remember the day.

A fine perch
Zephyr, sitting in the rocker, atop a pile of clean laundry. (And who put that pillow there for her? Not me!)

On Saturday, when I checked the pocket camera, I saw that the Consort did take some pictures. There were even enough for me to make a small photo set. Sheesh!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 July 2008 5:24 pm

    Beautiful dogs! But Zephyr’s the best, ’cause she’s Mommy’s girl.

  2. 13 July 2008 2:57 am

    The puppies are adorable. Your girls, however, seem to have no heads.

  3. 14 July 2008 11:28 am

    Cute puppies! I have a bit of a weak spot for dogs with curly tails.

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