Tag Archives: dogs

“Twas three days before Christmas…

‘Twas three days before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring ‘cept Ma and her dog. One child and two cats were nestled snug on the couch, when Ma and her Ike tiptoed into the room. From out of the dark, there rose such a howling, the quiet household shuddered and woke with a start.

So much for a quiet start to the day. And so much for my attempts at poetic license. I knew that there would be an extra cat in the house, but I’d been assured that Peaches the Queen and the visiting Casio, would “just ignore each other”. What we didn’t plan on was the rude awakening of said cats and child by one wriggling, tail-wagging miniature Schnauzer, eager to join the sleeping trio.

Ten minutes later, one cat had been relegated to the outdoors and the other one to the basement. Ike, the innocent instigator, was upstairs in bed with the other child and Harvey, the calmest dog on earth.

Phew. Quiet reigned again…for a few minutes anyway. I took that as a sign that I could take a shower. Halfway through that, daughter number 1 pops her head in the door to say that “I was trying to find an outlet for the coffeepot, and I unplugged your bread machine. Does that matter?” Matter? Why would it matter that a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread had been unplugged mid-cycle? A little deep breathing reminded me “not to sweat the small stuff”. Lo and behold, she’d plugged it right back in and the bread kept baking. Huh. Must have some sort of surge protection on it.

30 minutes later, I headed off to work. As I walked out the door, I heard two hoots of laughter from daughters number 1 and 2, watching something on the Internet. Which reminds me. All cat- and dog-fights aside, it’s good to have my family home.



Two girls, a boy and three dogs = happy chaos

Chaos reigns once again in the Steiner abode. Well, actually chaos really only reigns when three dogs are in one room at the same time. And it’s a good chaos, unless you’re worried that one dog will take a bit out of the other. Which, I’ve been told, will happen if one particular dog is without her muzzle.

Hence, we have one dog with muzzle and two muzzle-free. Here’s just a brief visual of how this is working out….or not.

Yesterday morning daughter #1 and her guy, Eric, arrived with both of their dogs, Harvey and Luna. An odd cross between a black lab and a dachshund, Harvey is happy galoot who cheerfully tolerates nearly everything, including being chewed on by a 14-pound Schnauzer. He actually used to live here, so this is really his second home.

Luna, on the other hand, isn’t so cheerful. But that might be because she’s been holed up in the bedroom most of the weekend. Luna is a gangly, three-year-old yellow lab mix, with a certain amount of what Eric’s dad terms “paranoia”. I think he might be right. Actually, she’s a sweet thing until she spies the 14-pound Schnauzer. Ike thinks Luna is just another dog to play with, so he becomes a quivering mass of excitement. This is when the muzzle comes in handy.

So today, Ike gets to go visit Grandma P., where he will be thoroughly spoiled. This will allow Luna to roam our house freely for awhile, and all of us can breathe equally freely. No one will have to run through the house yelling for one or the other dog to stay put.

When daughter #2 arrives tonight, Ike will happily hunker down with her. He’s still a bit miffed that he had to sleep with us (as usual) rather than spending the night with Lindsay, Eric and the other dogs. How do you explain to a dog that one girl, one boy, and three dogs don’t fit on a futon? Actually, I’m not sure how that works with two dogs.

At the moment, all is quiet. Harvey has settled in for a snooze in a sunny spot in the family room, where Eric is reading. Ike is sleeping (don’t tell Grandma) on his new favorite spot…the settee. Lindsay and Luna are sequestered in the bedroom where one is (purportedly) grading papers, and the other is probably sleeping.

Where’s Fred in all this? Where else? In his basement office…maybe working. More likely, he’s using that as a ruse to avoid the fray upstairs.

Now. All. Is. Quiet. What worries me is that saying…something about the “quiet before the storm”.


We’ve become those weird pet owners we used to laugh about

Okay, I’ve got to admit I never saw this coming. Never expected it. It’s like one of those things you swear will never happen to you, but when it does, it kind of creeps up on you and suddenly you’re there. There’s no turning back, no way to pretend it isn’t true.

I (we) have become one of those empty nest (I hate that phrase as much as I hate the term “chick flick”) couples who have acquired another child late in life. It (he) sleeps most of the day, demands to be fed specific foods (i.e., loves carrots but hates green beans), does not want to wear a coat in cold weather, and hogs the best chair in the house. Okay, I’ll admit this sounds sort of like a teenager, but the difference is while he loves to ride in the car, he doesn’t beg to drive.

He also has four legs and lots of fur that requires regular maintenance. And has bad breath. Really bad breath.


Anne and Ike after his first parade appearance


Somehow this little guy weaseled his way into our hearts and while he hasn’t replaced our daughters, he has managed to entertain us in much the same way they did (do). He makes us laugh. He can also make us very angry and/or anxious — when he slips by unnoticed and heads out an open door. This not only tests our patience but also our aerobic status — that little guy can run fast. Much faster than my 54-year-old legs can.

When we leave him at home for a long stretch, we feel guilty and usually come home with a new toy or bone. I realize this is really kind of silly. In fact, it flies in the face of all I once believed in — that a dog cannot truly be a member of the family. After all, it’s just a pet, right?

Somewhere along the way, I became one of those pet owners who babies and spoils a four-legged creature, oohs and ahs over its cuteness. It’s almost embarrassing. Actually, it’s really embarrassing.

But what really amazes me is that my husband has become equally attached. He might not admit it, but he likes the darn dog. People tell me that they see him driving around town with the dog in the front seat, head out the window, ears flapping in the breeze.

In fact, he was the one who suggested we may as well let Ike, our little miniature Schnauzer, sleep with us. Hey, who am I to argue? What’s one more snoring male? Some nights it’s like a chorus of snores. I just shove my earplugs in harder and laugh.