The dogs rule the roost

I’m baby-sitting my boyfriend’s two dogs this week while he is working in northern Manitoba.
“The boys” and I are on a learning curve—and I’m aghast to admit that I am the student and not the teacher (at least not yet).
“Pepe” is a short off-white (needs a bath) wire-haired stubborn little mastermind who can hear a bread crumb drop to the floor in the kitchen but was rendered completely deaf when I released him to outside without a leash to pee, wherein he raced off chasing the illusive nothing and ignored my constant bellow of, “Come back here this instant!”
I walked a half-mile to find him rolling in deer droppings.
“Bear,” meanwhile, is a Lab-cross with bad eyesight who has the keenest snout I’ve ever seen—given that he can find the tiny morsel of cooked egg white left on the kitchen table (evident by the long lick of tongue residue I found beside my toast plate when I returned from a split-second visit to the bathroom during breakfast).
My old cat “Millie,” perched on the windowsill that faces into the kitchen from the porch, had that flat-stare look that said, “I told you so.”
During the first dog night in the house, I found the little one buried under the blankets on my side of the bed—splayed out in an unconscious stupor and chasing rabbits.
I woke the little boss up and told it to move its carcass to the other side of the bed. Strangely, “Pepe” was deaf again.
By morning, the two canines were wagging tails about the door, eager to get outside and do their “business,” and I praised them for holding it through the night—until I stepped in a warm puddle of yellow liquid in my bare foot.
Luckily I saw the pile of little brown cylinders on the floor before I stepped in those, too.
“Millie” was still in the window, cat laughing.
A sermon ensued with said culprit dogs about the dog rules.
The canine capers sat motionless on their haunches, shifting eye contact with each other as I spelled it out. And then I told them if they didn’t behave, I would put them out in the porch with the cats.
I looked back to see “Millie’s” jaw drop open against the window—struck stupid by the sheer thought of canines setting foot in her sunning territory.
Next, our first morning walk—or, rather, a socket-wrenching of my shoulder joints as I was dragged down the field by two dogs pretending to be Great Danes chasing a wild boar.
Using my Alpha voice, I threatened to duct tape the mutts to the picnic table if they didn’t slow down. It fell on deaf ears, of course, until I mentioned the word “treat” and “home” and “squirrel” in the same sentence.
I leave the dogs in the house when I go to work. “Sit, stay, and be good.” But I come home after eight hours to find the bed sheets in a big ball on the floor, and my favourite “off limits” lounge chair covered in lots of dog hair.
The dog rules. The dogs rule. The doggone rules.
The rulers lie at my feet, look up, and slap their tails on the living room floor—Morse code for “I love you, my human.”
I smile. It’s going to be an interesting week.

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