I can still recall the weeks leading up to our wedding. It was 1972 and I was pregnant, just a couple weeks away from my 18th birthday. Way too young, yes. But it was what it was. My mother, of course, was not happy about the entire situation. Not happy in a “you’re pregnant so you don’t get to wear white” kind of way. Again, it was what it was.
About a week before the day, I was having a disagreement with my mom over—well, over what, I don’t recall. But what she said to end the discussion I do remember. “Right now, you live under my roof and you will do what I say. Next week, you will be living under David’s roof, and then you’ll do what he says.”
I also recall my unspoken reaction to that: I don’t be thinking so.
Generally speaking, though, because of the times, and how I was raised, I have always thought of my husband as the head of the house. Now we’ve been married a while—our 42nd anniversary is coming up in July. David is still the head of the house. But he isn’t the one who’s the star of the show around here. And neither am I.
The animals are.
I was thinking about this earlier as I was cooking our dinner—pork schnitzel with potato casserole and green beans. Missing from the pan in which I cooked the meat were garlic and mushrooms.
We love garlic and mushrooms—but both are bad for the dog.
What’s that you say? We shouldn’t be feeding our Morkie too many table scraps? Well, I agree, but Mr. Ashbury just loves to feed his little boy at the table. And of course, the little boy just loves to eat whatever his daddy gives him. “Gives him” is the key wording here, because if Mr. Ashbury puts that same food on a saucer on the floor for him? He’s not interested in it.
Tuffy doesn’t get people food every night. If we have sausage, for example, he has to make do with his Cesars, because sausage makes him sick. We do generally only give him the basic meats—pork, beef, and chicken. He does have his preferred flavors of the dog food, too, of course. Primarily he loves the “smoked bacon and eggs” and anything with the word ‘steak’ in it.
A small digression, here. Something I have never understood. How do we know that the dog food in the plastic container, or the can, is smoked bacon and egg flavor? Who tests it to determine this? Just wondering.
Tuffy has a wardrobe. Currently it consists of three coats and six or seven sweaters. There were a few times this winter when he actually came and asked for a sweater because he was cold. No lie. He also has toys. Oh, a ball you may ask? A Frisbee? Well yes to the former—four, at last count, all capable of making a squeaking sound. He also has two small squeaky pigs, 2 medium and one very large squeaky chicken, and various other and assorted toys including the big strong tied rope thingy that he loves to play tug of war with, and a couple of “critters” that used to have pull-out strings that would make them skitter on the ground. Oh, and the “squeaky toy” must be of a sufficient quality so that he can make it squeak all by himself.
Tuffy has so many toys that we have a medium sized box in our living room, where the toys are kept. Sometimes. When they are not scattered everywhere around the house.
Lest you think only the dog gets catered to, I will have you know that when HRH (her royal highness) the cat comes to my chair and bats at me, I have to get up and give her kitty treats (the dog likes these, too). And when she makes a particular “meow” sound, it means I must go into the bathroom and turn on the cold water tap for her. Just enough, mind you, that there’s a trickle. Then I must leave the bathroom so she may drink in private.
Bedtime has gotten particularly interesting of late. The dog has been sleeping in our bed since last May when my daughter stayed here and broke him of that icky “play pen” habit. The cat has recently decided she deserves to sleep in the bed, too. The cat sheds a lot, and the dog not at all. So I have a bath towel on my bed, between my pillow and the headboard. This is so when kitty jumps up (about 4 nights out of 7), she has a place to sleep and I, for the most part, keep her hair off the sheet.
The dog sleeps between mommy and daddy, about waist level. And while the animals often are nose to nose, and about to play a game of doggie pounce in front of cat and cat swat dog, the bed seems to be an agreed upon piece of neutral territory.
Yes, they do communicate and co-operate; how else could they so perfectly schedule taking turns having their servants fetch, carry, or shake a paw?
It’s a dog’s life, and in this household, a damn fine one at that.