I have a wonderful life. My people love me and play with me. They let me lie on the couch, but not the bed. They feed me good food, give me tasty treats and take me for walks. I can’t complain. And they have nothing to complain about, either. I’m a great dog. And I’m a good boy! I don’t know why they want a second pet. Why aren’t I enough? They’re really excited about this new pet, too. They’re reading books about it and they’re buying it all kinds of stuff and it isn’t even here, yet. And they’re giving it its own room! All I have is a bed in the corner of the living room and a folded-up blanket in their bedroom. I don’t know why the new pet would want its own room. How are you going to protect your people if you’re sleeping way down the hall? Ridiculous! It’s got a stupid name, too. Bay bee. I don’t like bees. They sting. I got a bee sting once when I was a puppy. It hurt a lot and half my head got all puffy and my people had to take me to the emergency vet. They sprayed some stuff up my nose at the vet’s, which made me drool a lot for a while, but my head went back to its normal size. I’d better not be allergic to this bee!
The bay bee appears to be a tiny human. It’s ridiculously helpless. It can’t do anything on its own. They carry it everywhere. And it’s so loud! You’d never think such a little thing could be so noisy. People keep coming over to bring food, which is great. I’ve licked a lot of interesting things off plates lately. The house is a mess, but my Lady doesn’t mind. She never used to like the house to be messy at all and made me put all my toys in a box before guests came, but now there’s stuff everywhere and she doesn’t even care. When guests come over, they smell the bay bee’s head. That was strange. Humans rarely do that. They should, of course. There’s a lot of information in a good snuff. I wanted to know what the big deal was that even humans were giving it a sniff. When my Lord’s mother was holding the bay bee on the couch, I walked over and took a whiff. Mmm. Yes. I get it now. They all thought it was funny when I sniffed its head. They weren’t thrilled, though, when I licked its face. I don’t know why. They like it when I clean stuff up off the floor. And it had milk running down its face. I was just trying to help!
It’s not a bay bee. It’s a baby. My friend Spike told me. My people don’t call it “the baby” anymore. It’s a him and his name is Colin. Humans like to name things. It’s weird. Dogs don’t have names among themselves. Well, not names like that. Spike is just “French bulldog who pees on everything” and he sees me as “Labrador retriever who likes to play Frisbee.” Both of us are friendly with “Poodle who doesn’t act like one.” Neither of us is fond of “Afghan who thinks she’s all that.” But, according to humans, I’m Rocket. He’s Spike and the other two are Rene and Princess. Honestly, I think it’s because of her name that Princess acts like she does. Be careful what you name your pets. Sometimes it goes to their heads. To me, my people are my Lord, my Lady and the Little Lord. Dogs like hierarchies. We like to know where we stand.
It’s not so bad having the Little Lord around. My people stay home more on weekends. Also, my Lady is home every day now and we go out for walks two or three times a day, depending on how the teething is going. Oh, yeah. Apparently, babies and dogs should not share toys. Who knew? I heard my Lord and my Lady talking about how Colin needed something to chew on, so I shared my favorite hard rubber bone with him. It really holds up to a good hard chew. My Lord threw it into my toy basket and said, “Yuck,” but my Lady smiled and explained that babies and dogs have separate toys. She then spent half an hour showing me different things and labeling them “dog” and “baby” and trying to teach me to poke the dog toys with my nose. I figured it out after a few minutes, but I pretended to be having a bit of trouble with it. It was fun, and I didn’t want to stop playing. My Lady hadn’t played with me in a while. I think she was enjoying it as much as I was. Colin is very needy. He’s still pretty useless, but he smiles and laughs. I can do things to entertain him and make him laugh and my Lord and Lady like that a lot. They call me “good boy” and give me extra treats. Like I said, the kid’s not all bad.
Hallelujah! Colin has started eating food, and he’s so bad at it. It’s a boon for me. I get to lick up all kinds of splats off the floor and my Lady puts the high chair tray on the floor when she takes him out after dinner. She always takes him directly down the hall for his evening bath. She calls out to my Lord to clean up the kitchen. He says okay, but he waits until I’ve licked up most of the mess before he comes in and finishes. I’m a good boy, my Lord says. I like most of the food they feed Colin. The morning porridge sticks to the roof of my mouth, but I love the peaches. The sweet potatoes are pretty great, too. I especially like the Cheerio Game. The Lord and Lady put Cheerios on the high chair tray and Colin tries to pick them up to eat them. At first, he didn’t have very good coordination. He’d never be able to catch a Frisbee in his mouth. He’d end up throwing the Cheerios around the kitchen and I’d eat them. After a while, he got better at getting them into his mouth on the first try, but he’d get bored and bang on the tray and sweep the Cheerios onto the floor. Score!
Whoa! The kid’s on the move. My Lord and Lady have told me I can’t leave my toys on the floor anymore. There’s a tall box that I can reach that Colin can’t and now I have to put my toys away. It doesn’t seem fair. Colin leaves his toys wherever he flings them. Now that he’s crawling around, a lot of things have changed. My Lord and Lady don’t leave things lying around so much. And they’ve put my food bowl on the porch. My water bowl, too. I have to whine at the door to go out and get a drink. It doesn’t seem fair. When I was a pup, they trained me to not be possessive about my food. They’d root around in my dog food bowl while I ate to train me not to nip at them. So when Colin crawled over and reached into my food bowl, I sat up like a good boy and let him grab some of my food and eat it. He’s the Little Lord. He’s above me in the hierarchy. If he wants my food, I have to let him have it. You should have heard my Lady! She yelled so loud; she made Colin cry and I went to hide behind the couch. I don’t know what the big deal is. They let him share his food with me.
Well, crawling is just not good enough for the Little Lord. He is now trying to walk upright like the Lord and Lady. I don’t know why they do that. I tried it once. It’s not easy. And you can run so much faster on four legs. But humans are always doing things with their front paws, so I guess it makes more sense for them to only walk on their hind legs. Colin pulls himself up on the couch, on the coffee table, on the kitchen chairs. He’s still wobbly on two legs and is much faster when on all four, but he tries very hard. Yesterday we had two incidents where I was the good-est boy ever. In the morning, my Lord was bringing in groceries from the car and had left the door to the garage open. The door to the basement is also there, and it was open, too. Colin went racing for the basement. Luckily, he was wearing overalls, so I snagged him by the strap and held him back from falling down the stairs. My Lord was very pleased with me. Later, Colin was pulling himself up on the furniture in the living room and I was standing nearby. He turned and reached out and grabbed my collar. Maybe he thought this was a new game. He took one step forward and tugged on my collar, so I took a step. He took another, and I took another. And then we walked like that all the way across the room to the chair in the corner. The Lord and Lady smiled and laughed. Colin gave me a hug. He’s a good kid. I’ve heard from Spike that not all kids are good boys like Colin.
It’s Colin’s birthday today. I heard my Lord and Lady talking about it last night as they put him to bed. I sleep in Colin’s room now, on the floor next to his crib. Sometimes he wakes in the night and reaches out through the bars and I sit up so he can pat me until he falls back to sleep. This morning, Colin woke up very early. He must have known it was a special day. After pulling himself up on the crib bars, he tried to climb them. He kept slipping down, but he’s a determined little boy. Finally, he threw one leg up on the rail and pulled hard. He swung himself over the rail and then he was hanging from the crib. I jumped up and stood under his feet. He laughed, and we went down to the floor like an elevator. He ran from the room, down the hall, into the kitchen. I followed. I found him in the kitchen, trying to open the door to the larder. Poor kid was hungry. I don’t blame him. I was peckish myself. He couldn’t quite reach the door handle, so I lay down on the floor and he climbed up on my back. We got the door open and stood in front of the shelves. Colin clapped his hands and said, “Yay!” He pulled a box of Cheerios down, but it was too heavy and it fell, spilling the tiny O’s all over the floor. We ate some of those and then we ate half a bag of pretzels and a bagel each. Well, I ate my bagel and Colin used his as a chew toy. I was getting thirsty, and I assumed that the Little Lord was, too, but my water bowl was on the porch and the back door was locked. There was fruit in a wooden bowl on the counter. I’m not allowed to take things from the counter, but we were very thirsty. There were oranges in the bowl. I took an orange down and bit it in half. Colin took one half and buried his face in it like a proper dog. He chomped and slurped and squealed in delight. When he finished eating, he patted me with a sticky hand, leaned into my side, and said, “Goo boy” before falling asleep.
© 2021 Liza Cameron Wasser