Monday, December 30, 2013

The Pink Elephant: The Little Things

The Pink Elephant: The Little Things: Every morning I am greeted in the living room by our two dogs Nina and Jaco. They grunt and snort, rub their heads against my unsteady morni...

The Little Things

Every morning I am greeted in the living room by our two dogs Nina and Jaco. They grunt and snort, rub their heads against my unsteady morning legs as I travel to the kitchen to start the tea water. Though he tries to contain himself, Jaco will usually jump up and pat my belly one paw at a time until I push him down and tell him in my most unconvincing voice, "No jumping."

I will always let them out the front door, even though Aaron and I spent gobs of money building a large fenced in yard for them in the back. Their morning ritual, much like my own, is predictable. They run west about 200 feet to a cluster of sagebrush that I have surmised must house rabbits. They sniff each brush and Jaco pees on a few, which, if it is a rabbit's home, is a very rude thing to do. They then run south, to the neighbor's driveway where they chase away at least 20 birds. When Nina was young she cleared out the entire neighborhood of birds. She would deliver them to the doorstep or sometimes into the house if she had managed to soft mouth the bird successfully. She has either lost ability or interest as the birds are left alive.

They then run southeast, where they stand on the collection of hay bales that holds Aaron's archery target. They overlook the valley and decide everything is in order and head east, down the hill, through a thicket of sage, and across the field to their favorite place of all. Grandma's house. 

They will usually stop at an old, rusted pipe that lies alongside the driveway. Nina will take one end and Jaco the other. Together they will sniff and snort and utterly terrify the creature that lives inside.

When they arrive at grandma's house, Nina will lift her paw and hit the screen door with force. The screen door will hit the front door and will notify grandma's dachshund, Hanz, that company has arrived. Hanz will bark obnoxiously and grandma will come to the front door, two biscuits in hand and give one to Nina and one to Jaco. Jaco will invariably try to eat Nina's biscuit as well but grandma will remind him to share.

In the summer months, grandma will leave the door open so the dogs can visit while they eat their biscuits. Today though, they were given their biscuits and told to return home, which they do after they've finished their treat on the front porch.

Before they head up the hill, they stop at the rusty pipe and remind the critter that their day is drawing near. The dogs then disappear in the sage brush momentarily and then one by one, I spot their tails and then their bouncing ears, and eventually their entire selves. Next, I hear a knock on the front door.

They are always panting and excited when they come back in. They look pleased with themselves and like they know something I don't. I play dumb, fill up their water bowl and take a sip of my tea.