These days we only have two dogs and they’re spoiled worse than most grandchildren.
Caillou is a collie that came to live with us last year, and Ol’ Buddy is a mutt we inherited from my mother-in-law Ruby when she fell and broke her hip. He’s old enough to be Methuselah’s Grandpa.
Both are great dogs with unique personalities, but when Jilda and I prepare to go out of town, they get “all snarkyfied.”
They know something’s up when we pull our suitcases out. Last week we were scheduled to play at a singer/songwriter event in Columbus, Georgia, and rather than drive home late at night after the gig, we decided to book a room.
Caillou had been outside but rushed in immediately when he heard the wheels of Jilda’s suitcase rolling across our pine floor.
She left the suitcase open and went to the laundry room to fetch a few things and when she came back, the 80-pound collie was sitting in her suitcase.
She tried to coax him out, but he wouldn’t budge. It was almost as if he were saying, “You’re not going anywhere without me, missy.”
I had to pull him out of the suitcase by his collar. He was not a happy K-9.
He is a beautiful animal. He’s particular — some would go as far as to call him prissy in the way he steps gingerly around mud puddles to keep from getting dirty after a rain.
But when I pulled him out of that suitcase, he shot outside through the doggie door and went under the laundry room through the crawlspace.
The ground is an inch thick in red-clay dust. When he finally came out, he looked as if he’d been rolling in Nestles Cocoa.
Just before we left, we called them in to say goodbye and the collie was aloof. He acted as if he wouldn’t care if we were abducted by pulpwood cutters and tossed into a wood chipper.
Ol’ Buddy hopped up on the couch and looked at us with pain in his eyes.
They didn’t eat while we were gone. I can imagine the conversation they had with each other:
"I'm not eating," says Caillou.
Ol’ Buddy says, "We'll show ‘em, just wait until they see my ribs poking through my side like the child of a refugee."
While we were gone, they pulled all the throws and pillows off our couch and left them in the middle of the floor.
Both the garbage cans in our bathrooms had been turned over and the tissue was scattered like it had been blown from a confetti machine.
But once we walked in the door, they were thrilled to see us. Within seconds, the abandonment issue was forgotten, and they both just wanted to crawl up on our laps.
We've made arrangements for our niece to housesit with them when we go on our cruise this summer. Even so, I hate to think of what they’ll do to the place while we’re gone.