Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lessons From Boss

Who would have thought we would go straight from winter to summer? I’m not complaining but this almost seems too good to be true. I know there is late April snow hiding somewhere. I know there’s another day of 32 with freezing rain.

But for now we are enjoying each day. Last week I rode outside TWO TIMES. A miracle I tell you. I can tell you about race seasons where I rode outside once before May. I ran on the trail the other day and sweat so much I lost 2.4 lbs. I got a sunburn. I did yardwork. The windows are open. And, and….the best part….Boss has become an outside dog.

A totally new experience. You see, thus far in life he has been exposed to cold, snow and sticks. And now spring has come to life. There is grass to eat. Dirt to get under the nails. There are noises coming from birds. This is all very new to Boss and very, very exciting.

Some days I put Boss in the backyard. Tether him to a 12 pound dumbbell and let him be. It’s not like an 8 lb dog is hauling off a 12 lb weight. I like to watch him from the house while I eat breakfast. First things first: he usually has a pee and a good poo. Sometimes if I don’t watch closely enough he then eats his poo. But I am guessing it tastes much better outside than inside. Everything tastes better outside. So I can’t blame him.

After that he just occupies himself. Most of the time he just simply sits. Sometimes he looks out in the field. Other times he looks up at the sky. He listens to the birds. And he gets excited when he hears ducks in the nearby pond. He sniffs. He digs in the dirt. And then he’ll just roll on the ground.

Occasionally het lets out a bark. At the motorcycles, the cars or the crows that pester the owls that nest in the tall evergreens. Boss seems to be saying hey! It’s a nice day out here. Quit ruining it with your noise! I’d agree. There’s too much noise in the world. Things need to slow and quiet down.

The other day we had a stern talk. More of a lecture in botany. The subject – what a hosta is and why we do not eat them for threat of scolding by owner of hostas – dog mom. The next time Boss comes inside with hostas on his breath we will have another talk. About why he can no longer be an outside dog.

Boss loves the sun the most. Who wouldn’t? He chases streams of sunlight as they move through the house during the day. Yesterday he picked the best spot of all to take a nap – in front of the screen door with sunlight shining on the carpet. It’s like his version of an electric blanket. He cuddles with it on the ground.

Some days we go to the dog park. The windy days are not his best. He sits in the field with ears blown by the wind. The sounds and smells are too much for him. Then he wants to leave. Runs over to the fence and tries to squeeze through. I look at him and scold his name. He looks back at me with ears submissive and says “but please take me home.” So I do.

Warm, sunny days are his best. He runs frantic crazy laps in circles around the park. He antagonizes the other dogs into chasing him. He steals fur pettings and tummy scratches from all of the adults. He likes the man that brings bacon the best. He likes the beagle named Max. And he hates the white fluffer dogs. He is master of the fake right, go left. He’s a thief of water from plastic bowls. He is little Boss.

We finally got Boss a tag. It hangs around his neck and acts like a built in alarm system for when he is coming. He essentially polices himself. When it goes quiet – I know it’s time to look around. On the tag it says BOSS because we couldn't fit BOSS WATERSTRAAT. But we cuold fit our phone numbers. We hope if ever he got lost someone would return him. But I realize he is very cute so it’s a risk we take.

With this new tag lately I have been trusting Boss to run in the field behind our house. Of course I sit with him enjoying the warm grass and the sun. He enjoys rolling into smelly smells he finds on the ground. Or sniffing at the shrubs. Or marking the weeds. Or eating rogue Doritos on the ground. He runs free like a real dog should and always comes when called. He could do this all day.

Boss knows how to spend a day. He enjoys himself. He takes the time to just be. At times he runs around the house like he has somewhere very important to go. He has things on his mind and he looks to be very busy. But other times he quietly finds his bone, sits and chews. For as much as Boss plays he takes the time to rest.

Getting a dog is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Sure, it’s a pain at times to take him out or worry when he is alone for too long. But I realize there is a lot to learn from little Boss. He strips the world down to the important things – eating, pooping, relaxing , and being in a lap of love. Taking the world in one blade of grass at a time. Enjoying a sunny day. Barking back at noise. And listening to the birds. He’s got a great little life, eh?


Alili said...

Boss is too cute. Your post made me think of my BEST day this week. I took Monday off and had Lucy on one side, Lily on the other and we sat in the sun:)

~Robyn~ said...

hahahah I LOVE IT! He so reminds me of Junior. Junior used to come when called, but then he got brave...and now he runs from me. So watch out for that. I love that you tie Boss to a dumbbell. Junior would figure a way to drag it. Yesterday, Junior was hot, so he decided to cool off, he'd roll in a mud puddle. He's now at the groomers :)

Stef said...

What a great pose! He's gotten bigger since the last picture. So handsome!

Anonymous said...

I always said that if there is reincarnation, I would want to come back as a dog - my dog - was a very pampered animal.

Cat said...

WOW, he's gotten so much bigger!

RR said...

He is so darn cute. I love the image of him with a dumbell keeping him near. Think that would work for my 4 year old? I think I have a 25 lb one that outweighs her.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't already, you might want to get that little clown a microchip.

You're absolutely right about the tag: it's really useful if a nice person finds him, but tiny, friendly dogs get "found"/stolen way too often and plenty of jerks will just remove the tag if they really want to keep him.

Just something to consider in case he wanders off after bacon man :)

E.L.F. said...

I take back what I said about not being able to haul of a 12 lb. weight. While eating lunch I heard a ruckus on the deck when I realize Boss had tugged hard enough at the weight that it went tumbling down the stairs. PS - he is microchipped so that is good!

Cat said...

clearly he's been following your training regimen ... or maybe it's that "smart puppy" ... they ought to repackage it as "strong puppy".

btw ... LOVE the new header. : )
can barely read "accomplishments" though ... and they're too damn impressive to be dimly lit!

Jessi said...

Ooh look, a new template! Love it!

Cy said...

I've been going back and forth about getting a dog...i LOVE dogs, but I've held back considering I travel so much. BUT this Post, well, it could be all the motivation I need.

Pedergraham said...

I want to be like Boss when I grow up! He sure knows what is inmportant. Glad you are having nice weather.

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Love the new look of the website. Keep the daily entertainment coming.... by the way, are you coming up with ideas for track workouts yet for my local homeboys here in st Lou? I will need the company this summer...

Maybe you and Boss can publish a book along the same lines as "Everything I ever wanted to learn, I learned in Kindegarten" - yet angle it from the perspective of BOSS. You could have multiple chapters devoted to the important things in life like eating, pooping and relaxing!

Ashley said...

yes, the doggie is cute... (you know how I feel about dogs, so this is a big compliment ;).

But, I'm loving the new site design. Niiiiice.

Train-This said...

Beautiful site design! And beautiful pup!

:-) mary

kerri said...

Like the new fitting for Spring!!! Yahoooo!!!