Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Who's the Boss?

     The other day I was introduced to a couple of nice women at Wegmans and the first thing they asked was how was Cosmo doing.
     For those of you new to the Newshawk Report, Cosmo is our, now, four-and-a-half year old black Lab. And he’s a character.
    Since I first started telling stories about him, several people have offered some of their own stories about their dogs, black Labs specifically. Seems they are a personable breed. One of the women told of having two. They were always confined in a fenced in backyard. When a cat or whatever passed by, they, being dogs, wanted to chase it. Get this: One would stand sideways close to the fence, the other run and used the other dog to catapult itself over the fence. She didn’t mention how the arrant chaser of things got back in the yard. Probably rang the front door bell and was let in. Sounds like a Lab.
    Let’s face it, there’s no doubt about who’s the boss in our house – my wife just thinks she is. When Coz wants something, he doesn’t ask, he demands, and he expects you to obey. When he wants to go out, his bark isn’t simply announcing the fact, He’s saying, “Get your ass over there and open the door! NOW!”
    I guess what first endeared him to the readers of this space was the deal with the cat’s dish. Goes like this: When the cat is done eating, you can bet Coz will be lurking somewhere nearby, ready to finish it off. He, because he only thinks he’s smart, doesn’t realize that a 110 lb. dog cannot hide easily, no matter how big the house is. In the beginning, when the bowl was metal (still is) and the floor hardwood (we recently laid a carpet in the kitchen because he had such a hard time moving on the hardwood, because of his hip dysplasia) we could heard the bowl rattle while he was finishing it off. My wife yelled (I didn’t care), but Coz would hang in until the bowl was empty then hightail it. My wife would pick up the bowl and shake it at him, tell him what a bad dog he was.
    He may not be as smart as he thinks he is but he’s no dummy. He came to realize it was the rattling bowl that was ratting him off, so he started carrying it into the living room, where there is carpeting on the floor, and enjoying his snack there. No noise. But when the dish disappeared from its place in the kitchen and my wife found it in the living room, Coz, of course, got yelled at again. Truth be known, he really didn’t give a damn. Savoring those morsels of Nine Lives was well worth the scolding. He’d patiently put up with the tirade and be well on his way to the arms of the shaggy Morpheous almost before my wife left the room.
    And Cosmo loves to sing. Oh, my, yes.He’ll lay, mostly in the evening, at our feet while we watch TV or in under the kitchen table and sing his heart out. We haven’t yet figured out what’s going on, unless it’s his way of saying it’s bed time. He usually stops once everyone is tucked in.
    He seems to deal well with his bilateral hip dysplasia and the dysplasia in his knees. He got quite a sway in his hips, which apparently helps him deal with this birthright. He used to jump around and play endlessly with our other dog, Dani, but not so much as they have aged. We thought perhaps it was due to the dysplasias causing problems, but then he’ll take off like crazy after a squirrel or a cat … It’s true that sometimes he’ll hobble home, having pulled or yanked something in his hips or legs, or both. I tell him he’s not too bright chasing after creatures so much faster than he – pointing out he’d never come close to catching anything – but he pays me no mind. Fun, after all, is fun!
    Because he’s getting older and because he chases things faster than he is and because of the (sometimes) constant singing, we wonder if he’s not in pain, at least some of the time. Our veterinarian thought it possible and prescribed a painkiller for him. We learned way back that Coz does not like to take pills any more than his humans do. And we learned that he sure did not like painkillers in his food. How we found this out was interesting. We put the pill in with his food, usually bits from a bag, and wet it down, drop the pill in, mix the stuff all around, and somehow after he eats all those bits, he leaves that pill in the bottom of the bowl! How does he do that? The other day I cut the pill in half and dropped in both halves  –  after eating all those bits, he left a half a pill in the bowl! I stood and watched him eat around it! Each time he came to it, he pushed it aside, and when all was gone, there sat the medicine!
    His way of deciding what goes into his food?
    In a way, doesn’t that tell you just who’s the boss around here?

    Amazing. I need to learn to do that with Brussel sprouts.

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