Henry hasn’t been the same since he’s returned from his Thanksgiving week in the country. He slept through his first day back home. Not so much as a grain of his favorite dog food could persuade this Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to get out of his bed. I even pulled out his absolute favorite delicacy, salmon biscuits.
But, no. For a moment, he raised his head from its resting place. His lip quivered as his nose took in the scent of fish. But alas, he put his head back down, as if to say, “not interested.”
Every once in a while he’d roll over and sigh, and at least once I heard him softly moan, “Woe is me.”
On his second day home, he stirred.
“Henry, get up!” I cried. “There’s a world out there waiting for you to pee on. Whatever happened in the country couldn’t have been that bad. Besides, the parlor maid and the kids think you’re a good egg.”
Henry looked at me sheepishly and said, “Where do I begin to describe my week in the country? With the turkey and the promise of dining on the white meat?”
“So, did you?”
“Not a scrap. The parlor maid’s a vegetarian, of all things, and I would have none of her tofu-turkey. The outrage! I had to resort to fortifying myself with leftover doggie treats.”
“Well, at least you had time to rest, right?”
“I wouldn’t put it that way. There is the matter of he, who shall not be named.”
“He? Do you mean Lord Voldemort?”
“Don’t be absurd! I’m talking about Elwood, the new puppy. Apparently, he’s a Great Pyrenees who hails from France—and you know what we Brits think of the French and their penchant for snails.”
“So, what did he do to you?”
“It’s what he didn’t do. Showed me no respect, he did. Never bowed in my presence. Though, he did drool, slobber and attempted to jump me as if I was nothing more than a rapscallion.”
“How did you deal with it?”
“Let’s just say I held my own. But, frankly, I’ll never be the same again. Takes a lot of grit, sweat and determination to hold such wild beasts at bay. Luckily my royal blood is full of it.”
“Full of it?”
“Yes, when we Cavaliers put our minds to it, there’s nothing we can’t overcome, including dogs determined to suck our souls right out of us. Where are my vapors?!”
“Henry, you don’t have any vapors. Anyway, I’m sure that’s not what Elwood was trying to do. He’s a puppy, for goodness sake. He just wanted to be friends with you.”
“Friends? I think not! Don’t be naive, Cook. The likes of Elwood want nothing more than to dethrone my breed, usurp our good standing, and take over the world. In other words, he was prepared to do anything to steal my doggie bed. Luckily he’s way too big for it. And I say, let sleeping dogs lie. And, by sleeping dogs, I mean, me!”
“Well did you at least take nice walks for your daily constitutional?”
“Not really. Have you seen how many hills there are in the country? After walking 50 feet, I’d refuse to budge until the little boy ward had no choice but to carry me home. I even slept in his bed at night, taking up as much room as I could, and he never complained. Good sport, that one.”
“Was there anything else that happened while you were there?”
“As a matter of fact, they had the nerve to allow a visitor, but not just any visitor. This dog was an Australian cattle dog, with convict bloodlines to be certain. I stared at her the whole time and it was completely exhausting because I was afraid she was going to steal my imported Alaskan salmon treats.”
“Oh, dear, you have had a go of it, haven’t you. Well, the next time you visit the country, I’m sure—.”
“Next time, Cook? Oh no, not if I can help it! From now on you’re staying put. Hmmph! The very idea of a next time. No, ma’am!”
“Henry! What’s that I hear?” I exclaim, in my attempt to distract him. Sounds like a truck coming this way!”
“Good Lord,” Henry cries. “Must run to the window and bark like a banshee! We’ll finish this discussion next time, Cook! Pressing matters await!”
And with that, Henry flew off to ward off a possible attack from the passing truck.
So, how do your pets fare when you leave town?