Family Meeting with Henry & Oliver


Me: I now call our weekly house meeting to order. Who will second it?

Oliver: Woof!

Me: Oliver, you need to enunciate. A bark won’t do. I need an “Aye” or a “Yes.”

Henry: Don’t mind the bad seed, Cook. I’ll second it, if by doing so we can end this meeting more speedily. My show’s about to come on the Telly, you know.

Me: And what show would that be, Sir Henry?

Henry: Why, “The Royals,” of course! Elizabeth Hurley is quite a dish, as the Americans say. She looks rather queenly in her role and I imagine I could do a nice turn as her lap dog, given the chance to, ahem, cross the pond.

Me: Henry, when will you understand, I’m not booking you a passage to England. Besides, that’s just a show and you’re staying put. Now, let’s get to business, shall we? As you know, because of the drought, the Governor of California issued an edict that we must all cut back our water use by 25 percent. As such, it is our duty to make the sacrifice, and I need to know what measures you each plan to take.

Oliver: Woof, woof!

Henry: What the insipid lad means is that he will take the fall for both of us, for I would no sooner cut my intake of water than walk six kilometers in the desert heat.

Me: Henry, I’ve yet to see walk more than 15 steps to the mailbox. And do I need to remind you that you’re in America where the standard is miles, not kilometers?

Henry: Well, no matter. If I must reduce my water use, I wouldn’t mind you ceasing and desisting drawing me a bath. I’m not fond of that ridiculous pastime of yours. My fur’s plenty cleans, thank you very much!

Me: The baths will continue but to save water, you and Oliver can start taking baths jointly, sharing the same water.

Henry: Heavens! You mean the same dirty water. Have you seen the rubbish that comes off his fur? That rascal is a bundle of dust, dirt and frightening whatnots, and it’s the whatnots I find most disturbing. No inoculation exists that can protect me from the likes of him!

Me: Shared baths, it is. Now, what can we do next to save water?

Oliver: Woof!

Henry: What the little beast is trying to say is that he’s willing to give up that infantile frolicking in the water that he does every time you turn on the garden hose to water the plants. You know what I mean, when he dances to his heart’s content and looks like a foolish gadabout.

Me: Sounds good to me, because instead of the garden hose, I’m now going to use the bath water to water the plants. Any other ideas?

Henry: Frankly, Cook, there’s one solution you have yet to consider.

Me: What’s that, Henry?

Henry: You could take the rapscallion to the pound. It’s a sacrifice to be sure, but one I’m certain he’d be willing to take for the team, wouldn’t you laddie?

Oliver: Woof, woof, woof!

Me: Henry! You’re impossible. Did it ever occur to you that I could take you to the pound? I understand there’s quite a demand for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over there. Though, you’re no longer a spring chicken, getting on in years and all, and isn’t your birthday coming up soon? May be hard to find someone to take you in. Sigh. I wonder if there’s a senior citizen home for dogs? Hmm…

Henry: Well, yes, of course. I see how this works. Make an innocent suggestion and you’re kicked to the curb. Very well, then. At what time are you giving us a bath? Thought I should tell you I’m looking forward to sharing my bath water with Oliver, but first, I think my show is about to start. I’m happy to give little Ollie a scrub afterwards if it helps you. I’ll tuck him in, too, and read him a bedtime story. I don’t mind at all, really I don’t. He’s quite, ahem, adorable you know and really relies on me to show him the ropes, don’t you, laddie dear? Don’t know what I’d do without him, Cook, really I don’t. Seems you need me to help you care for the grimy urchin, I mean, pet. Now, where was I? Ah yes, “The Royals” awaits.

Me: Well, I’m glad we could work this all out. I think between us we’ve managed to reduce our water use by 3.2 gallons per month, give or take, and that includes shipping our laundry to Renee, of Renee Johnson Writes, who claims she has plenty of water where she lives and is happy to do it.

Oliver: Woof, woof!

At which, Henry makes a hasty exit to catch his favorite show (though he naps more than watches), and Oliver trails behind him, chomping down on Henry’s tail like nobody’s business. In other words, par for the course in this household hodgepodge.

22 thoughts on “Family Meeting with Henry & Oliver

  1. Some right smart pooches you have there. Better stay sharp, lest you get overthrown and get run over by a chuck wagon. Though, I’m glad you all came to an understanding.

    • Yes, we came to an understanding for now. But you never know with Henry. Right now he’s mad because he had a, well, accident, thanks to me, his leash and a series of unfortunate circumstances. But as long as I hold all the cards (aka, the food), they won’t run me over with a chuck wagon. They need me!

  2. You do know that was rather mean, poor Henry.

    Like you we are in drought conditions and thus don’t water often. My poor Ruby doesn’t get baths as often thus no slipping up on the bed to cuddle, she is quite put out. She bathes when I board her, traveling does have its advantages!

    • It’s expensive to take them to a groomer, so I only do it every six weeks. Lucky me. Tomorrow’s the day! Can’t wait, because I skipped the last bath and the boys are little stinkers about now.

  3. We do have plenty of water here, so pack up the pups, drive out, and they can play with Gretel in the pond, while your laundry is cleaned, and we sip cool beverages and write joint blog posts! Thanks for the mention Monica.

    • Renee, it’s hard for me to imagine a world where water’s plentiful. I hope you treasure that bounty of yours. Making plans as I write to visit and do my laundry there. Love the idea of writing joint blog posts and sipping cool beverages. Hopefully, with plenty of ice!

  4. You might emphasize baths will be outside in the beautiful sunshine where plants and the lawn need it. You might tell them you need their assistance. Tell them to kindly bark using their inside voices if they see you run the water while lathering your hands, leaving the water turned on while you brush your teeth, thaw frozen foods under running water (which I’m sure you never do anyway) or pitch cold drink ice cubes down the sink. I like your family meetings. They are such a civil way of handling matters.

  5. Oh, dear, another casualty of the water shortage — dog baths! Dallas goes to the groomer’s for that — no way am I hunkering over the bathtub and wrestling his bulky personage in and out!! Sounds like your meeting was a success, Monica. Lovely to have such cooperation from the boys!

    • My fellas go to the groomer every six weeks. And in between, I must give them a bath, though if I’m lucky I can wait for my son to come over and then he bathes them. They’re not going to like sharing the bath. Oliver spends the first half trembling and the second half, squirming to get out of the tub. Henry takes it on the chin and bravely stands firmly in place while I give him an all-over shampoo. I love how they have such different personalities.

  6. I suppose if push comes to shove you could allocate them a plant each out in the garden that they can water when they, shall we say feel the need.

    Should you book Henry a passage to England then you could point him in the direction of this organisation.

  7. Oh Henry, I do see what a difficult predicament it is, unfortunately we in California are in quite a predicament ourselves. And we look upon you to make a sacrifice by sharing your bath water with little Oliver – he is quite adorable isn’t he? and think of the joy it will bring him to be enjoying bath time with you. You are the example after all, it is up to you to help Oliver understand why we must save water.

    Monica, I do hope bath time went well, er, shipping some of that laundry isn’t half a bad idea either.

    • Henry has two words for you, MM, and that’s:

      Noblesse oblige. And quite frankly he’s resigned to it, for he somehow thinks it’ll earn him brownie points with the Queen. Sigh. If he only knew.

  8. If only you were cats and could bathe yourselves. Imagine the water you would save! But since you’re not so fortunate, I must acknowledge the merits of Henry’s argument. If someone made me bathe in shared water with my filthy brother, Sherman…. I shudder at the thought! Anyway, best wishes with your new arrangement!

    • Carol, that’s what I tell them every morning: “If only you were cats!” But do they listen? Alas, they’re still dogs and I have no choice but to make do, particularly since my Cavalier King Charles is convinced he’s heir to the throne. Sigh.
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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