Thursday, August 25, 2011

Evening: a narrative

Clearly, Lena wants something. 

She has already been on a lengthy and smell-filled walk during which time she voided both her bowels and bladder.  Upon returning from this perambulation, she rapidly consumed her pre-portioned 1/2 cup of food and a small amount of water. 

Now that she is done, she does not appear satisfied.  As her human companion eats her dinner in a much more refined and less rapid manner, she paces.  Occasionally she pauses to pick up an errant toy, thrash it about before tossing it across the floor.  Each time she completes this show of prowess, she furtively glances at the girl to see if she notices. 

When the girl finishes her dinner, she returns full focus to Lena.  She even goes so far as to pick up toys and attempt to play in the way that Lena likes.  This is not what Lena wants. 

After several more minutes of miscommunication, the girl finally acquiesces to Lena's implied demand and gives her a chew-toy treat.  Lena happily consumes this gift within 10 minutes and is again restless.

As the girl has used the 10 minute break to start her computer and check out the world on the Internet, Lena now has to try a bit harder to get noticed. 

She tries for a physical attack.  As she is clearly barred from standing on the computer, she cozies up next to the girl and dramatically throws her body towards the girl's lap.  She repeats this exercise until the computer is put away and the lap is clear.  Success!

Lena contorts her body into odd shapes on the girl's lap and throws in some alien-like noises for good measure.  The girl tries to calm and cuddle Lena, but this is not what is really needed.

Once she is certain of the girl's attention, Lena leaps off of the lap to the floor.  She play bows to the girl with her plume-like tail waving wildly.  The girl stands up.  Lena eagerly runs to the front door with an expectant look.

Although the girl is doubtful that Lena needs to perform bathroom duties, she decides to be safe rather than sorry and grabs Lena's collar and leash.  The two then emerge into the fading sunlight covering the front yard.

With her head held high, Lena surveys the surrounding area for friends, enemies and squirrels.  Finding none, she lowers her head and sniffs out a trail on the ground.  Eventually this trail leads to the grass and she begins a more intensive sniff investigation.  When a scent of interest occurs, she pushes her nose further into the grass, as if to force out anything that might be hiding. 

Most of the time, nothing emerges.  In rare instances, tiny frogs or insects have fled the nosy intrusion, but tonight there is no one home to disturb.  Lena continues her hunt for several minutes before the girls realizes that there is no imminent need for them to be outside as any urgent bathroom needs would have been attended to already. 

While the girl would love to allow Lena to remain outside without a leash, this is not possible.  First of all, the rules of the association forbid unleashed dogs to roam free in the neighborhood.  Second, Lena has a tendency to snatch up and eat foreign and potentially harmful objects if not carefully monitored, and the outdoors is teeming with such things.  The bill for the full day of vet care Lena received two weeks ago for an unknown stomach issue still remains prominent in the girl's mind.

The girl simply says, "OK," and the Lena gives up her search.  She turns and walks towards the front door willingly.  They enter the house and the girl removes Lena's collar and leash. 

After a short break in which Lena drinks some more water, the girl fills Lena's treat-dispensing ball with small chicken-flavored treats, and Lena is occupied for another 10 minutes.  When this exercise is over, Lena is satisfied.  She lays down at the opposite end of the couch from the girl and dozes.  She does not sleep soundly as one eye is always kept open on the off chance that the girl moves or is inclined to give her another snack.

I call this, "The Nightly Routine of Megan and Lena." 

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