Friday, June 20, 2014

Don't fence me in

Last weekend we celebrated 22 years of marriage with a spontaneous overnight trip to the Rogue River. As luck would have it, both kids were invited to friends’ houses for the night and we were able to leave after work Friday and head south.

As we pulled together the plan Thursday night, everything was falling into place. I had booked a cabin, I had the directions to the lodge, and we had packed up everything we needed to hit the road. Sometime around 9 p.m. Thursday night, however, both Craig and I looked at each other in alarm and gasped, “What about Angus?”

Angus the Wonder Pup is our cute one-and-a-half year-old Scottish terrier who needs constant supervision except during those moments when he’s sleeping or eating. (The keyword in the preceding sentence is CONSTANT.)

He’s a good little pup, but he is busy busy busy and likes to eat inedible items, tear around the house with someone’s sock, eat every flower off the hydrangea plant we put in the ground not 10 minutes earlier, and piddle in the corner, so we have our work cut out for us during his waking hours.

And we had not arranged for anyone to stay with him like we usually do.

“You know what this means,” I stated, more than asked, my husband. “It means we’re going to finally try out a kennel.”

“I’ll call in the morning,” said Craig, realizing that the only thing standing between him and the Rogue River was this cute little black ball of fur.

Halfway through my workday I got a text from Craig that read: “Kennel is lined up and ready to go. We can drop him off on our way out of town.”

Now, just getting Angus in the car is a feat. Not to mention, the only time he gets in the car is to go to the vet or the groomers. You can imagine how much he dislikes going to the vet, but he’s not a huge fan of the groomers either. He gives me this look when I pick him up, all trimmed, smelling good and wearing a jaunty scarf. The look says, “You have no idea how emasculated I feel right now.”

The kennel itself is a lovely place that came highly recommended by our vet, so we were confident Angus would be happy there. Plus the people who worked there were so nice. They took one look at Angus and said, “Oh, how cute is he?” which showed us they are discerning folk.

But once we pulled out and passed Angus in the fenced-in area he gave us “the face.” Those pitiful eyes seemed to be saying, “Hey people, I haven’t peed on the carpet in a few months now. Is this really necessary?”

Needless to say, he was more than ecstatic to see us on Sunday when we picked him up. If licks can be interpreted, I’m pretty sure he was saying “I promise to never eat another hydrangea plant again … at least for a week.”

I keep waiting for a call from the kennel staff, complaining about their own hydrangea plants, but so far so good.

What a good little puppy.

Eileen Burmeister is a Winchester-based freelance writer. She can be reached at or you can follow her on Twitter at EBurmeister.

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