Today is our little mister’s 8th birthday. Currently he’s curled up in the chair in the corner of our living room sleeping. He’s as cute as he’s ever been. I love him so.
Our boy has brought so much joy, love, happiness, and adventure into our lives. He is very affectionate, mischievous, hellaciously smart, loving, loyal, protective, playful, and insistent. I say insistent because he pretty much demands attention when he wants it. Pet me, play with me, feed me, pet me, give me love, I love you, I love you, I love you, love me, pet me now. He has his annoying habits, of course, like stealing things. We have to be pretty vigilant about kleenex and food and items on our metro shelf he thinks he might want to eat. He steals from the shred bin in K’s office, off of tables, from inside backpacks he’s managed to unzip (an incident that led to a call to doggie poison control and a force feeding of hydrogen peroxide, which worked by the way). He’s ingenious, and that ingenuity can be frustrating, but it’s also admirable. He doesn’t give up. I think he does it sometimes just to see if he can. He’s tenacious.
Our little man can also be testy and nippy and down right semi-ferocious if the right opportunity presents itself. Like when he steals something really good then hunkers down, dens, to protect it. It’s not a time to reach in and try to get whatever it is from him. We’ve all been gnashed at and nipped, we’ve all been trained to know he means business. He can’t help it, he’s been this way since we brought him home all those years ago. We think it’s because we got him so young, and that he didn’t have as much training from his mama as he should have, which may or may not be the reason. It doesn’t really matter, it’s his way, his personality, and we know it. We’ve always said he’s Doctor Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Most of the time he’s the most loving, affectionate, cuddly dog you’ve ever met. He’s happiest getting pets and giving kisses. He wants to be touched all the time. This can also be annoying, but how can you resist that face? We can’t. We love him. And I love that about him. When Mr. Hyde comes out, well… we know that guy too. The one you don’t want to challenge. When he has something he’s protecting, or he doesn’t want to be picked up in a certain way, it’s best to leave him be. He lets you know that. You always know where you stand with him, and what he wants. He’s a passionate guy.
He’s been with us all but the first six weeks of his eight years. During that time he’s traveled with us on many of our adventures: enjoying romps in the sand and sun; games of fetch in creeks and streams; walks in so many different places on so many different paths; travels in the car; sleeps in tents and trailers and hotel rooms; playing chuck-it in fields and parks; and playing ball inside of hotel rooms and the houses of family and friends. He’s an excellent travel companion, a great little traveler. We say this about he and Riley every time we hit the road.
What can I say, we love him. I love him. I can’t believe, and I say this all the time about him, about both of our pups actually, how much I do love him. Life is so much richer with him in our lives. So much more joyous. There’s so much more laughter, love, fun, and cuddling because of him. I am constantly amazed by how much I do love him. What’s great is that he loves me, he loves us, right back.
Happy birthday to our beautiful, wonderful, fascinating, little mister. Life with him is truly sweet.
I wake up, suddenly. I feel like someone is staring at me. I turn over slowly and there he is, a small furry little fella with big brown eyes sitting over me looking down. His eyes say everything he can’t speak. I’m half awake and tell him no. Gently at first… no buddy, lay down, lay down now. He doesn’t take no for an answer and leans down and gives me a kiss on the cheek. Again I say, no buddy, lay down. He’s relentless. I try to go a bit more firm with him, NO, Weston, lay down. He ignores me. We’re having a battle of wills.
I tell him I didn’t get to sleep until really late last night and in fact have only slept for about four or five hours. He doesn’t seem to care. I change tactics. I ask if he needs to go outside. Maybe that’s it. I get up, he follows, and I think, OK, this is it. I open the doggie door and he sticks his head out, then pulls it back in. He sticks it out one more time, looks around, and again pulls it back in. I don’t have time for these shenanigans. I open the door, telling him it’s OK and that a little rain/freezing rain won’t hurt him and that I’ll stand right there in the door, in t-shirt and shorts, waiting for him. It’s freezing cold outside and I’m cold waiting in the doorway. He ventures out tentatively, makes it to the bottom of the steps, and immediately turns around and comes back in. I shake my head and pad back toward the bedroom. I need more sleep.
Of course, he follows me. I get back in bed and look down. He’s sitting on the floor next to the bed looking up at me, those big eyes doing their magic trick on me again. Practically programmed I scoot back, making room for him. I open up the covers and he jumps up effortlessly, laying down up against me with his head on my arm. He demands to be petted for a while, continually nudging me with his nose until I get just the right spot on his tummy. It’s nearly 8:00 AM now. I still want to go back to sleep.
We stay in that place for what seems like a long while, me petting his tummy, him enjoying what we have come to call his morning cuddle time. This is not the first time this scenario has happened. He’s trained me well.
Finally, finally, I hear him snore. This little sign tells me I can stop petting him and try to go to sleep. I do.
We both wake up. Him still up against me, head on my arm. I just spent over an hour spooning our boy. I vow, as I get up, and he gets up reluctantly, that this won’t happen again. It’s a vow I’ve made many times. His soul filled eyes melt my heart, even when I’m irritated by him. I remind myself he’s just a dog, but I love him so.
He jumps up on the sofa next to me, stares at me with those eyes, and paws my hand.
Today was a long day on the road. By choice we went an extra bit today so we could have a short day tomorrow. More time in Santa Fe when we get there. Because today was so long we didn’t do much stopping. Gas, food, rest stops, and just two extra little stops. One at the World’s Largest Fork in Springfield, MO and the other to photograph the Coleman Theater in Miami, OK where Don Hale used to go as a young gent.
Impressions from the day:
Great coffee this morning from Mudhouse Coffee in Springfield, MO. I regret not buying a t-shirt. There was great art on the walls… many black and white photographs of people in white who had mud on them. Loved it. Also a great dinner tonight from Tyler’s Barbeque in Amarillo, TX. The barbecue was Texas sized. Sadly I think we threw away nearly as much as we ate. Our room still smells of barbecue. I think it was the best barbecue I’ve ever had. All in all a very successful food and beverage day.
Today was a scorcher … the thermostat in the rig topped out at 106. It was so hot that when we stopped for our second cup of coffee in Oklahoma City the little girlie started hyperventilating and had to be carried back to the car. She is a tad bit of a drama queen, but it was also hot hot hot. A dry heat.
We are now fugitives in Oklahoma. A tip for anyone driving on the Oklahoma Turnpike… there are not always attendants at the toll plazas meaning you have to have exact change. We made it all the way to our last booth and then only had a $20. There was a change machine, but it only took $1 and $5. We looked at each other, saw the cars behind us lining up, looked at the red light which told us we couldn’t go unless we threw in the change we didn’t have, and we went on through anyway. As we did the alarms went off at the booth. I’m sure, if they took our photo as this happened, the people reviewing it will be cracking up. Our facial expressions were a combo of amusement, consternation, shock, horror, and guilt. Very funny. I think we were both gesturing…. arms up in the air as if to say… what are we supposed to do in this situation?
In two days we’ve seen two enormous crosses. One in Effingham, Illinois, and the other in some un-named little Texas town we passed. They were pretty much equal in size.
It rained on us today for awhile. It was nice and decently cool while it was raining. Then it got hot (see above).
We waved at Mangum, OK and Pryor, OK as we passed the exits with those names and then chatted about K’s childhood a bit. She spent a lot of time in Oklahoma as a kid and it’s always fun talking about that. Someday we need to do more than just drive through. I’d love to see where she was born and some of the places she’s told me stories about.
We started this morning at 10:00… after getting coffee and photographing the fork, which I know sounds late, and got to Amarillo at 7:30. Nine and a half hours on the road. Tomorrow we have a short day, only four hours of driving. Who knows what adventure we’ll find. I love road trips.