Monday: Ooh, isn’t she cute? She’s so little! Look at her tiny feet! Oh, she piddled in the house; she must be nervous, poor little thing. Oh, I guess a talking bird is a surprise to her. You’ll love it here, Gracie, we promise!
Tuesday: early - Why does my den smell like a cesspool? O-h-m-i-g-o-d. How can such a tiny dog produce that much crap? Holy sh*t. And the area rug is damp, too. Oh, my. Doodle, get me the window cleaner, a scrub brush, a roll of toilet paper and a roll of paper towels. Bunny, get me a bucket of warm water. Spawn, I’ll need you to amuse Gracie while I clean this up.
Tuesday: 30 minutes later – Have a great day, kids! Close the door! ALL THE WAY! HOLD IT, Gracie; I’m only in my robe! Gotcha. What’s that in your mouth? Paper? Where did you get… OK, trade you for this tiny treat. No, really, ooooooopen your mouth and give me the… COME BACK HERE!
Tuesday: after first cup of coffee drunk - 7 different shoes, one crossword puzzle book, two ball bearings, two (partially licked) school glue sticks, three dried up marker pens, countless bits of paper, some of which were thoroughly disgusting, later… Need to go outside, Gracie? (Vacuum entire first floor and close all possible doors while the dogs are out) Hey, did you guys have fun? HEY, didn’t you piddle OUTSIDE? Where’s the mop?
Tuesday: late afternoon after fourth aspirin for aching back – Hello, hubs? I need you to make stopping off for a crate for Gracie a priority. Trust me on this one. (falls asleep on couch at 8 pm)
Wednesday: 3 shoes, one magazine, one pencil, one pen, one marble, a sock, and one cup of coffee later – Let’s wake up the kids, doggies! Gracie, wake up Bunny! “AAAAGH, don’t lick me! Oh, it’s you. Hi, Gracie, I’m up now.” OK, let’s wake up the Doodle… “AAAAGH, stop smelling my armpits! No, don’t jump up here; I don’t want your slimy rawhide on my bed! I’m up, I’m up!”
Let’s play fetch, Gracie! Look at this great squeaky pig! FETCH! Bring it to Mommy! Good girl. Release. Release. Trade you this tiny treat for the… No, Hoover, it’s for Gracie. Let’s try this again. FETCH! Oh, thank you, Hoover. OK, leave my pocket alone, here’s a treat. HOLD ON, what’ve you got NOW, Gracie? Is that a plastic covered planner? I didn’t even know we had that. Thank you. Let’s try learning to sit. No, don’t lick my pants. Leave my shoe alone. OK, let’s watch TV.
Oh, yuck, I can’t believe you did that in your crate…and…chew your food better!
Thursday: two shoes, a worksheet packet on German nouns, a cup of coffee and a vitamin later – Right! Crate clean? Den clean? No obvious papers lying around? Garbage swept up from around the can? Okey dokey! Hey, why do you look like Father Christmas, Gracie? What is that? Is that a wad of Hoover’s shed hair? Where did you find that? No, don’t eat it…. Too late.
Oh, good, you guys are wrestling, tails are wagging, play posture in evidence, I can do laundry. Oh, wrestling in the basement? That’s OK, too. Tra la la, this is OK, I can even sit down now! Uh-oh, stop smelling his eyes, Gracie, he doesn’t like that. And don’t lick his mouth, he’s tired, you wore him out. Whoopsie, guess she’ll remember that little reminder from Hoover! Too bad I can’t praise him for that bark. That was bodacious. Nice to know he can do that.
Thursday, later: Oh, that’s cute, Gracie’s sitting on Hubs’ lap. That’s precious. “Hey, dear, grab the camera, you’ve got to see this!” Back to living room to find Hoover on Hubs’ lap and Gracie leaping along the back of the couch, smelling Hoover’s eyes again and trying to lick his tongue. I get a picture of the back of everyone’s head as Hoover buries his head in Hubs’ armpit.
Friday: two cloth napkins, two of Spawn’s bedroom slippers, a cup of coffee and a vitamin later – Gracie goes out, does her business, comes back in with Hoover, sits for a treat. She drinks her water, lies down on a throw rug and chews her rawhide while the kids get ready for school. They open the fridge, she runs over and licks the frame. OK, can’t solve everything in a week. No more poos or puddles in the house, we’ve stopped smelling everyone’s eyes and leaping on people, and we are learning how to behave acceptably. We have a little paper and ice cube fixation, but a nice steak bone from tonight’s dinner certainly seems to distract us from paper.
Saturday: one magazine insert, one shoe, one bedroom slipper, coffee, and a vitamin later - WALKIES! We love walkies! We ignore lots of things during walkies, except smells; we like smells. Sniff tour of backyard with Hoover, who knows where everyone and everything is and what they’re called. Rabbit used to be here, old dog to the west, two middle-aged dogs to the north, oooh, is that a bird? Outdoor wrestling is great!
Sunday: one bedroom slipper, one bobby pin, one sheet of homework instructions, one ball of yarn (Bad Dog!), two cups of coffee and one vitamin - Gracie meets the Bad Shaky Can because she jumped on a visitor. I refuse to feel guilty when she slinks away and eels under the coffee table in shame. The Hoover dog gives her a disgusted look after checking to make sure he hasn’t done anything bad enough to merit the sound of the shaky can. She is roundly snubbed by Hoover until she makes amends to the visitor by sitting at his feet and has a proper round of Fetch with Alpha Mom.
Life is great here after all, Gracie! Wrestling, couches, five people to scratch Baby Gracie and coo at her, a big back yard, walkies and fetchies and run till you drop if you want to! Whee! But no piddling in the house; that’s OK, she’s learning to go as soon as she goes out; the Hoover dog showed her the “zone”.
Breathe in, breathe out. Cuddle the puppy; she’s working hard, too.