The other night over dinner, I was talking about how I was looking for Beatrice one morning and I saw her limping in from a pasture towards the yard, her right front paw tucked up to her shoulder. I was a little upset and ran to Bea so she wouldn’t have to walk further. The nearest vet was in the house and his attitude about Beatrice matches the one I held about my sons when they were little and injured: “You’re fine, walk it off and stop whining.” But this looked serious, she favors a paws now and again but I had never seen her do this. I met her in the field and she sat patiently as I examined her pads and felt in the fur between the pads for cactus needles. I brushed over her poor paw hoping to dislodge an offending pebble or goat’s head thorn. (If I had found a cactus needle I would have fetched her master to manage this) I was relieved when she got up after the exam and walked on all fours to her sunny spot by the front door. I’m also happy I told him the story because he confirmed I shouldn’t take cactus needles out of her pads.
“Oh Bea, is dramatic sometimes.”
“Yeah all dogs do the drama up.”
“You know I think she is the bravest thing the way she goes Cujo on the coyotes.”
“Well…I worry about her. When she barks like that she sounds so worried.”
(ahhh Dr. Doctor frets after Beatrice.)
He paused for a half second,” By the way the other day I got out of the truck and she ran to me, dropped onto the ground. Rolled. On. Her. Back.” He emphasized the last four words with a light slap on the table just to make the point it was the most shocking and disgusting thing he had ever witnessed.
But wait it gets even more shocking, he messaged me after dinner with a sweet picture of Bea in the half light by her dog house and added he gave her “a peck on the head from you.” (that’s a direct quote. He kissed the dog for me. Even I’ve never kissed Bea.)
My heart melted and then I guffawed like an evil genius because my diabolical plan had worked. Not only have I mesmerized him with my stellar company, the best sex ever, and mediocre cooking but he has lost complete control of his guard dog. The same guard dog, I think is a warrior princess and all warrior princesses need belly rubs at least three times a day.
Speaking of princesses just before Halloween I got a text message from him explaining how much Americans would spend on Halloween costumes for their pets. It was a big and ridiculous number, too! I asked him:
“So is Bea going to be a sexy witch, a naughty nurse, or a cuddly kitten?” Then I had a brainstorm and added: “I think Harley should dress up like a farmer. Or a hobo. The hired man can get body paint and paint his horses to look like zebras.”
He had a better idea for Harley: “. . .a good for nuthin peppermint eating ASS. I think Bea is going as a Princess since that seems to be what she’s turned into…”
(Just before Halloween, I mentioned I looked for a princess costume for Bea but couldn’t find one big enough. He was aghast to say the least.)
Harley is the wild card in this bunch. Dressing him up like a hobo would have been difficult because I need to figure out how to not be half afraid of cranky Harley the Donkey so I can get him on the porch with Bea. This will be a feat if I pull it off. But I’m emboldened by the smooch on Bea’s dirty head. Especially given Harley is standoffish unless you have food. He side eyes me when I go out there and I hear him talking to me in Grandpa McCoy’s voice: “Gol durnit, you don’t got no food don’t come botherin’ me woman, y’hear?! Now bring me some peppermints and hay! And none of that dern hay off the barn floor!”
Dr. Doctor is considering letting me help bottle feed calves this winter…this could be interesting to say the least…a cute yard cow will really dress up the place a little, dontcha think?