Dog Is My Copilot…I Love That Bumper Sticker

After several days of almost everybody I know being in some sort of funk or not feeling well (possibly something to do with the pull of that big “super moon” that just happened, or maybe just the wind that was blowing like crazy the past few days and ruining otherwise beautiful weather), today was one of those warm spring days when everything seems just peachy–blue sky, birds chirping, flowers and trees and fluffy, white clouds, the works. These days are a dream to those of us who turn into frowning, pajama-clad, chocolate-craving depressives with too much gray weather. The sun comes out and we are alive again.

So I did a respectable amount of work, called it a day at around two o’clock (self-employment is a sweet gig and I highly recommend it), and set about getting outside. Now, I may have mentioned at one point that I was going to keep my inclusion of our household pets in this blog to a minimum. Well, to hell with that, because our pets are cute. As if yours aren’t. Seriously–if you don’t love doggies and/or kitties, then I really don’t think you’ll enjoy reading much of my stuff anyway, so hey, it’s been nice….but if you do, then get a cold beverage, sit back, maybe let a dog or cat sit on your lap for some wuvs, and enjoy while I go on and on about my latest pal, EJ.

EJ is my stepdaughter Melissa’s dog, technically speaking. Melissa’s aunt, in a somewhat questionable but not surprising move, gave him to her as a Christmas gift, because what a girl needs is a new puppy right about the time she’s expecting a baby of the human kind, not to mention moving into the newly converted garage of her dad and stepmom. So Melissa took care of EJ until she gave birth to little miss Jade, who, it turns out, is pretty adorable in her own right.

Natural mommy that Melissa is, she became, well, pretty busy with that, as might be expected, so I kind of took over puppy duty, and EJ and I have been like this ever since. I don’t know what EJ stands for, and he doesn’t seem to want to tell me, so we leave it at that. Our relationship is new. I don’t want to pry.

Anyway, he’s now a little over 6 months old, a bright and fun-loving, yet calm and wary boy. He’s a fast learner and a careful assessor of situations. What he has assessed so far is that he can get me to give him a bite of almost anything I’m eating, that the kitty is dangerously suspect, and that it’s fun to go places with the people. Brad and I have been trying to show him some things and have some fun with him. Today I took him for a ride to the river park to have a look/smell around.

First we drove the beast through the car wash so we could remember what color it was. By the way, if you ever see us driving around and can’t tell, it’s white. We tell ourselves we’re doing our part to conserve water by almost never washing our cars.

Then we headed out to the river park and patrolled the banks for a while. He sniffed the water, lapped up a little of it, and decided the right thing to do was just to plunge right in. I think he was surprised to find out that you can’t just walk on top of that stuff, because he was out pretty fast, shaking his chilly little tail feathers, and didn’t venture in again, even when I waded in ankle deep, testing the water-friendliness of some pretty pricey Ecco sport sandals.

Well, there’s only so much to smell down by the water, and I was without sunscreen, so we made our way back up to the park area proper, eventually stopping to relax on the clover-dotted green carpet.

EJ was interested in the people playing horseshoes nearby, but also any butterfly, bird, or questionable piece of gross crap on the ground that could be put in one’s mouth.

We sat there a while, content. I chatted with him and he politely listened most of the time. He seemed pretty cool with the idea of heading back into town, probably because he’d be able to lord it over the other dogs a little bit that he had been on an R-I-D-E and a W-A-L-K both in the same day. So we hopped back in the beast and made our way back home at a Sunday-drive-on-Wednesday kind of pace.

I admit I feel a little guilty that I’ve been taking EJ places and leaving my two girls, Abby and DeeDee, at home, but the truth is that he is so much less of a pain in the ass to take anywhere. He’s reminding me what it’s like to have a dog that has a bit of a brain in his head, whereas the two dachshund/terrier gals (terrorweiners, in the current vogue of giving mixed-breed dogs hybrid names) are frantic nutcases anytime they get to leave the house. In fact, just look at ’em going crazy right here.

Well, OK, not right here, but I swear they are insane once you get them off the couch.

Melissa’s sweet little brand-new baby daughter Jade is fortunate to have a whole passel of grannies and great-grannies, thanks to the fluidity of family arrangements these days. I’m glad this is the case, because while I may not be the most comfortable woman in the world when it comes to baby-wrangling, I am perfectly comfortable being responsible for Mr. EJ while the other grannies get their much-coveted baby time in. I am grateful for the opportunity to hang out with such a lovable little guy.


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