L: Hello, my name is Leia (pronounced LAY-ah). Sometimes Deb calls me Little Stinker. I don’t know why?
D: OK, let me interject here. I told Leia we’d write this together. I wanted to edit for puppy authenticity.
L: My day starts with a cheerful good morning from Deb and breakfast served in bed.
D: Bed is her crate.
L: Heidi and I go out into the yard to tend to personal business and then we come inside and join Deb in the kitchen while she makes coffee and fixes her own breakfast. She tells me I have to learn to behave if I want to be loose in the house. I try very hard and lie quietly by her feet under the table. But I really want to grab the newspaper . . .
D: I have to say that Miss Leia really does try hard to behave, but she has that mischievous streak. She always tries to grab the op-ed page. And she managed to chew up the envelope from ASPCA.
L: Then we get chill out time – Heidi on her bed, and I in my crate. I snooze awhile so I have energy when it’s time to play again.
D: Oh dear. More energy?! <sigh>
L: When we go outside, sometimes we chew on deer antlers, lying side by side.
D: Notice that Leia used lying correctly – it’s not laying side by side. Sorry folks, my English teacher kicks in. Leia gets an A plus.
L: But after awhile that gets boring, so I nonchalantly get up and start wandering around the yard. Heidi is still chewing on her antler, not paying any attention to me. So I grab her tail. She hates that! She growls and shows her teeth, but I have my maneuvers down pat. She chases me, and then I zero back in for another grab . . . over and over again.
D: Poor Heidi. She tries to be a good sport, but that tail is OFF LIMITS!!
L: Deb comes out with a bucket full of something that she puts into these funny looking tubes that are hanging all over the place.
D: Leia, that’s birdseed for our feathered friends.
L: Then she removes a red UFO hovering by the roof and takes it inside to fill with sweet water. She tells me that the hummingbirds should be arriving any day now. . . whatever they are? But I like birds, and I’m always watching them, even when they fly overhead.
D: You will LOVE watching the hummers when they arrive. They’re late this year. Last year the hummers were at my feeders on March 27th, right when the rhododendrons bloomed.
L: LUNCHTIME!!! I love my meals!
D: <rolls eyes . . .>
L: After lunch we sometimes go outside again. When I get bored and Deb isn’t looking, I will dig in her garden. She’s been talking about planting zinnias, so I want to help dig. Deb doesn’t like the way I do it, so she put up a little fence. Fence?! Ha! It’s only about 10 inches high, and I can jump over it very easily.
D: She’s very helpful, but I fear there will be no zinnia garden this year unless Leia learns that it is OFF BOUNDS!
L: Speaking of fences, there are lots of different kinds of fences in the yard. There is a metal fence around the base of the weeping cherry tree and another around the rose and peony garden. There’s a black chain link fence around the yard, and then there’s another fence I can’t see that Deb calls Invisible Fence. The Invisible Fence has white flags which mysteriously keep disappearing. So, I decided to help remove them. I pulled one up and started chewing on the flag part. Deb didn’t appreciate my help, and it disappeared too.
D: Good thing we were in the last phase of flag removal. <giggles>
L: There was also a mat at the back door, and I know it was put there just for my dirty paws. Lots of fun to chew and rip apart. Then THAT mysteriously disappeared too! . . . just blame Deb. She must be some kind of magician!
D: Yep, I just whisk away anything that should not be amusing Miss Leia.
L: Deb usually puts a bowl of water out for Heidi and me when we are in the yard. “Me first!” I say to Heidi. I take a good long drink, and then I pick up the bowl and dump the rest of the water. I run off with the bowl and throw it around the yard.
D: Speaking of water . . .
L: Another thing I like to do when Deb’s not looking is splash in the bird bath. This is a big girl birdbath on a pedestal, not the one I laid in as a puppy.
D: Good thing it’s anchored in place or it might fall over . . .
L: Many afternoons Deb will put Heidi and me into the red CRV (canine riding vehicle – AKA red taxi) and drive us somewhere. Sometimes we never get out of the car until we’re back home! Go figure?
D: Covid days are making it difficult to go for walks because there are TOO MANY PEOPLE doing the same thing!
L: Deb keeps saying the words isolated and solitude. I think they are requirements for our walks? I thought we were already isolated and in solitude?
D: Gotta put it into context, Leia.
L: Some days we go to Wendi’s house, and I get to play with Journey. Journey is a black Labrador puppy just like me. I am 24 hours older than Journey. Wendi and Deb don’t play; they don’t even get near each other. They just do that people thing called yak, yak. . .
D: Yes, even though we are visiting outdoors, we are VERY MINDFUL of social distancing.
L: Yesterday we found a place to walk that was pretty quiet.
D: We were lucky! <thumbs up!>
L: Deb said I could run free since there were no people or other dogs around. Yay! I love being a big girl with Heidi and exploring, sniffing, and running as fast as I can. When Deb wasn’t looking, I hid behind a porta-potty and found something that smelled and tasted good.
D: I saw you being sneaky, Leia. Ewww, a rotten banana peel!
L: She traded some treats for it, but I sure hated to give it up!
D: You need to improve your “drop it” skills.
L: When we got home it was time for dinner, and after dinner I helped load the dishwasher. I licked the spoons, and supervised Deb as she lined up all the dishes and silverware.
D: Thank you Leia. Good job!
L: We usually go back out into the yard again after dinner chores are done. One evening, Deb started picking up broken branches and pinecones. When her back was turned, I crawled over the fence around the weeping cherry tree. Boy was Deb surprised!
D: You little stinker, how did you get up there?
L: And she said I was incorrigible, whatever that means. I couldn’t get out on my own, so Deb had to lift me up and over the fence.
D: Yes, and you’re getting heavy. I soon won’t be able to lift you out of any trouble you get into.
L: Then she got out a BIG hammer and drove wooden stakes into the ground inside the fence. I don’t know what THAT is supposed to do? She seems to think it will keep me from climbing over that fence again. We’ll see.
D: Yep, we shall see. . .
L: When we go back inside, Deb gives me and Heidi a sweet potato chew. Yum! They are the best!
D: Good girls! “Now, it’s Deb time!”
L: She then turns on the picture box and sits down on her sofa. Heidi and I snooze until it’s time to go out for bedtime pee. After Heidi and I run the boundaries checking for intruders, we go inside and relax while Deb watches the late news.
D: Thank you for protecting the property.
L: I get two ice cubes before Deb says good-night and turns out the light. I lie down on my soft bed and think what I lucky puppy I am.
D: And I think what a lucky gal I am. . .