Dog Days

Well, we moved into our temporary house in town on Tuesday, and we’ve adjusted quickly to life in the Big House. We’re enjoying cable channels, someone else’s CD and DVD collections, and a grocery store that is less than a mile away.

I only had one concern going into this move, and that was how well our dogs would adjust to the new environment. Because the real inhabitants of this house suffer from pet allergies, Phoebe and Callie are not allowed inside. To add to the shock of becoming around-the-clock outside dogs, they would be having to share the backyard with the Moore’s giant, hyper boxer, Molly.

I was afraid to leave the house for the first 24 hours of our stay because I was worried that Callie would pick a fight she couldn’t finish, and that Molly would kill her and strew her limbs around the back yard. On that front, things seem to be going okay. The dogs don’t love each other by any means, but they coexist peacefully for the most part. My two dogs have actually commandeered Molly’s doghouse and Molly now sleeps on a bench nearby. In return, Molly asserts her dominance over Callie by drooling all over her face and back about once a day, and they call it even.

The other possible conflict is with the back-fence neighbors. Apparently they have no patience toward barking dogs. According to neighborhood gossip, they called the police on Molly one time on a night when she was barking at an opossum in the yard. Another time, they threw loaves of bread at another neighbor’s barking dog to shut her up.

Now that there are three dogs in our yard, I worry constantly that they will provoke this testy neighbor with their barking. Any time the girls make more than three barks in a row, I run and beat on the windows to make them stop. I’m especially paranoid late at night or in the early morning, when these people might be trying to sleep. Having to get up late at night or early in the morning is also especially annoying when I am trying to sleep myself.

I have to laugh at myself on the rare instance when I go in the back yard and yell at all three dogs at once: “Molly! Callie! Phoebe!”, and it sounds like I am running some sort of boarding school for cheerleaders. The odd one out is my fourth pet responsibility, which is a rabbit named Oreo, but it doesn’t really spoil the motif too much, because I don’t ever really talk to it.

So, in sum, we’re almost one week down and no new enemies or pet emergencies. All is well with house sitting and menagerie maintenance.

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