My Saturdays start out like this…

My Saturdays start out like this.

Heavy breathing.
Numerous licking and kissing.
More heavy breathing and panting.

Open my eyes and there’s a blur of black, beady brown eyes, ropes of saliva. Glancing over at the alarm clock and it’s just before 6am.

<GRUMBLE> It’s Saturday for crying out loud!

More panting, face licking, and by god, it’s time to wake up. Roll out of bed, and the fur starts to fly. Tchotckes are knocked off the night stand, I can’t find my slippers because it’s still dark out, and I’m not sure why I’ve subjected myself to this torture for the last two years.

That’s how my weekends start. That’s what it’s like when you’re Ethel’s Daddy.

In case you’re not sure yet, Ethel is my dog. One hundred forty-five pounds of pure-bred Newfoundland, a breed which is widely regarded as the most graceful, most beautiful, hardest working breeds out there.

Except that nothing is graceful or beautiful at six o’clock in the morning. And Ethel only works for food. Oh, and widely-regarded as yadda-yadda-yadda is from a sample of other Newfoundland owners…and the one-off pig farmer.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret adopting Ethel. I weather the incessant drooling (believe me when I tell you that sometimes it veritably *rains* drool), the midnight barking at nothing in particular, the wanton destruction of anything shaped like a shoe.

I’ve learned to adapt to these things. You buy special paint so that the drool is easy to clean off of the ceiling. Drool towels are hung in strategic locations throughout the apartment. Shoes are out-of-reach at the *top* of the closet.

I adapted because every once in a while, she does the cutest thing you can possibly imagine. She puts her head in my lap and looks up at me with those puppy-dog eyes; believe it or not 2 years old she’s still a puppy! Or she lies on her back at the foot of the bed, her feet in the air, in a most un-ladylike position, and I can’t help but laugh out loud (you can see a picture or two of that to the right).

Or, unexpectedly, she steps in front of me and protects me from a dangerous person or animal, putting herself in harm’s way. That might explain away the midnight barking; she senses something awry, and she wants me to know about it.

Or when she gets away from me across a grassy field, stops, looks around for her Daddy, and then comes running back at top speed, and slides to stop at my feet as if to say, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! I didn’t know where you were and I thought you had left me, and then I saw you were behind me and I came running as fast as I possibly could because I wanted to make sure you were still with me and I’m totally breathless right now and can we do that all over again?”

Or when I go outside to the car for ten minutes, and when I come back inside the house it’s like I was gone for days and she missed me terribly.

Or when our personal record for face-licks is 275 in one sitting.

I love her terribly, in case you couldn’t tell.

It’s just…I could do without the early morning wake-up call.


3 Responses to “My Saturdays start out like this…”

  1. 1 Boyfriend January 23, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    I too have had a major paradigm shift since entering this family. About once a day, I ache longingly to grab poop. I love Ethel dearly. She is the best daughter in the whole wide world, but when it’s 11pm and I’m tired and she wants to sniff every square inch of the lot across from our house for the PERFECT place to pinch a loaf, the rules change. She can bolt out the door and squat anywhere for a 2 gallon pee. Occasionally she doesn’t even make it out the door (our fault). But I guess poop is a more selective action.

    “OK, did I poop here before…”

    “Wait, did the chocolate lab poop here already this week?…”

    “Did the construction workers leave lunch here? I don’t want to poop where I eat….”

    “Is uncle-daddy impatient? I think I’ll sniff a little longer….”

    You get the idea.

  2. 2 guamaniac January 23, 2007 at 13:20 pm

    Aww…Boyfriend & Uncle-Daddy are BFF!

  3. 3 Lynne (Ethel's Grandma) February 24, 2007 at 16:56 pm

    Hey, guys, that’s why we have 7 of the slimers in our house!! Yeah, they’re sloppy and yeah, they’re stubborn and goofy, but they’re just oh, so sweet!

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