I remember when we had Lilac that she had a certain bossy, sassy way about her. Some of you might remember that Mr. Taleteller would hide in the bathroom to eat his pie on peace, because if Lilac decided she wanted something, she was relentless. Most of the time I could laugh it off, but sometimes, I admit, it was a bit aggravating. I vowed that in the future, our dogs weren’t going to get away with that sort of behavior. No barking at us to fluff her bed or move the fan to the perfect angle and certainly no more taking food right off our plates. She only got away with it because she was old and hadn’t lived her younger years as a pet. After she passed away at the ripe old age of sixteen, we eventually learned to stop eating like wolves, guarding our food and sit up and eat like normal human beings again.
Time has a funny way of making your memory get fuzzy. You seem to forget the bad parts of the past and remember it with more fondness that it might have truly deserved, but I think that’s part of the human condition. After Lilac passed away, I forgot a lot about the midnight barking to save Timmy from the well and resource guarding my food. I remembered her unique hugs and her after dinner burps in the face as a way of showing gratitude a lot more clearly.
One thing I’ve always been proud of with Bunny is her impeccable manners. I can take her anywhere and not worry about her causing mischief. We get a lot of compliments on her behavior, whether we’re visiting the nursing home or dining on the patio at one of the local restaurants that allow dogs. She has always been such a good girl and I love that I can take her places and not worry about what she will get into. Fortunately, that allows me to keep an extra close eye on Flattery instead.
Lately, though, I could swear the ghost of Lilac has been jaunting us here at home. Suddenly, a certain senior hound seems to have developed a sense of entitlement. This mostly relates to food. Most of the time, I will share a little bite with her when I’m finished, if I can’t eat it all, and normally she usually lays down beside me patiently waiting. Lately however, she’s started to circle like a little shark. I checked the calendar and it is definitely not time for Shark Week yet, so I’ve been telling her no, but I haven’t been very forceful about it.
The final straw came last weekend, though, when she decided she should have some of my chicken pot pie while I was still eating it. She decided that self service was in order and I yanked my plate away just in time. I stared at her in astonishment and we had a little conversation.
Me: What do you think you’re doing?
Bunny: I thought it was obvious.
Me: So it is what I think it is?
Bunny: Well, if you would share, I wouldn’t have to take drastic measures.
Me: If you want some, you’re going to have to remember your manners.
Bunny: Do you even know who you’re talking to?
Me: *long stare*
Bunny: *sitting down and licking her lips* Fine, I’ll humor you.
Me: See, that wasn’t so hard?
Bunny: I’ve played your little game. Now hand it over.
At that point, I was finished with it, but I waited a short while before I let her lick the bowl. She knew I was going to let her, so she sat patiently and waited for it. Finally, I did let her have it and I have a feeling that we both think we won. Maybe that’s the best kind of compromise. All I know is that we’re having a manners refresher course before it’s too late.