I stepped out onto the back porch with my coffee and a plate of toast with jelly and some scrambled egg. A beautiful cool spring morning was waiting for me, and its quiet peacefulness beckoned me like nothing else can.
Setting the plate down on my patio table and settling myself in a chair I tried to ignore the now big black lab puppy who had arrived excitedly at the edge of my fenced off safe zone, just the other side of the table. I knew he would be there of course, but hoped against hope that he would just sit there and let me eat in peace. I took a few bites, sipped the coffee. Ahh. So far so good.
A seriously loud bark nearly tossed me out of my skin. Luke has recently begun barking for attention, and now that he is 8 ½ months old his bark matches the rest of him – big, bold, not to be ignored, relentless. I stood and turned my back to him, which works great if you want him to sit instead of jump up but has no effect whatsoever if you want him to shut up. I walked inside for a few seconds, as my husband and I have agreed to do when he barks, to teach him that his barking will not give him our companionship.
Walking outside again as quietly as I could, I saw him looking in the kitchen glass door. I sat down, determined not to let the dog get his way and me not get mine. Another bite of egg and toast, another delicious sip of coffee. I could do this.
The next bark didn’t startle me as much but it sure ticked me off. It wasn’t even 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I couldn’t let my neighbors be disturbed by this ridiculously big puppy whose bark is easily heard two blocks away. Sighing, I picked up my breakfast and walked back inside. Leaving the living room door to the porch open so I could at least enjoy some of the outside from the inside, I took in an abbreviated view of my back yard. I could still hear the birds, and no longer heard the dog. A nice second choice.
Nanny nanny boo boo, Luke, you are NOT the boss of me, I thought maturely. Your annoying high maintenance puppy-hood is just for a season, and one day I’ll be able to sit outside whenever I want without you barking. It might be because I send you to the Ranch to live forever, but it will happen.