He doesn’t like to step in tall grass (tall being over 2” deep). It tickles his toes. He doesn’t like to get rain drops on his coat, as if he’ll melt. He does like brushing and massages, particularly above his tail on top of his butt and if you stop before HE is satisfactorily scratched and massaged, he whips his head around and gives you “the look”. He seems very content, if not entitled, to have an herbal mint salve rubbed onto his elbows and the pads of his feet. This is appropriate bi-pedal behavior.
He only likes to fetch RED balls (So much for the color blind theory…), and if they get slightly sun-parched, he spits them out. If they have grass stuck to them, he spits them out. If they have dirt on them, he refuses to pick them up at all. If one of his balls rolls into an inconvenient spot, rather than go get another ball, he throws a tantrum, whining and stomping his feet and relocating the household furnishings. I retrieved two this morning that rolled under a lasso that was hanging off an antique saddle stand. Evidently a rope that has at any time touched a cow is evil, foul and nasty, not to mention dangerous!
He does not like walking on wet ground…at ALL. If we get irrigation, he normally goes to the highest little 2’ square spot in the yard to do his business, appearing much like an Olympic diver in “pike position” with all four giant paws touching. If it’s raining, he will go outside only if I hold the large golf umbrella over him and walk the yard by his side until the business is complete.
He does not like 2 of his 9 water dishes. We don’t know why. He passes over them as if a waiter had spat in his food with…”the look” toward us over his shoulder. (“How COULD you???”) Yes, he has a water bar…raised and freshened twice daily. If he drinks out of one of the nine bowls, he will not drink from that bowl again until it has been rinsed of any drool and refilled. (Fortunately he has yet to discover Pellegrino or Dasani.)
If a tiny salmon treat isn’t planted in his kibble, he gives you “the look” and stands over his bowl until you by-God go get one. “Mom! Dad! Where is my garnish??? This dish has not been properly plated! Fire the chef!” He prefers to eat at 6:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If not fed at the appropriate time, I swear, he checks his Rolex and once again gives you “the look”. (It’s very haute British, indignant and, frankly, quite insulting.)
I thought we had seen it all, but this morning the prima donna took the cake. We just had our winter lawn put in, and before spreading the rye seed, they covered the yard in a combination of mulch and steer manure. Bentley thinks it’s most disgusting and refuses to step in it. After pacing and fussing around the edge of our lawn on the cool deck for some time, he located a huge empty copper kettle with brass legs that I once used as a planter next to the stepping stones leading to the back gate. Placing his delicate toes on the manure-free stepping stones, he perched his big behind over the edge of the kettle and deposited his morning business…into the POT! Oh. Yes. He. Did. My husband and I just stared at each other, mouths agape, in total disbelief. In hindsight (pardon the pun), I rather wonder why we were surprised at all.
© 2011 Mary Watson