there were once off-limits signs for anything female
or cute there are now squeaky toy frogs, stuffed
monkeys in hula skirts, brightly colored treat balls,
“blankies,” Miss Love Doggie (don’t ask) and
assorted other items to keep Bill’s curiosity busy.
Bossman’s black leather recliner has been claimed
by Bill as a favorite place to snooze as Bossman, aka
Pap, does busy work at his desk.
Bossman’s Candy Jar has been turned into Bill’s
Treat Jar, which is a big ol’ hoax on this cute
little dog, because there aren’t treats in the jar;
they’re his regular dog food posing as treats
because he’s on special dietary food made out of
tofu or something.
The first floor of the house has been declared a
Closed Door Dwelling. All bathroom doors have been
relegated to Shut Mode because Bill has a fondness for
paper products—his favorite by Charmin. “Goes down
smooth, comes out soft.” One day I forgot to shut
the door and there he was, lying on the floor in front
of the commode, nibbling on a ribbon of T.P. Just like
spaghetti, only quilted.
Bill’s edible-paper past has been well
documented. His appetite for paper has been anything
but stationary. I’ve noted many past instances when
he’s gobbled up used dryer sheets, Kleenex, paper
money ($19 to date), temporary driver’s licenses,
rabies documentation, receipts, paper towels and more.
He’s a hairy shredder.
This dog is a kid’s dream come true. When the kid
doesn’t want to do homework, just feed it to Bill.
And this bow-wow is quick. Our daughter dropped a
new blouse on the floor and Bill, faster than Pacman
could say, “I wasn’t there,” grabbed the tag,
ripped it off the blouse and ate it in a nanosecond. I
don’t think you could even see it happen in slow
motion on the JumboTron.
This four-year-old canine also had a tendency to
just turn miserable for whatever reason. Look at him
cross-eyed and he’d snap, crackle and pop at you.
His human mother didn’t believe in spanking or
talking harsh. He’s a furry only child with a single
mom and he was getting away with murder—or close to
Well, down here in Franklin, there are a couple of
new Alphas in town: Bossman and me. Tough Love is our
motto. Speak firmly and give praises with a treat in
hand. (Even if it is only kibble.) Bill has gained
seven pounds in two weeks, but he’s a more loving
and fun dog…er…make that granddog to be around.
His tail is wagging, he loves to dance, he jumps on
our laps, he’s happy to see Pap and Nana every
morning, he likes walks, he stays when commanded (most
of the time), and we think Precious, the little
Maltese next door, has a crush on him.
Bill’s new tricks are a real treat for all of us
living with him. Now, since he’s got the paperwork
down, if we just get him to use the toilet.
Copyright Susie Dunham
* * * * *
Susie Dunham is a newspaper
columnist living in the Nashville, Tennessee, area
where she writes for the WestView/Grassland Community