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A Visit from Uncle Scruffy

Lots of friends and family of Daddy and Mama have dogs of their own.  When I talked about camping, I mentioned Spike and Brodie.  Now let me tell you about Scruffy.

Scruffy is a dog that lives with Daddy’s parents.  They live out of state most of the time, but when they come back to New York, they always bring Scruffy with them.  He’s a bischon frise they got from friends of theirs who couldn’t take care of a dog anymore, and he’s 14-years old.  That’s about 98 in dog years!  I first met him in the cold weather when his fur was huge and bushy.  Daddy said it made him reminiscent of Jerry Garcia, but I don’t know who that is.  Now that the weather is getting warmer (especially in Florida, where Daddy’s parents live), they have given him a short hair cut so he can keep cool.

(Daddy says he thinks Scruffy looks girly, but we dogs don’t really see things like humans do.  What do you think?)

Friday night Mama took me for my evening walk.  As we came close to home, she stopped and talked with one of her neighbors who have a nice shaggy dog named McGill.  Before we left, Daddy had left somewhere, and as Mama stood there talking (boooring!), Daddy came home – yay!  Imagine my surprise when I saw that he had Scruffy with him!  I had only seen Scruffy over at his parents’ place, never around here.  What was going on – and why did Daddy have a doggie bed and a bag of special food with him too?

It turns out that Daddy’s parents, in state for the month, were making a weekend trip out of town.  Normally Scruffy would be taken care of by one of Daddy’s sisters, but she was going to be out of town too, so Daddy and Mama agreed to watch him while they were out of town.

I didn’t care for this too much.

Don’t get me wrong.  Scruffy is a nice dog.  We’ve never had an issue before when on his home turf.  In fact, pretty much every time I have gone over there, we have a nice time sniffing each other, then go our seperate ways and ignore each other the entire time.  Maybe not as friendly as humans are, but dogs are different: We weren’t fighting, so really everything was OK between us.

But that was on his territory.  I didn’t like having another dog in my territory.

Daddy set up Scruffy’s bed by the dining table.  He and Mama set down some extra pee-pads because Scruffy sometimes has problems with incontinence (he’s getting pretty old, after all – give him a break!).  Scruffy had never been to our place before, so he smelled all over and got a feel for his surroundings.  I followed him closely to make sure he wasn’t messing up my home turf.  Most upsetting to me was when he came near my food bowl.  Scruffy had already eaten his dinner at home, and he doesn’t eat much anyway.  Scruffy was not even trying to eat my food or anything, he was just exploring the place.  But I wanted to make sure he knew that this food was mine.  I didn’t have to growl or anything like that, but any time he came close, I made sure I ran between him and the bowl to intercept him – even once it was empty.

Yeah, he looks innocent… But you never know… Constant vigilance!

Anyway, it became clear to me that he wasn’t going anywhere.  He may not be an actual threat, but I still didn’t have to like it.  He was just as pleasant as he always was, but I felt put out having another dog messing up the smell I’d worked so hard to put all over my place.  He explored the place some more.  I sulked.

Hmpf.

Well, being an old-timer, Scruffy did spend a lot of his time sleeping or resting, as one might expect.

Seriously guys, he’s 14.  It’s understandable.

As he started to settle in, Mama came over to him and pet him.  She cooed what a good boy he was being.  What the heck, I thought, he’s not your baby!  I am!  I would leave whatever perch I had found to insinuate my head under her hand, insisting on pettings.

(About 30 seconds before me diving from the chair to get pettings)

I spent the night dealing with his being there.  We dogs don’t have much concept of time, so I didn’t know what all this meant.  Was Scruffy living here now?  What was all this?  Why?  Why?!

As it turns out, Scruffy was only spending the night.  Saturday night Daddy’s sister and her boyfriend came back home and picked Scruffy up.  That was fine by me.  I even asserted my dominance over the space by peeing on the rug – I normally don’t, but I needed to do something to remind anyone who came along that I was the only dog in this space!

But at least I had one sense of superiority while he was here: I got to sleep in Daddy and Mama’s bed, and Scruffy didn’t.  Not that he wanted to – or even could jump up into the bed with his bad knees.  But still, I got it and he didn’t.

All in all I suppose it wasn’t so bad.  But that doesn’t mean I want another dog over here again any time soon.

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