Being a dog owner has its perks: the unconditional love, comedic relief and the ability to act as foot warmers on a cold winter night.
Most days, they require nothing more than to be rubbed, held, fed and watered. But the problem comes after they've had their food and water.
"Stella, hurry up it's freezing out here," I pleaded with the nine-pound fur ball at the end of the leash.
Her snort and tail whip told me that she could care less that it was only 25 degrees outside and I was freezing. She had fur, lots of it, because I hadn't had a chance to get her to the groomer yet.
Our other dog, Ace, who is all of 90 pounds and the king of my household, had already marked his territory — twice — and done the number two. I can always count on Ace.
"Really, Stella, hurry up!"
Princess Fluff on the other hand, has always been one for doing things at her own pace.
Arriving into this world more than two hours after her five, mouse-sized siblings, her trend only continued. I should have known then.
Taking a good four months longer to potty train than Mr. Reliable Ace, she also took several hours or even days more to learn the basics: sit, shake, lay down and roll over. It was exhausting.
"Stella, I can't feel my fingers. Would you please go potty?"
Yes, I talk to my dogs and yes, they understand — too well, sometimes.
As a half frozen leaf shuttered in the wind, Stella lost what little focus she had on doing her business and went straight for the kill.
Pounce, pounce, flop.
Snapping the leaf into a dozen pieces, it was back to doing what she does best — her own thing.
Threatening to tie her leash to the No Parking sign and leave her out there, she finally found the proper spot. But her do-things-at-my-own-pace attitude didn't end there.
She may have found the spot, but it didn't mean she would soon be ready to go inside.
So Ace and I stood, waiting, waiting, waiting.
Knowing full well that my male counterpart was nestled under a blanket in his recliner, I huddled close to Ace for warmth. Never challenge a man to a game of thumb war. You'll only end up with a leash in each numb hand.
Finally, when all was said and done, the three of us took our frozen fingers and paws inside, where Stella took a flying leap into The Man's chair and onto his warm and toasty face.
Karma is glorious.
—Megan Tilk is a reporter who also writes a weekly column for the Boonville Daily News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her blog: megantilk.blogspot .com.
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