It Ain't Book Learnin' People

I always say that the hounds make me laugh every day.  This is true.  And sometimes they make my heart melt.  And sometimes they test the last depths of my patience.  And sometimes they teach me things about life that I should know but have forgotten.  Or perhaps I have become too skeptical and jaded.  Today they reminded me of something pretty simple.

Bettina greyhound is a strange girl
Grab your opportunities where you find them...
With the hounds, we have an established routine.  They get breakfast between 7:00-7:30a and then a potty break.  They get a break at 12:30p and a treat.  They get dinner between 5:30-6:00p with another potty break.  They get a last potty break and treat before bedtime between 11:00-11:30p.  This has been in place pretty much since I was lucky enough to get a job that allowed me to work from home. 

The kids know very well what the schedule is and they have unerring internal clocks.  At 5:31p I have four eyes boring holes into me reproaching me for being late to fix them dinner.  At 7:01a I have one or two wet noses jammed into my face and a chorus of whines to pull me into consciousness.

Since we work at home, if I want a snack or a drink, I get up from my desk, walk down the hall to the kitchen and get something from the pantry or the fridge.  Sometimes I head down the hall to use the bathroom.  It never fails that when I get up from my desk to do anything, bathroom, break, grab a book off the shelf across the room, stretch my legs, anything at all, one or both hounds spring up from their beds.  I inevitably lead a parade down the hall to whatever destination it is I have gotten up for.  This happens every time.

Blue greyhound begs attention at Woofstock
Remember to be super-cute and practice your puppy dog eyes
Blue and Bettina are hoping that I may give in to their charms and give them an unscheduled treat.  And honestly, sometimes I do.  Much of the time I don’t.  But that doesn’t stop them from jumping up and following me every time my behind leaves the chair.  This morning it occurred to me as I turned and tripped over Bettina who had been right on my heels in the kitchen, hope springs eternal for my crazy dogs.  Disappointment may rain from the skies over their little heads when I don’t give them an extra treat.  But they get up again the next time and follow me hopefully. 

What’s more, sometimes their hope is rewarded with something special and unexpected.  Sometimes I give them a marrow bone.  Or a rawhide to chew.  Sometimes it's just a humdrum treat.  It doesn’t really matter what.  Sometimes their hope and patience and optimism pays off.  And it happens enough times to keep that hope alive. 

I certainly didn’t expect to be taught a life lesson this morning while tripping over my dog.  But they definitely seem to have it right.  Rejection isn’t personal, or final.  Keep trying to get what you want because sometimes you do.  Even when you don’t get what you want, keep trying because it might be next time that you do get it.  Or maybe the time after that.  And always, always try to be in the right place at the right time.  You can’t take advantage of an opportunity if you are still lying on your bed.  Oh yeah, and it doesn’t hurt to be super cute and make use of puppy dog eyes. 


  1. just love your stories, and they ar so true

  2. What a beautiful, beautiful post. Isn't that true. You basically live my life (other than the work at home part and our hounds only wake up my husband in the morning). Sometimes on the weekend if I'm moving from room to room, I'll put up the baby gate so Casper can't follow me. I feel a little sorry for him, but if I don't my "shadow" drives me to the brink of madness.

  3. My greyhound shadow is always behind me, or lying in a position where she can see what I am doing. She isn't after treats, she just doesn't like to let me out of her sight. Apparently she takes up her place in the front window of the house when I am due to come home (my regular home time can vary by about an hour, if it's any later than that she starts getting a bit upset, and goes and stares at N, with a bit of a whine too, apparently).

  4. Ha ha ha! Oh, so true! I always tell our 4H kids when they start dog obedience class that dogs are the world's best gamblers.

  5. The slot machine premises. Only has to payout every now and then to keep you pulling the handle. I understand following me into the kitchen, but why the bathroom? I've never given them a treat in there :)

  6. Beautiful Ron....and insightful. I'll have to reread this several times to let it sink in.

    Your mumma....

  7. Lovely story! My guys are pretty much the same, although my older boy, Wilson, will wait until he hears the pantry door open before he hops off the bed and heads downstairs in hopes of a treat.

    Happy Holidays!


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