“Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas.”
–Henry Louis Mencken
This morning started out like so many others…Beau pushed his nose against mine at around 4:30 a.m., then gave the plaintive combination ‘howl/bark’ that indicates, “You can take your time waking up, just do it damn quick because I have *got* to go the bathroom!” Miss Thing simply groaned and rolled from one side of her bed to the other. (Now there’s a girl who knows the value of waiting til the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee wafts into the room before shaking off the last vestiges of sleep.)
Beau trotted downstairs (OK, full disclosure, he trotted down the *second* flight of stairs–he refuses to traverse the first flight in a downward trajectory. Going *up*, not a problem. Going *down,* on the other hand, requires that Mom gather him up like a sack of potatoes and carry him down to the landing. He’s lucky I’m a gym rat, that’s all I’m sayin’….) But I digress….
With the coffee brewing and the whole crew downstairs, breakfast is served. So far, so good. Both dogs out to do their business, then back inside for a bit of R&R before the day begins. Beau decides that he’d like to go out again for a bit of morning reconaissance, so I put him in the back on his long line so that he can explore at will without going too far. He’s puttering, I’m relaxing, and then the barking begins. Lots of excited barking. I run to the back slider and look out to see Beau straining at his lead, trying to get nose to nose with this representative of the animal kingdom….. Can you say instant adrenaline surge?
I rush out to assess the situation and see how best to coerce 65 lbs. of excited Chocolate Lab back inside when there’s a new playmate outside. Porcupine is nonplussed. Sits on his haunches, munching a bit of clover and looking at the two of us as if we’re mad. I clap, I cajole, I promise TREATS! CHEESE! SOLITARY CONFINEMENT! if Beau does not return his little chocolate bum to the safety of the house. Darting glances between myself and the porcupine confirm that neither of us is looking like all that much fun, but Beau ultimately decides that I’m the one he’s going to have to answer to in the long run and trots back up the stairs into the house. Who says ya need to hit the gym to reach your target heartrate?!