I have heard humans talk about the stress of moving to a new home. I have heard them say it is hard on the family pet. What nonsense!
Three years ago my family built a new house at the farm. We terriers moved into our kennel at the farm while the house was being built, and believe me, it was a blast.
Oh, sure, Mistress was back in town, packing and packing. Master Glen was out at the farm every day doing his work and checking on the progress of the house. Neither of them had the time they would usually have had for us but it didn't matter. The farm was crawling with workmen, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, men with bag lunches. Men who did not always remember to close their truck doors. Men who liked to listen to the radio and played it loud for us all to enjoy.
About those bag lunches and open truck doors. Yes, you know what's coming. Opportunity! We made out like bandits. Even my twelve week old daughter was discovered munching lunch while listening to the truck radio.
Once the house was far enough along, workmen's overshoes were left at the backdoor. More fun. With boots, there are three ways to go: you can destroy them; you can hide them or, if a dog, you can urinate in them. The puppies chewed, the bitches hid and the males urinated. We never crossed the line -- boots were chewed a little but never destroyed; boots were hidden but not buried; urine was present but not in quantity. There was safety in numbers. No one could be sure who the culprit was.
Master Glen apologized a lot . . . and with a straight face!
What a great year. They will talk about the flood of '95 in this area for a hundred years! And I witnessed it first hand.
Oh, I know it was tragic. Many animals died, both domestic and wild. Property damage was high. Emotionally, it was devastating. But out here we have a saying . . . "Cowboy up" . . . and get on with it.
We were not flooded out, we were flooded in. Our house was jokingly known as the "castle with the moat" by the wise-cracking townfolk. We had a lake extending for half a mile in front of the house and out back fields were under water. We had no drinking water. Master hauled water from town. Mistress scrubbed clothes in a bucket on the back step
To us terriers, that contaminated, filthy water was a symphony of new smells to experience. To Mistress, it was a stinking cesspool. There was a battle of wills. Mistress did everything to keep us out of it. I was the first to wade through the ooze and bring home a trophy. Mistress was not grateful. We reeked of disinfectant. The Health Authority visited to check the level of sanitation . . . a waste of their time with Mistress, the demon cleaner, in charge.
The road equipment that moved in to reclaim the site took Mistress's mind off germs. Now she was convinced we would be flattened like bugs on a windshield by the dirt buggies. Her clarion voice could be heard screaming:
"Stupidlittlebitchcomeherenow!" She would race over and scoop a Border in her arms. Master would shout: "Get out of the road, Sylvia. I'm paying those men by the hour! Two weeks after the flood, the last dirt buggy and bulldozer pulled out and I had my puppies. Two weeks later, Rosie, our new girl, arrived from Great Britain. Mistress quarantined Rose, she re-doubled her cleaning efforts in the kennel. She must have been in her glory. We watched her wash all our bedding, by hand, on the back step. She walked everyone on lead to prevent us from walking where it was still contaminated. As far as I could see, Rosie never walked anywhere. Mistress carried her in her arms.
At the end of the summer, with the puppies happily settled in their new homes and Rosie finally settled with the rest of the pack, Mistress remembered she hadn't gotten counseling to learn how to cope with the flood! Emotional trauma? Humans are so whimpy. It was fun!
An excerpt from 'Bell's Pack of Border Terriers' by Happytime Bell
(with assistance from Sylvia Clark)
A friend of Mistress's once remarked: "The very traits we find appealing in our dogs are the same traits we would hate in a human."
Mistress thought about it -- her terriers in human form. She mentioned it to Harold Gillis.
Harold said he though Strider had a yearning to be a biker. During one of their walks, Strider had investigated a Harley Davidson motorcycle with keen interest. Harold could mentally picture Strider astride the big motorcycle, decked out in black leather and zooming down the highway.
Hmm. I can picture it myself. Believe me, it beats being in the basket of a middle-aged woman's bicycle being pedalled sedately along a bicycle path. That's Mistress's idea of a big thrill for me.
Just to show you how wrong humans can be about their pets, here is how Mistress pictures my pack.
She sees Rosie in black leather -- doing pornographic movies.
She sees Joss in black leather piloting a big Harley Davidson up the highway. In the background, she hears that old song "Leader of the Pack' playing.
Eagle she sees wearing a halo up in the clouds playing a harp. The woman is demented
Me, Bell, she sees as a frowsy housewife caring tenderly for my puppies.
Here is my more accurate picture of us in human form:
Rosie! A beautiful movie star -- a second Mae West. "Why don't you come over and see me some time, Big Boy!" Rosie is too well bred to be a porno star.
My dad, Joss, would be an archaeologist. He loves to dig and he is very intelligent.
Eagle -- a halo? Not likely. With his talent for deception, a politician would be his calling. We canines would never let him
lead the pack but I'll bet you gullible humans would make him Prime Minister.
Me? That's easy. A famous writer adored by all. People flocking for my paw print on the cover of their books begging me to write more. Fame! Fortune! That is how I see me.
How would you see your border terrier if he or she could be human?
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