This sentence took 20 minutes to type.
No, I haven’t done myself a great injury. No, I’m not suffering from writer’s block. The explanation is simple: I have an 11-month-old dog.
In the same way that the kids can sense when I’m about to use the restroom, which is the perfect time for them to come running into the room no matter how long they’d been happily amusing themselves elsewhere, the dog knows when I am on a deadline. And when I sit down to really work, she comes running, even if she has been happily napping elsewhere.
Usually, there’s a toy in her mouth. My job is to play tug-of-war, then throw the toy as far as I can. It’s not terribly far — not because I can’t throw, but because there isn’t a long straight hallway in the house. But a few feet seems to be enough.
Then she brings it back.
Then she brings it back again.
Until I realize that 20 minutes have passed and I’ve done nothing more than toss a ratty length of rope down our hallway a billion times.
That is not how one gets work done. Unless one’s work is playing with a dog — but I hope one has other sources of income if that’s the case.
And if I shouldn’t play along? She breaks out her bark, the one that thousands of generations of breeding has selected for. It’s shrill and sharp — and clearly says, “Go there, cow. NOW.”
I know who is being trained here. Here’s a subtle hint: it’s not the dog.
Apart from this particular bump in the dog road, however, our Lucy is settling right in.
Rest assured that in the future my column won’t be all-dog all-the-time. I just tend to write about whatever is making the most noise around here in any given month. For once, it’s not the kids.