Striker ruled all that he could rule. The floors were his. And when the big people were gone, like most of the days, the couch and chairs were also his; Especially the big green chair that was just under the front window where the sunshine poured on the wide overstuffed back making it so nice and warm for Striker’s little belly. And then there was The Bed.
Striker could sing you songs, nay, ballads, long stringy soppy heart rending eye watering ballads on the joys of a big huge bed in the late afternoon sun. The smells of the big people that permeated the blankets and spread that were so grand to nuzzle and scrunch into until just the tip of an over excited tail was left exposed. Then it’s a body shuddering collapse followed by a deep draw of air and then one explosive snort and silence for a few hours, the Jack Russell every-last battery recharging for the evening festivities.
Much of the floor kingdom, reconnaissance with sharp eye and sharper nose, was in order more days and weeks than not. The occasional small pile of the one big persons clothes that smelled especially good and slightly damp was the height of all treats. The quick dash down the long hallway followed by a flying dive nose first into the pile that would slide for the longest time. Then it was grab the pile and drag it back down the hall to repeat again and again while the big people stood in that senseless rain room getting all wet. But for Striker, the longer they stayed in the little wet rain room, the more fun he could have with sliding with the pile.
The food bowl was fun too. Pushing the food bowl down the long hallway on the slippery floors was a grand game that was good for at least one of the Big People to come join the game by re-starting the game with the bowl back in the feeding area. Some times if Striker pushed the bowl just right against the one wall, the Big People with the louder bark would grab the leash and they would go to the park for a good long run with some of the other dogs in the neighborhood. So playing the “bowl push” game sometimes had great rewards, if his Big People were home.
Doors, of all different sizes, were important in the days patrol. Doors can stop you from entering rooms or tight little areas. Doors that are not quite shut completely can provide sometimes up to an hour of diligent effort to open and gain the rewards on the other side. The Big People really like to help with that game. They have the room with the wonderful sun soaked high bed that is soft and wonderful to lie on, roll around on, and snuggle under the blankets and really get your nose full of those wonderful smells of Big People, Big People, BIG PEOPLE! And then there is the “other door” in the room that leads to a smaller room where the smells can be really intense. Those are the “Rooms of Shoes”.
The Rooms of Shoes are the best. The smells are so intense and wonderfully pungent that you can get dizzy just walking into the rooms. The softer shoes are the most wonderful, especially when the Big Bark People gets back from the park when they have a great run. Those soft shoes can make your head spin faster than a treat driven Jack Russell tail can wag. The deep grassy pungent odor is what hits you first, with a sort of tangy salty second whiff, kind of like when two dogs are walked by you and there is a big funky dog and a sleeker smaller dog, it’s the “one-two” smell punch. Then as you start to chew on the soft sides or just carry it around a bit while the Big Barker is getting wet, the taste of salt and a little scummy slim after-taste starts to really get your taste buds kind of sideways. After a while though, it’s just too much and you’ve got to take a break and head for the window over the bed. You know you’re going to get yelled at, but the view of the park and all of the other dogs are worth it. And it’s not that kind of yelling any way, like it really counts.
A while back, the Big People fussed a whole bunch in one of the smaller rooms. They painted with a new color, YUK! Not a smell that rated high on Strikers list. And then there was the new furniture. There was even a bed that was just Striker’s size, but they must have really felt strong about him not sleeping in it because it has a cage around it to keep him out. There was a cool new trashcan, but eventually it smelt worse than the bad part of the park. Euw!
Then the new “Not So Big People” arrived. Not a fun People at first. It slept most of the time and then there was that NOISE! Wow! Eventually the days routine settled down and Striker grew to accommodate and accept that the nights would be interrupted with walking; but not taking for a walk. The days had their quiet times, and then there were the not so quiet times. Striker’s People had changed. Only time would tell whether it was for the good or not; and the Not So Big People looked like they were going to be hanging around for a while.
As the days and weeks and months wound their magical spell and the Not So Big People got larger, and it began to get around like Striker, on all four. Soon there were new games in the hallway with the slippery floors. And the new guy was kind of fun for a while, as long as it didn’t smell like that bad part of the park. And recently it started to stand up on it hind legs. Very good! It was paying attention as Striker was teaching.
Just wait until it gets warm again in the park, or the little park in the back of the house; there will be someone else to blame for the muddy paw prints.