Well, I've started to notice a new trend here in our house. You may remember that Lilac has had a lot to say recently. Typically, her main reasons for barking at me are to get the prime piece of real estate that she wants (translation, the best dog bed) or to let us know that she needs to go out. However, she's taken on a new routine, typically on days when I am off work and here at home in the afternoon.It begins innocently enough. I am sitting on the couch, watching television or working on the computer. Lilac walks up to me and give me The Stare. This is not the typical look of adoration a dog gives to her master. Oh no! This is a look heavy with expectation. Usually, it motivates me to look at the clock to see what routine she is expecting me to begin. A conversation generally ensues.
Me: It's not time to go out yet. What do you want?
Lilac (staring intently): I say different.
Me: I'm busy writing here. I think you'll be fine for another half hour.
Lilac (sighing): Well, it's your carpet, as you so often like to remind us!
Me: Don't you dare! Go lay down!
Lilac (walking in a circle by the door, sniffing intently): Did you say something?
Me: You do not have to go that bad! You were just out a couple of hours ago! What is it you really want?
Lilac: I'm STARVING! Take us out so we can eat!
Me: If you wouldn't be so finicky about eating in the morning, you wouldn't be hungry now.
Lilac: That was a long time ago! I'm old, dammit! Take me out and feed me!
Me: If I take you, I have to take everybody.
Hawk (leaping off the bed and running in circles): Oh yes! Take me! Take me! I've gotta pee RIGHT NOW!
Me: You planned it like this on purpose!
Lilac (licking her toes): Who me? Well, now that you mention it, I am obviously the brains of this operation...
Me: Both of you -- lay down! It's too early!
Bunny (jumping up to steal Lilac's toy from her mouth): Oh, it's the time of day when Lilac will play! Let's see who wins today!
Lilac (glaring at me while she fights for the rabbit): I will get you for this! Turn loose, whippersnapper!
Me: That should keep you busy until it's time to go out!
Blueberry (still asleep on her artfully fluffed bed): Zzzzzzz! Wake me when it's really time to go out!
So, Bunny entertains herself with Lilac for a short while. It doesn't take long for Lilac to wear out and she goes to the cushy foam bed and rests her old lady bones for a while. Time passes and I look at the clock. It's usually passed time for them to go out, so I stand up.
Me: Who has to go out?
Hawk (immediately leaping off his bed): Me! Me! Me!
Bunny (running over beside him): What's going on? Don't leave me out! Will there be petting?
Blueberry (cracking an eye open and lifting an ear): Are we really going out this time?
Me: Come on guys, let's go!
So, we get to the back door and I have three eager hounds with me. I call for Lilac. I begin attaching leashes to collars. I call for Lilac again. I open the back door and take three hounds out to the pens. I come back in the house. I call for Lilac. I walk into the kitchen. Lilac finally looks up at me from the cushy dog bed.
Me: Lilac, let's go! It's time to go outside so we can come in and eat!
Lilac (yawning): It's time to go out? Eh, I'm not really in the mood.
Me: You were all over my case a while ago! Now's the time!
Lilac (picking up her rabbit): I'll let you take me outside, but it's hot out there, and I'm not going to do anything...
Me: Yeah, yeah! Let's go.
So, we walk out to the pen, and she looks them both over. She looks up at me. I open a door and unclip her leash. She stands there. I grumble. Blueberry barks her displeasure over being outside for so long. Like mother, like daugher, I fear. I open the other pen door and she tiptoes in, like a dainty maid tiptoeing through the tulips. I come back in the house, get their food ready, and go back outside to bring them in.
Hawk beelines for his dinner bowl. Bunny heads for hers after sniffing to see what's in Blueberry's bowl first. Blueberry comes in, grabs a mouthful of food and takes it to a dog bed to eat it. Lilac walks in, does not even sniff the food, and finds her bed to lay down.
I'm not even sure that she knows what she wants at this point.