What the Maggie-dog Saw - Christmas 2011
Hello, I'm Christie's dog Maggie, a black lab/mastiff mix. I
live in a house with these 5 people: Stephen,
Christie, Amanda, Elliott, and Geoff.
I think. The living arrangements this year have been
confusing. The house is nice, very open with all different
colored walls and a comfy couch, which technically
I'm not allowed on, smirk. It's true, though, that the wood floor can
get kinda chilly and it's
hard to get purchase when I need to scrabble up quickly. But,
there's a nice
big yard and when I'm feeling spry, I can pretty much make it all the
way up the hill in the backyard, which is more than I can say for my
pudgeball master. Just kidding! On our Christmas card, the
log we're sitting on or in front of is just over the top of the hill
behind the house.
The year started off pretty well for me. After a brief stay with
us, Geoff was out on his
own again and he took his puppy, Kila
(annoying little rascal, if you ask me). I had the attentions of the
humans to myself again! But then Elliott
went to stay with his aunt & uncle in Pennsylvania for a while, so
he could try out a new school. Right after he left, there was more snow
here than I remember ever
seeing before. Christie
had to light candles and use flashlights around the house a lot.
By the time Stephen
returned from taking Elliott up north, the lights were working again
but there was
still enough snow that kids were snowboarding down highway embankments
(no school all week! more time to pester Christie and Amanda for attention and walks in
Then things got weird. First Kila
moved back in with us. Each day started with her whining to be let out
crate, then trying to get into my food after eating her own, then
running over to chew on my ears (told you she was an annoying
rascal). Next, Geoff
moved back in and stayed in the basement room for a few months.
It made up for not having Elliott
stumbing around the house, coming up to raid the fridge, except most
evenings Geoff left (he
was a "server") and
came back smelling of all sorts of foods, enough to make me want to
slobber all over the floor. Right before summer Elliott came back
from Pennsylvania but Geoff moved out again, into a
house with some buddies. Trouble is, he didn't take Kila with him!
Elliott was so tired of school he decided
to get something called a GED. He had it by the end of summer.
Then he spent most of his time like me - eating and sleeping.
That lasted until November!
spends lots of time studying - she's smart! - but also singing,
clomping around the floors ("dancing" they
say) and reciting things over and over. Seems she enjoys the
In February she left for a few days and came back talking about
Broadway shows and the sights of New York. Didn't mention what
sort of fire hydrants they had there...too bad. Since dogs aren't
allowed to go to shows I missed her part in the play about society
and their strange alter egos that say what the polite society ladies
thinking. Amanda was one of those alter egos - missed seeing her
scary makeup! Bet she put a photo on Facebook. When will
there be a Snoutbook for woofers like me? I'd like to see some of
those funny photos. When cats look at photos, all they see are
the little dots - another way dogs are better than cats.
Also this big guy named Macauley
comes around and sits in front of the TV with Amanda, or eats with us,
and sometimes gives me (almost
attention, scratching my head. Nice guy, he sure comes around a
lot. Sometimes he and Amanda go off all dressed up, and wake me
up when they come back. Not so nice, that.
was here we'd go to the dog park a lot more than when it's just me.
Guess puppies need their exercise more than old folks - if there
were a doggie AARP, I'd be a member. At the park I just loaf around, or
find new people to cajole into scratching my head,
while the pups chase after each other like crazy. When things get
too rowdy I referee a bit. One good
"woof" generally calms them down. It was at the dog park
that Kila met her new owner, and later Kila went and lived somewhere
else, which is okay because now I can quit worrying about my chew bones getting scarfed up or
my ears getting pulled off. Well, I do miss her being around
...sometimes. She was funny and pretty cute when she wasn't
jumping all over me.
After summer things got weird again. Stephen
packed up and left for weeks at a time, something Christie
called a "sabbatical" without complaining...too much. While she held
down the fort and kept the home fires burning (we dogs tend to talk in
cliches and platitudes) he was in Ohio trying to get computers to
figure out what
they were seeing through webcams and watching Netflix all night.
Computers aren't even as smart
as dogs. I can spy out when scraps are left on the table or the
stove or when food falls on the floor. Then I'm on it right
quick! Let's see a computer do that. Yet, for some reason
everyone in the house will stare at them for hours at a time, while I
just lay on the floor looking pitiful. Stupid computers.
Once autumn came and things cooled off Elliott
started working at a place called the Amazon.com warehouse, but only at
night! He said he was mistaken three times for a celebrity
survivor. I mean, a geeky looking dude that was kicked off the
island on Survivor. Someone even asked Elliott for an autograph,
thinking he was John Cochran. Took us some time to figure out what
Elliott meant, we never watch "reality" TV...real reality in this house
is confusing enough! Stephen
came back around Thanksgiving which was good, I
get to ride in the car when he runs errands. That's always fun.
And there was turkey - Thanksgiving snacks are the best. Next
thing I knew, Stephen left
again but Geoff
moved back in! Geoff doesn't really pay me any mind. Well,
sometimes when I'm all stretched out on the floor he'll say "hey, rug."
makes pizzas and salad and stuff now at the Mellow Mushroom so he still
comes home smelling
of food - wish he'd bring me a doggie bag.
came back last weekend with lots of book boxes, so I guess he's back
for good. And sure enough, I got to go in the car with him while
he ran errands the very next day. I think Christie
saves up all the errands for him to run when he gets back. I sure
don't mind, especially when he throws pretzels in the back seat for me
to hoover up. He says sometimes he wished I could have gone up
with him for company, where he was living alone in a rented room.
Guess there was a nice park nearby to hike around when it wasn't
cold. Think I might have liked that, but I liked being around
Christie all day better. When she was teaching, I would just be
alone all day but now that she's "free" and able to stay home when she
wants I get a lot more attention.
The boys are both talking about how they're going to start studying at
Chatt. State Community College next month. Elliott won't be able to work his
job anymore but he'll be a full-time student again. Amanda's singing songs around the
house, for a production of "The Music Man" in the
spring. Stephen will be back
teaching at Sewanee and being home most everyday (and taking me in the
car), and Christie
will stay home with me or keep volunteering at the Community
Kitchen. And hopefully bringing back doggie bags. She better!