Monthly Archives: August 2012
Detective Adam Hollinger here. I’ve been busy getting back to school. Most kids don’t like going back to school–I must be the only kid who does. Anyway, I’ve been gone long hours–Autumn League is really picking up, and I have baseball practice almost every day after school now. Coach is using me to pitch more and more. Dad even says I might get a scholarship for pitching one day, but he has to remember that I’m only in fifth grade!
Anyhow, the corgis are still getting used to me being gone so long. Courtney comes home right after school, so I have to trust her to take care of Zeph and Sapphie. I’m not sure she’s doing such a good job, and here’s why:
Zeph’s been more scared than usual. I think it’s because Sapphie’s been crazier than normal. Sapphie’s an energetic little dog. She was the runt of the litter, and she makes up for her size with her energy. She needs lots of attention, and she just doesn’t get enough while I’m at school. Courtney really needs to play with her more, but she’s always obsessed with her cell phone and some new friends she has.
I came home from school today and found this:
It’s the metal covering to the air-conditioning duct in the kitchen floor. It was lifted clear out of its place. After I snapped the picture, I put it back. It weights a good two or three pounds–solid metal. And to lift it out of its place, it has to be raised three or four inches in the air. I don’t know how Sapphie moved it, but I know it was her. Zeph wouldn’t do a thing like that. Even if he wanted to, he’d be too scared. And besides, that silly-looking pink toy? It’s one of Sapphie’s favorites. There’s one more thing. Zeph’s snugly rocketship bed was wet when I came home. That’s right: someone had peed on it! And I doubt Zeph would pee on his own bed. Besides, Sapphie’s the one being difficult with the housebreaking.
So I was wondering if you could help me out. What do you think happened in the picture above? How did that heavy metal grate get moved? Why was Sapphie’s favorite toy left nearby, and who peed on Zeph’s bed (and why?)? I’ve put on my detective hat and started to think about it, but I could use your help. Let me know what you think. I’m just glad Sapphie and Zeph have grown big enough so they can’t fit in the vent shaft. Can you imagine? Sapphie crawling through the ventilation system of our house? How would we ever get her out?
Well, time to finish my homework so I can get to sleep. I was pitching all afternoon and need my rest. Be sure to check back soon. You’ll be able to read about my newest adventure in just a few short weeks. It’s called Corgi Capers: Spinelli the Sorceress. It’s a Halloween-themed tale.
While you’re waiting, take another look at the picture, and let me know if you can figure out what happened!
…or at least her Lady-in-Waiting.
Some months ago, I sent the Queen of England a copy of Corgi Capers to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. I figured: the Queen loves corgis, and the book makes reference to certain elements of British history. The story takes place in Pennsylvania and includes references to the War of the Roses (with Lancaster and York Counties in PA being named after their counterparts in England). In fact, Adam’s baseball team is called the Reds, with the red rose inside of a baseball as their logo. I wasn’t sure about British etiquette, and I didn’t know whether she’d personally receive or respond to my gift, but a few of my friends and family members encouraged me to send it. This summer I received a letter from the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting:
Whether or not the Queen actually read my message to her, I was touched by the message and thought it would be interesting to share.
If you haven’t read Corgi Capers yet, you can find it on Amazon.com (and can even borrow it for free if you’re an Amazon Prime member with a Kindle) or at www.dancingwithbearpublishing.com.
Do your pets have morning routines? What is their favorite part of the day? The corgis are most affectionate in the morning—each day they act as if they haven’t seen me in years! It’s one of the things I love about dogs. Here’s a typical corgi weekday:
The day starts at 4:55, when the corgi’s person makes her way down the stairs. It’s still dark out, so they have no idea why she would bother getting up. Nonetheless, Yoda obediently greets her while Leia lifts her head to the irritating kitchen light, yawns, and cozies back in bed.
Yoda watches from afar as his person makes coffee, breakfast, and lunch—he has to make sure everything is in order. If his person does anything out of routine, he lets out an alarming bark to let her know it. He only approaches when the ice cube dispenser is activated, at which point he runs over to catch any ice cube casualties that hit the floor.
Leia remains in bed.
Soon, the corgis’ other person descends to the kitchen. The corgis both give him a quick howl, but he heads straight for
the coffee machine while their first person continues making and packing lunch. At this point, the Leia deigns to get out of bed, and the corgis lie parallel to each other, watching both people with deadpan seriousness. Getting ready in the morning is, after all, a serious business.
After the corgis’ other person leaves for work—that’s when the fun starts! The corgis get to race down the stairs and run outside. Sometimes, if they’re lucky, there are moths or bugs on the patio that they can chase. Sometimes there are even birds in the garden or squirrels on the fence. Those are the best kinds of mornings. The corgis race to the edge of their domain, ears perked and ready to defend against those pesky creatures of the suburbs.
Like a good dog, Yoda does his business in a timely manner and comes back to the door. With Leia, it all depends. If the grass is too tall, it is okay to chase squirrels or birds in, but it’s not okay to use the bathroom in. If the grass is too dewy, it’s okay to chase bugs across, but it’s not okay to use the bathroom in. If it’s too hot outside or the wind is blowing in from the north… well, you get the idea. On days like this, stubborn Leia’s person comes out and points at her, directing her to do her business.
She responds by coming right over and rolling onto her back, submissive. But it’s not submission, not really. It’s a challenge. Leia’s person has tried time and again to beat her in a test of wills, but Leia held out once for 23 minutes. That’s a long chunk of a person’s morning. So now, whenever Leia flips on her back, she is promptly put on a leash and taken out to the front yard, where she will take care of her business in about two seconds flat and prance back inside, happy to be given special treatment—and happy to have trained her person so efficiently.
When the corgis return inside, it’s all cuddles and jealousy, fighting for their person’s attention. Leia gets so excited that she has to find her “growly rope,” which she chomps down on to release her excess excitement (otherwise she accidentally bites her person, and that never makes for a good morning). When the corgis settle down, their person asks them, “Are you hungry?” They lick their lips simultaneously, which always seems to entertain their person for some reason. Then the eating begins.
Yoda eats at a steady pace, not hurried yet not leisurely. As he nears the end of his bowl, he often growls at his sister—for good reason. Leia eats at an uneven pace, waiting for her brother to start, and then digging in with the speed (and sound effects) of a ravenous pig. She finishes first and puts her ears into full-alert mode, stalking her brother and his dish. As soon as he finishes, she rushes to his empty dish and licks it clean just in case it wasn’t already.
By this time, the corgis’ person is usually sitting at the counter for breakfast. Yoda rushes to her left and Leia rushes to her right. They look up expectantly. They’re corgis, after all, and demand attention. Their person pets them each with her toes—for a minute or two. And then she has the audacity to stop! Yoda makes his disapproval known with a low “wooo.” If it is ignored, the “wooo” is upgraded to an all-out howl, repeated in short intervals until his person realizes her mistake and continues petting him with her toe.
Leia is less vocal, though no less insistent. When her person makes the mistake of ignoring her, Leia claws her softly with her paws, increasing the duration and intensity of the clawing until her person succumbs to petting. Then, the corgis wait. They listen carefully to their person’s sounds. Their ears have become so attuned to the noises of human eating that they know when their person is finished. And when that final sound rings—whether it’s the dropping of a fork on a plate, or the scraping of a napkin against a cheek, they jump from their blissful petting and compete for a prime mooching spot. Sometimes their person puts a plate down on the floor, and they can lick scraps of egg or the last bit of milk from a cereal bowl. But sometimes their person says nasty things like, “I’m not giving you guys syrup” or “there’s nothing to lick off this plate.” Those phrases are unacceptable, and the corgis let their person know it by drawing their ears back and making their eyes look as cute and pathetic as possible.
Their person is then required to give them a cookie. It works every time. She even sometimes lets them do tricks for the treats, and tricks make the cookies taste even better!
After breakfast, their person sometimes goes to the couch to read for a bit. If this is the case, the corgis fight over who gets to sit closest to her head. Yoda usually jumps onto the couch first, curling up at her feet. Not to be outdone, Leia jumps onto her person’s lap, sometimes trying to nose her way between her person and her person’s book (that never turns out well for Leia).
But sometimes their person goes to the kitchen table to type on that glowing screen she likes so much. If this is the case, Yoda howls in excitement, and Leia grabs her growly rope and wiggles her body in happiness. They vie for the prime spot right up against the table’s center pillar, where they can—you guessed it—howl or paw at their person until she pets them with her toes while typing away on that glowing screen.
Unfortunately, even the happiest of corgi mornings has to come to an end. Many mornings, their person goes upstairs to get dressed and go to a thing called work. She must like it a lot, for she’s always there. But the corgis don’t mind too much. By the time their person leaves, they’ve had quite a lot of fun, and they’re ready for their early-morning nap. Sometimes, in the early summer, their person stops going to work, and it annoys the corgis for the first few days. How are they supposed to nap with their person home all the time? Chasing her around the house and making sure she’s following her normal routines is tiring work as it is—and doing that full-time can be quite draining.
Luckily, the corgis get to rest all day so that when their person returns from work, they’re two bundles of energy ready to do it all over again!
So what about you? Do your pets have morning routines? Quirks? Comment below to share!