Monday, June 27, 2005

Border Collie routines

We're kinda new at this border collie stuff. But we're trying.

We've learned they're animals of ritual. Our ritual at our house involves a very set and well established daily routine.

First, there's the border collie standing on Lindsey's bladder. That usually occurs about the time the alarm is set to go off, 5 or 5:30 a.m. Our only problem there is that we haven't taught the border collies how to recognize the weekend, when we can all sleep later.

Lindsey gets up first, puts on his robe and goes out to get the newspaper.

The border collies lead the way, a lightning tag team versus our arthritic, sleep-weary joints, veering off to the right through Dave and Becky's yard and somewhere over to the Shaws' yard.

Lindsey toddles out, picks up the paper, shouts, "Gumbo, Roux, COME!" And the border collies blaze a path back into the house.

They park themselves on the bed, waiting for him to return with our coffee and newspaper.

He must, of course, return with the "Chuckit" toy and a tennis ball.

He tosses at first, I read the front section.

We start splitting up the sections of the newspaper.

He tosses.

I toss.

Gumbo has a sleek, roll-up-on-the-bed's-edge move. He drops the ball, ever so slightly out of our reach.

If we don't react quickly enough, he comes back up, rolling the ball ever closer. And if we are totally engrossed in the morning newspaper, he manages to come plant himself directly over whatever story I'm reading.

Roux, on the other hand, wants the affection and love that comes with completely delivering the ball and pouncing with her lanky, teen-aged puppy legs right up to us. She comes wagging her tail and often plants a kiss right after she's dropped the ball.

Considering where the balls have been -- I'm not sure that's the healthiest thing, but we haven't caught anything yet that we can attribute to dog kisses.


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