A Three Dog Night

I agreed to dogsit for two friends while they vacationed in Greece. I stayed in the home of The Mama, a beautiful, independent, occasionally indignant, red Siberian husky. Staying with us for the duration were two miniature long-haired dachshunds. Effie Mae and Pearl Jean are two cream-colored half-sisters, short, pretty, and comical as only weenies can be.

Directions on the care of these three took some learning. Pearl Jean, deaf since birth, understands several hand signals which I had to master. The Mama is blind in one eye and requires a daily series of eye drops. Effie Mae has an uncontrollable urge to lick people. Anywhere. Anytime.

My traveling friends have known each other for years. Their dogs are well acquainted and see each other often so it was no major production when the weenies were brought over for their stay with The Mama and me. Pearl Jean, a bit shorter in length than her half-sister, waddled over to greet The Mama. Effie Mae, who outright adores The Mama, raced ahead to reach her before Pearl Jean.

The weenies sat and looked up admiringly at The Mama.

The Mama stood and looked down on the weenies with disgust.

She huffed, blowing just enough air from her mouth to make her cheeks puff. With obvious loathing she left the kitchen to go to the living room sofa – her throne. The Mama knows weenies are unable to jump onto sofas.

They can’t jump onto beds either – which I was reminded of that first night. The Mama slept on her regal pad beside the bed. I assumed the weenies would be happy with the beds I made for them on the floor near The Mama.

They were not.

Instant yapping indicated that they expected to sleep with me. I lifted them onto the bed and their yapping mercifully ceased as they dug here and there, balling up the sheets into acceptable bedding. They curled up in silence. I couldn’t believe those two diminutive divas demanded to sleep on the bed. Neither could The Mama.

She huffed from her regal pad.

In the silence of the night and in a state of half-sleep I was awakened by the piercing yap-howl of Pearl Jean. I looked at her, unsure of what a deaf dog would bark at in the night. She looked back at me, puzzled that I wasn’t as alarmed by what she wasn’t hearing as she was. Effie Mae, used to such nonsense, did no more than lift her head momentarily before going back to sleep.

The Mama huffed.

In the wee hours of the morning, after having slept for less than half the night, I was roused by very strange sensations. Through the fog of sleep deprivation I became aware of something licking my feet. Even more disturbing, something was licking the inside of my mouth. With flashbacks of a party I attended in my college days that I probably should have skipped, I instantly awoke. Both weenies halted their licking to waddle closer to be petted, tails wagging.

I hadn’t slept enough, my feet were wet, and my mouth tasted like, well, I shudder to imagine. It was a miserable night and I knew no one on earth could be as disgusted as I was at that moment.

The Mama huffed.

The next day, like every other for two weeks, The Mama had to be given her series of eye drops. For “allowing” this, she was given a treat of a few chunks of rotisserie chicken. I was left several chickens’ worth of meat in the freezer for this purpose. Each day I shook the eye drops to mix them well. The Mama endured them graciously and awaited her chicken treat.

The weenies soon learned that the shaking of eye drops meant the presence of chicken.

I could hardly give The Mama a treat and not give one to the weenies…

With that policy in place I went through all of the chickens in the freezer, bought several more, and realized Pearl Jean’s collar was fitting a bit tighter than when she first arrived. She also waddled more slowly. Effie Mae loved the chicken too, but obsessed with licking my ankles she missed many treats.

In addition to her licking obsession, Effie Mae liked to stare. I never knew at what precisely. She sat in the yard and stared into the sky, at the grass, or at a tree. In the house she stared at walls, the refrigerator, and herself in a full length mirror in the bedroom. She was staring at the leg of a table one night when the phone rang. It was a call from Greece.

As I described how smoothly things had been going, I yawned. It could have been the sleep deprivation that made me drop the latest rotisserie chicken purchase that I had been holding when the phone rang. Effie Mae stopped staring at the table leg to stare at the fallen chicken. Pearl Jean barked at something she didn’t hear. Things were going just fine, I reassured my friends.

The Mama huffed.

By the time my two week dog sitting stint wrapped up, the dogs and I had worked ourselves into very comfortable patterns. The weenies learned to get on and off the bed by themselves using a “ladder” I fashioned from a chair and some cushions, occasionally I placed something new in the floor for Effie Mae to stare at, and Pearl Jean’s collar fit a little better because I had learned to shake the eye drops quietly. The Mama? Well, she’s The Mama.

My friends returned bearing unbelievable gifts from Greece for my watching their dogs. They were glad things had gone well, commented that The Mama seemed fine, that the weenies looked particularly well fed, and they hoped it hadn’t been too much trouble.

I told them of course it was no trouble at all and that I’d do it again without hesitation. During a pause in our conversation, Pearl Jean barked at absolutely nothing and Effie Mae stared at my leg and then licked it. They really were comical. Who wouldn’t enjoy spending two weeks with those two dwarf divas?

The Mama huffed.

Stuart M. Perkins

61 Comments

Filed under dachsund, dog, friend, friends, husky, vacation

61 responses to “A Three Dog Night

  1. laurie

    Made me smile!

  2. LOL!!! Too wonderful!!!

  3. Francisco A. Laguna

    As The Mama’s dad, THANK YOU! The 3 pups love you!

  4. Annette Rochelle Aben

    ridiculously funny! WOOF!!!

  5. Awesome story! So well written, enjoyed every word and sentence. 🙂

  6. What a delightful story! I can just picture all 3 dogs and each event you describe.

  7. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:
    This is such a delightful post that I just have to share it. God bless anyone who can dogsit for 3 dogs – I’m having a hard enough time with my own Puppy Cody (who, thankfully, is finally settling down).

  8. You sure know how to roll out a story! I thoroughly enjoyed this!

  9. tellthetruth1

    Made me feel cozy, reading this 😀

  10. Great story, really enjoyed!!

  11. kissysmom

    Bless all their little hearts!!! They sound like an adorable threesome, and I can just picture you trying to juggle all their needs at once. Good job — with the “adventure” and the writing! Kissy’s Mom

  12. jmpod

    Great story. Love the dog names – which were presumably changed to protect the innocent ! : )

  13. kissysmom

    Forgot to say that as a result of the story, I’m sort of partial to The Mama
    .

  14. Pingback: A Three Dog Night

  15. You tell such a delightful story, I want to meet those dogs and I’m a CAT person. 🙂

  16. Gloria

    I was partial to the doxies having grown up with one. They get what they want, for sure. I am reminded of the time you took care of my cat, Diamond. Much easier, but you didn’t get a story out of it.

  17. Laughed out loud-in the doctor’s office waiting room…which may or may not have garnered me some strange looks- but totally worth it! Love your lyrical style!

  18. LOL. Really got a bang out of this. The Mama sounds like my dog, but bigger, who huffs a lot when I dogsit my son’s little dogs. I get a lot of licking and yipping and cuddling, too.

    My brother swears his mini-dachshund licked his uvula once…

    You are always a bright spot in my day. 🙂

  19. Oh so cute. Can you sit my crazy labradoodle next time we go away!

  20. Love the story, the dogs, and the courageous sitter!

  21. What fun. Nothing like a dog story. You have a new follower thanks to Bette Cox.

  22. It all sounded so simple in the beginning, didn’t it? 🙂

  23. Stuart , you have the patience of a saint. My husband wouldn’t make it past reading the mouth licking part of your story. Haha. They sound so eccentric. Thanks for sharing your “adventures in dog sitting”. 😀

  24. Thanks so much for the dog story. It was almost like being there. It is always a breath of fresh air to find a Storyshucker in my reader.

  25. DogDharma

    Great story and great writing! I have two now pups — Cecil who is part chihuahua but only acknowledges his rat terrier part; and Grady, who is a mutt who claims his basenji roots. They would like to invite you to come and pet-sit. 🙂

  26. As always, I love reading your tales. 🙂

  27. Lovely story as always. The personalities of the dogs are so sharply rendered. 🙂

  28. I love your story. Dogs sure know how to bring a smile to our faces!

  29. diminutive divas…a deaf dog barking and looking at you…looking at nothing, this was some funny thing and very well written, I felt I was there with those beasts. Funny, and specially after I commented on your about page something about my dogs.

  30. LOL I loved this! We had a dachshund who went deaf in her later years and happily learnt many signs – but she also learnt quickly that if she looked the other way, she didn’t have to follow the command 🙂

  31. I smiled and laughed all the way through this story, not only because i was so funny, but because I have 3 dogs living with me and only one -a senior female dachshund, named “Lady”-about my age and a teenaged med.l build dog, (mixed breed) and his 8 week old puppy- I simply call, “Baby”. The thing is, they are all the same color and make quite a little family. My female was a breeder before I got her, and takes care of the puppy and
    lets him lie on her and bite her, even though she gives me a pleading look like “will pleasse get this little nuisance off me?” Maybe I should write a story too. Like several of the other commentators, I felt I was right there.
    I like he way you kept the story together with the repetition of the “mama
    huffing.” I don’t know if you did this on purpose, or not, but it worked!

  32. Reblogged this on clarabetty and commented:
    This is a humorous story about 3 dogs with personality and their dog sitter. Any dog lover should thoroughly enjoy it.

  33. Wonderful story. I have 4 wiener dogs who all sleep on the king sized bed along with two cats. Interesting sleeping arrangements. I built a ramp for mine which they learned to use pretty quickly. Thanks for stopping by my site.

  34. Loved this! You have a way with words, and with dogs.

  35. Reblogged this on Life and Day to Day things by a Pond Lover and commented:
    Wonderful story from a very funny and humorous dog lover

  36. Ooh! Love it! Yummy story 😀

  37. dog sitting stories get me all the time! 🙂

  38. Our cat sitters overfeed our little critters too. I just thankful they get a little love while the hubby and I are away! Cute story.

  39. Love it!!! I have way too many pets myself so I can feel the pain (love) of the routine. Great story!!

  40. This is the second time I’ve read this and I’m glad I forgot to ‘like” it the first time becau
    e it gave me the opportunity to do so now. I liked it even better the second time, perhaps because i could read it at my leisure. I loved your restraint and humor in this piece. And the mama huffed! (Mine snores.) Judy

  41. Beautifully written and very funny.

  42. Hi Stuart – I am so very new at this & am just discovering A WHOLE NEW WORLD!! Thanks for the like – BECAUSE now I’m following you!!! I almost coughed up a lung LAUGHING!!! I SO WISH I could write as well as you do!! It was so funny & entertaining LOVED IT ALL!!!

  43. jrrmbog

    What a wonderful story! I loved it. Well done, and thanks for sharing this with us.

  44. The BAO

    Lol. I am such a major dog lover. But that dog licking the insides of your mouth- well. I too shuddered there 😛

  45. Another great story told in loving detail. I’m a big fan of dogs myself, though I could do without being licked on the mouth by one–yuck! Thanks also for liking my poem “Role Play.” Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.

  46. adi9714

    hahaha Amazing.

  47. Haha so cute! Dogs are adorable creatures 😀

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