Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta

Doink Doink DoinkDoink Doink Doink

| Filed under Guide dogs writing


Well, readers, this is yet another post about dogs. It’s been just a little over 6 months since Bailey has come into our lives and I am satisfied with his progress thus far. He is a sweet boy, but he can be bossy. I think that is a male thing, though. I’m talking about assertive and unaggressive in-your-face pushy. He is energetic, sweet and loves attention.


Jerry and April told me that Bailey grabs Verona’s leather collar and pulls her to try to get her to play. This is after rubbing a toy in her face, whapping her in the head, and play bowing and verbalizing. He is either ignored or given the brush-off. Verona will, when possible, hide behind one of the humans as if to say, ‘save me from this big goofus’.

So, I take off her collar and re-direct him. I don’t get mad I just convince him to do something else. It only works half of the time, though; he is a very single-minded dog.


I must say at this point that Nikka does not tolerate any of this from Sir Bailey. If he begins to treat her the same way as he treats Verona, she will bark, chase him, and put him in his place. Let me say that knowing Sir Bailey tucks tail and makes for safe ground is quite amusing. The only animal who dominates Nikka is the cat. Hehehehe

This character trait works out very well when guiding. He has a great energy and drive, especially when he is familiar with the surroundings and we can relax in our work. I love it when he picks up the pace and we fly. The feeling makes all the effort worthwhile and I know I made the right choice in 2009 when I first picked up a harness handle.


Anyway, our latest power struggle is food time. In class meals were at 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. with a water and relieving break in-between. After a few months at home, he began bothering me at 5:30 a.m. At this time he was on tie-down beside my side of the bed. I would re-settle him and wait until 6. Then we went to California and the time change screwed up everything. Now, he is often bothering me at 4 a.m. I think it’s partly due to having night owl hours with Jerry, who can’t sleep from post-surgery pain; he will take the dogs out to distract himself from the pain and when this happens, Bailey thinks, hey, it’s morning and time to eat!


Then, Verona joins in and I am roused, doinked and otherwise accosted by canine noses until I sit up. It’s very unbecoming, my eyes full of sleep, my hair a mess, and my mind barely registering that I am sitting up. Oy, ugly.

But this matters not when puppy tummies are empty and there is kibble two rooms away. After a few rounds of ‘no, lay down, go back to sleep’ and ‘it’s not time yet,’, I flop back down and huddle under the covers, as if it will signal to them to stop bothering me.

Then I notice that my bladder is bursting. I lay there, thinking, that if I get up, all bets are off and the doinking of noses and snuffling will start up again. So I lay there, miserable, praying that I fall back to sleep, knowing I won’t.


As my aching bladder throbs, I dare to poke out a finger from under the covers to touch my I phone to hear the time. Bailey must be watching me because as soon as I move, he pops up and doinks me with his big, wet nose. I retreat under the covers after getting the time check. 30 minutes have passed and my bladder is screaming. I have to get up. I tuff it out until 4:45 and fling off the cover and make it just in time to the bathroom. I am, of course, accompanied by both bailey and Verona.

Then, I walk down the hall, being herded by a dog to each side of me, taking turns licking my hands, doinking the back of my legs with their heads. They make sure I don’t turn into the kitchen and herd me into the office, whereupon I pick up the food bowls and begin dispensing tasty goodness in the form of kibble.


So, readers, here is a Monty Python-esque piece based on these experiences — hope it makes you smile.



Upon the hour of 3

Ye canine shall entice the Master

With four legged antics,

Frolicking exploits

And other doggerel

to thereby convince the Master

To fill Ye Holy Kibble Pail


Ye canine will not,

Repeat, not,

Attempt to entice the Master

Before the strike of 3 of the clock


Feeding of the canine shall not

be at the strike of the one hour,

nor the two hour,

but at the hour of three

As decreed by the

Most Noble Master and Keepr of Ye Royal Kibble.


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