There is something about a dog that completes life. Every morning at 6am I hear the click click of dachshund nails on the hardwood floor of my bedroom. I hear the running start she takes to jump on the bed and then POW! Fourteen pounds of love landing on my sternum. Then I feel the warm dog breathe and wet tongue lick the entirety of my face. She pants in my face, “can we please get up now? Please, pant, please?” “No Rio we get up at 7 not 6.” I say. I then lift the covers up, patting at the bottom of the bed, “Come on,” I say in a high pitched tone. She rears with excitement and army crawls on her paws to the bottom of the bed.
This happens every morning. If she had it her way she would sleep there all night. For those of you who own dogs, isn’t it amazing how something smaller than your thigh can take up four times the amount of room as both your thighs put together? It is one of those mysteries of life.
I can’t deny that I love it when she wakes me up. It is impossible to be mad at something that is pleased to see you and so ready to spend their day doing nothing but running around a forest, an open field, barking, chasing rodents, (squirrels are her favorite) and waiting under the counter when I cook. “Alas!” Rio thinks as a bit of carrot or blob of sauce falls. “I live for this.” She says as she gulps the fallen food down.
Dachshunds are the ultimate fat kid at heart. One day while Rio was on a bark date with her friend Mafalda, disaster struck. I had warned my sister, who by the way is the owner of Mafalda, that Rio is smart. Here is how the conversation went:
“Kari, Rio knows how to open cupboards and the screen door.” I said.
“Yes I know, you told me.” She replied.
“I am serious. This is no joke. She will get the food.”
“Liz, I know. When are you picking Rio up?” she asks.
“At five. “ I reply.
So five came around and I opened my sister’s door. Rio was slumped on the couch, like a drunk in a stupor.
“Kari what happened?” I asked.
“Rio ate an entire Genoa Salami.” She said rinsing her hands in the sink.
“What did I tell you!?” I said looking over Rio. Her tail was the only thing she could move. Thump thump it went on the couch cushion. Her eyes were ecstatic. I could tell that no matter the amount of pain she was in, the pain was worth each and each gulp.
“I literally stepped out for a second to run the trash down to the dumpster.” Kari said.
“Where was the salami?” I asked.
“On the dining room table.” She said.
“Yeah she also knows how to jump on dining room chairs and get things off the table. Never leave her alone near food.” I said.
“She’s been farting.” Kari says.
“Yeah that will happen when a dog eats a log of meat that weighs more than they do.” I said trying to coxe Rio off the couch. She lifted her head as if to say, “Really? You think now is the perfect time to make me move.” I scooped her up off the couch and put her on the floor.
“Well we are off now. You’re a bad babysitter.” I said.
“Oh I forgot to tell you, she had dinner right before she ate the salami.”