Up and at em! That’s how Buster expects us to begin his day, because he has plenty of pressing business to attend to.
First, he has an early morning treat. His breakfast of champions and then it’s walk time. This is when Buster sniffs animal doo doo, pees on the neighbour’s tires and scopes the landscape for animals. He also marks every significant clump of snow, rock, tree, tire or sapling with his pee-coded security whiz.
Oh, and this is strictly hush hush, but, very, very occasionally, Buster likes to snack on animal droppings which contain seven or more secret spices.
And by the way, if, on his walk, he happens to slip and fall on the ice, I don’t laugh or smirk. He has a sense of humour, but not that kind of sense of humour and if I show any degree of hilarity, he’ll charge me, body slam me, bite my clothes, swear furiously and show plenty of sharp teeth at me.
Near the end of our walk we pick up a newspaper. Buster will grab the plastic-wrapped newspaper and then the fun begins, because the training is not going well. At least not for me. Sometimes he’ll actually carry the paper home, but most times he will either remove the plastic wrapper and then drop the paper, tooth the proverbial crap out of the paper, or play keep-away-and-tear. It’s an on-going learning experience for one of us.
After he suffers through this work-place harassment he gets a treat and then it’s a few minutes of chase-the-shoe-bottom. When the game ends it’s back to the treat stool, where he selects his treat of choice.
Also, I do a few exercises three times a week. Buster does them with me. He lies on the floor and rolls over, or sticks his bum up in the air or lies on his stomach and does his bicycle peddling thing. When we’re finished and are showered he goes to his treat stool.
Also, we often, at this time, share a drink of Ovaltine which he drinks from his all-purpose home-made ceramic green mug.
Soon his afternoon schedule begins. It starts with Buster bothering Sue. Nudging Sue. Getting Sue to, for pete's sake, hurry up and eat her lunch. Because after her lunch is afternoon hike time.
After Sue has bolted down her lunch and popped an antacid tablet, Buster leads her to the washroom and then follows her in. I call him a pervert. Sue says he’s guarding her.
On the afternoon hike he gets an opportunity to stop and check out the cats who live with our neighbours. He often wants to hang around this cat house and last summer he suddenly began to take an interest in eating grass. Which just happened to be growing in front of the kitty-cats’ house. Sue said it was for his digestion. I said it was a tactical delay.
He will rest for awhile and then, at some point before supper, he’ll rouse himself and stroll to the treat stool. Also, at supper he gets hand-outs and when our meal is over he might actually eat his meal and then expect a treat for eating his meal.
At around eight or so, he gets an Oinkie or some other kind of cigarette/cigar substitute. He’ll lie between us on the couch and chew his treat. The Oinkie, by the way, is a large, pork-over-chicken-covered cigar.
At ten pm, he’s let outside to unload, check the grounds and bark away intruders. When finished, he scratches at the door, we obediently let him in, harass him a tad and then he walks to his treat stool.
Soon it’s bed-time, when he gets a bed-time treat. That’s also the time when we walk around the trailer and scoop up Buster’s half finished treats.
When he’s finished eating, he’ll wait until we are in bed before he hops on the bed with some partially smoked treat butt.
And look out! Because when he’s settled down on the bed he becomes one miserable tyrant. Touch him with your foot and you get a good cursing, so we often lie in almost impossible yogic positions so we won’t disturb the poor little fella.
Then it’s nigh-nigh time.
PS: Did anybody take the time to count how many treats Buster gets during his work day?