The Popcorn Stand: The tail wags the owner

Today is National Dog Day, so you know I have to write about my two dogs, Pete, the shih tzu, and Tuf-Tuf (you know Sir Tuffington something or other), the Jack Russell.

Pete is 10 and Tuf-Tuf is going to turn 13 in November. But even though Tuf-Tuf is older, Pete is the elder statesman as he’s been in our house a lot longer, his whole life basically, while we adopted Tuf-Tuf a little more than two years ago.

So Pete is No. 1, although I have to admit I’m probably more attached to Tuf-Tuf. Though Pete always gets to be the first one to greet me when I come home. And I know Pete loves to keep Tuf-Tuf waiting before he gets to greet me. While Tuf-Tuf’s barks get louder and louder begging to jump up into my lap, Pete continues to rub his face into my chest as if to say “wait your turn.”

Pete isn’t a morning dog. He’s smarter than Tuf-Tuf that way. Tuf-Tuf starts whining, wanting to go outside as early as 6 a.m. and talking to other dog owners I’m lucky because some dogs get up even earlier than that.

I make Tuf-Tuf wait until 7 before I take him for about a short 10-minute walk down Nye near my house. When we return home Pete and Tuf-Tuf both get a snack. That seems to appease Tuf-Tuf for about an hour or so until he finally starts barking, a signal it’s time to go to the park.

By then, Pete seems ready too, joins in on the barking, and away we go to Sonoma Park where Tuf-Tuf wants to stay all of five minutes because he knows breakfast is possibly waiting at home. Pete just goes with the flow.

We generally stay at the park for maybe a half hour or so until Tuf-Tuf’s barking just becomes too annoying. His owner should really do something about that.

Actually, Pete and Tuf-Tuf have their owner trained pretty well.

— Charles Whisnand


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