Something has changed. Although it's been coming on, it was not until a moment that happened about twelve minutes ago, I realized the transfer of power is now complete. Oh, many changes have come about in the last week since King Henry - King of the Shi-Poos - has taken the throne. For example, I should have sensed the change was now permanent when I realized that I have been up before break of day (waaaay before dawn) for the last seven days. I should have clued in when I realized the first aroma that meets me in the mudroom is that of a healthy blend of vegetables, protein, and crunchy goodness that ensures a shiny coat. I definitely knew something was brewing when as I sat at the breakfast table this morning, over my bowl of Life cereal - the same breakfast I have methodically eaten for the last twenty years - I slowly became aware of a whirl of high speed chase spinning around me and the entire first floor. King Henry was evidently ready for his daily exercise. This included a full throttle, four legged, ears flying sprint that began in the kitchen, skidded through the dining room, flipped up the floor rug in the office, and ended with a curtain-billowing race behind the sofa - about seventeen times. These all should have been the tell-tale signs that a puppy has been crowned and is now wielding his authority at the Burns house.
However, the "Ah-ha Moment" that confirmed that I have become a peasant in my own home was when I returned to my home this morning after a few hours of classroom volunteering. The excitement that my puppy feels when he sees me... somehow... makes him lose control of his bodily functions. It's very flattering. Not really. So after much consulting, reading and discussion of these matters, I have been lead to believe that if I want to stop this behavior, I need to approach the King at his level. This means that I have to go all "Mission Impossible" through the living room until he comes into view. At that point, I then get down on all fours and oh so carefully, approach his crate with my eyes meeting his - so he knows I am not interested in dominating him... and ultimately he is supposed to keep his fluids in the appropriate storage areas of his body. I am not talk to him or pet him until we are outside and the deed has been done.
But here's my question... what if I do want to be the boss... and I want him to know that? For the love of Pete, I want some living being in this house to know that I am in charge! It's not enough that I have become a professional schlepper of kids, their belongings, their companions, and their companion's belongings - now here I am - army crawling through my living room in the dark of night, using code words and signals - just to schlep my dog out the door to use the outdoor facilities! What have I become?
And there it is. He may look all cute and furry... but at the end of the day, he's just a soft, happy, friendly bundle of pent up fluids.