When I first got to Skygate Farm I was rather hesitant about everything. After the first week or so I was much more relaxed with my surroundings, James and Ron, and with my new BFF Trek. His food and water bowls were up on a platform while mine were on the floor. At first I couldn’t reach his, but he sure could get to mine.
It didn’t take me long to learn that I needed to eat and drink everything James put before me or else Trek would have a go at it. His primary aim was my food, but he also would drink my water. As such, I not only ate everything right away, but I drank all the water that James put before me as soon as it appeared for fear that it would be consumed by Trek and I would die of dehydration.
Okay, I exaggerate. That is about Trek and his habits. Sure, he would eat my food, but he rarely drank my water. Still, I was afraid he would, so I took matters in mouth. I have to admit that I drank tons of water. The more the merrier, I’d say. I found that not only would I need to be excused every ten to fifteen minutes, but it meant James would take me outside so I could play. It was like getting a treat, only this type of treat wasn’t the kind you eat.
Oh, and when James took me out to relieve myself, it was without a leash. He stopped using that restraint since it required him to treat me simply for walking beside him, when what he wanted me to do was pee. I’d hold it as long as I could so I could get double and triple treats. I was on a roll! You should know that when you treat someone for peeing, they’ll try and pee as often as they can – just sayin’.
It was after a phone call James made to the American Kennel Club’s Help Line that my water supply dried up. Well, not completely. James would give me a measured amount of water. Still, I’d drink it right away so Trek wouldn’t get it and so I could go outside. But then I’d have to wait for a refill. Sometimes I waited what seemed like hours. James said I had no way of knowing the intervals between watering since all I did was either play, poop, pee, or sleep. Is nothing sacred? I have to say, not when James is around.
It wasn’t long before I could reach Trek’s bowl of water. Once James caught me, he separated our feeding and watering places. Neither Trek nor I appreciated being estranged. Well, maybe Trek was okay with it. I, on the other paw, appreciated it when Trek was around to play with. He was a super, duper BFF.
On the topic of water, James wrote a poem we thought you might enjoy reading. I’m of the opinion that he has stretched the truth somewhat, what some might call “alternative facts,” yet he claims not. After reading it you can make up your own mind. Without further ado….
gallon after gallon after gallon after gallon
is hastily slurped
as if you were a hamster on a wheel
instead of an Old English Sheepdog
it’s back-and-forth to the sink for me
as if I’m on a relay race as the only contestant
with nary time to catch my breath
before you stand over a void wanting more
your namesake was told
“There’s more at the door”
yet we keep going out of doors
to gratefully purge your bladder
what is it about that liquid
that gratifies without quenching
a treat on the floor
delight in a dish
would you drink our pond dry
leaving nothing for the aquatic inhabitants
perhaps you’re an amphibian
a new breed to be discovered
and once supposedly satiated
you crane your neck like a giraffe
reaching up and down into your buddy
Trek’s container positioned on a platform
the liquid sloshes through
your eleven-week-old body
nearly as fast as the vessels can be replenished
as every fifteen minutes it’s out the door or else
and there’s Trek
quenching his thirst
from your saucer
that years before was his
it’s for you
which both of you
will straightaway consume
what have we unleashed
which is worse
Trek indulging his craving till he throws up
or your attempting to extinguish an intolerable thirst
I would ordinarily ask
where one puts such a quantity but
I know on our rugs the dog beds and the
foyer mudroom hall kitchen dining room floors
you put plenty outside
but not nearly enough
soon I hope
I reach out for help
and am informed
your drinking excessively
is my fault
I’m giving you too much
you should be receiving
one ounce per pound
instead of at will
at twenty point eight pounds
yet I won’t be stingy
for you’ll get four ounces more
not nearly a gallon
your gluttony required multiple
you are healthy
happy with only a portion
the gods are smiling tonight
as are you
as is Trek
as am I
Another bit of information James received was from his vet – well, actually it’s my vet. He told James that around the fourth month of a puppy’s life we begin figuring out that the water we intake has a correlation to how often our bladder gets full. Today James leaves a huge bowl of water out for me. I take what I want when I want. That way we are both happy. I’ve learned not to go in the house, and I’m only taken outside four times during the day. I have to be careful.
Besides, I know if I go outside right away, we will most likely go back inside right away. I adore the outside, so I hold it for a long time. I don’t get any treats other than a “good boy” these days when I finally void my bladder. Even in the rain, I hold it. I tried to teach James to give me a treat if I voided quickly during the rain, but he didn’t take the bait. Truth be told, you can’t always teach an old dog new tricks – if you know what I mean.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this story and poem. In two weeks I’ll tell you about my experiences with shadows when I as a puppy. Please stay tuned and read it and the others to follow.
Also, let us know what your opinion of these stories and the poems James wrote. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a comment about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)
Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated