So much has been happening in the news, that I find myself curling in a little. I feel a bit overwhelmed, and unable to formulate coherent thoughts on current events enough to compile them into anything useful. Instead, I am falling back and paying a little attention to our good boy, Duke.

He had a big day yesterday. It has been a little while since he visited with anyone, and though he has always been a good little visitor, he’s bigger now and has oh-so-much energy. I wasn’t sure how a visit with Grandma Hahn (Doug’s mom) and her tiny dog, Katie, would go.

It started with a two and a half hour drive south. He’s had a little issue in the past about getting into vehicles but – in his defense – we have trouble getting in and out of those vehicles. Since one of those vehicles is on its way out, we recently acquired a used mini-van (named Roy), and I love it! Apparently, so does Duke; he popped right in there, no fuss, no muss, no prancing or dancing or whining, and no need to bribe the boy.

He investigated the back (we had the seats down, so he had the whole place to himself), and he poked his head up to the front hoping for a pet from Doug-the-driver, or I. Mostly, he just lay down – either completely ignoring the bag-bed we placed for him, or even better, lying half-on, half-off. He’s so weird.

At Grandma’s he had an accident in the house because we kind of forgot to make sure he took care of all business before going into the house, but that was quickly remedied and forgiven. Doug’s sister and brother-in-law were there, too. Duke proceeded to entertain us all with his goofiness.

Duke has a problem. He is an obsessive fetcher, so of course, there was fetching almost right away. He promptly invaded Katie’s toy basket and stole a rawhide. He was not so much interested in chewing the rawhide, as he was in having a fetch. He wandered from person to person, dropping the rawhide onto their laps, or at their feet. The closest he came to being naughty was when he wandered into one bedroom and proudly carried out the fluffy stuffed red and white dog that had been on the bed; he dropped it for me right away. A little while later, he wandered into the master bedroom and proudly carried out the big, fluffy, white, stuffed, polar bear – it was almost as big as him. He dropped that right away, too.

Katie, poor thing, was up on Grandma’s lap – shivering – the whole time. Duke didn’t do anything, she was just scared of the big boy. She watched him though, as he pulled one toy at a time out of the toy basket. He found a couple of balls, Clifford the Big Red Dog, a spiffily clad plush Fox, a striped plush bone, a lion head, and a turtle. Each toy he brought to one of us in hopes that we would throw.

Doug’s mom made us a nice lunch of cold-cuts, pickles, chips, and celery; Duke sniffed. He did at one point paw up to the kitchen table where the goodies were but got down when I asked (don’t tell anyone, but he seemed to have a hankering for the green olives, and there’s a chance he got one). Otherwise, he just looked hopefully – mostly at Doug (three guesses why) – in hopes of an offering.

He was non-stop movement, as Doug and I knew he would be and promised he would be. The dog just doesn’t know how to settle down until…and this brings me to the photo. What you see is a rarity – Duke had lain down. The only time he lies down at home is when we tuck him in his six-foot diameter round pen. It is strange to be proud of such a simple thing, but that’s not the only reason I am proud, it is just the most shocking.

We took our leave with many waves, and Duke patiently suffered the long way home. About three-quarters of the way home, he wandered up to the front and gave me a pitiful look that clearly asked, “Are we there yet?” I told him it would be a little bit longer, and he went and settled down on his bag-bed.

Good boy, Duke.

~ Linda

As always, thank you for your comments, and thanks for reading and indulging this tribute. -L