Visiting family not always relaxing for dogs

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.


– Anton Chekhov

Perhaps we treat our dogs like people because they are like people.

They dislike change.

I say this after we took our two terriers to visit my wife’s family the weekend after Christmas and both pups seemed perpetually peeved.

They did OK on the trip, curled up in their little dog beds in the back seat for several hours. But when they got out and went into a strange house with its own dog and lots of little boys they seemed, shall we say politely, puzzled.

They begged and barked and yipped and yowled, and we took them outside every 20 minutes or so with limited results. We tried integrating them into main rooms, which, from their perspectives, offered a forest of strange legs.

We tried isolating them in back bedrooms or on a screened-in porch, a situation they protested.

Three times on a very cold night, I was compelled by plaintive, little whines to take them outside to see if some bladder business might be completed.

All I can say is they seemed very happy when they got back into the familiar car and snoozed all the way home. They have been generally content since.

Just like people when the holidays finally end.


STAR GAZING TIPS: I was showing my son the “Summer Triangle” star pattern the other night and he asked me, what the three stars were.

“Deneb, Altair and Vega,” I told him, but I wasn’t sure which was which because it’s winter. I walked into the house to look it up in one of my books, when he walked in right behind me and showed he already had the answer on his smartphone.

Stars don’t change; but our world has.


TODAY’S JOKE: Some of you in Burke County may know the Rev. Roy White, who told this one in church Sunday.

It seems three preachers who enjoyed each other’s counsel were out on a lake fishing, when one decided to get something off his chest.

“You know, fellas, I need your prayerful support to avoid the temptation of alcohol. It has been an affliction all my life, particularly lately, and I would appreciate your prayers.”

“Well,” said another pastor, “since we’re making confessions, I would like you boys to pray for my weakness – gambling. I’ve been hooked on it all my life, and I find I often yield to the thrill, particularly over the past year.”

About that time, the third preacher grabbed the oars and began to row for shore with a fury that surprised his companions.

“What’s wrong, brother?” they both asked.

“Well,” he said between strokes, “I hate to tell you, I’m addicted to gossip, and I just can’t wait to get to back home.”