Party Dawg

When my children were small, we spent every other Christmas on the road to visit my in-laws in Florida.  Other years?  We were on the road to The Trailer Park by noon to celebrate with my family.  We agreed that as long as we had parents to visit, we would do this.

Thanksgiving was different.  His parents were too far away for a visit.  In my clan, we had time-shifted the meal to the Saturday after Thanksgiving due to issues with divorces, and the resultant logistical challenges.  Never mind that Mom had stopped making a meal* at home in the 1970’s, preferring to go out to eat at a local trough buffet restaurant.

When i asked my husband how he’d like to spend our ‘free’ holiday?  He said “At home. Watching football and drinking beer.”  When i asked my children how they’d like to spend our ‘free’ holiday?  They said “Making pizza and just hanging out…”

That’s exactly what we did.  We’d invite ‘stray’ friends over – those who didn’t have family in town.  i’d whip up some pizza dough, buy turkey pepperoni as the only nod to tradition, and we started having a great holiday at home.  Our way.

With the kids grown, and my move to the new place in 2008, i re-started the tradition. Among my friends there was a need for a holiday alternative, so “Thursday” became a thing – a non-traditional meal.  i stayed with the pizza theme, expanded the bar, and opened the doors.

The invite states “Those unable to be with family, those actively avoiding family, those without family, and those who have spent a day with their family and need respite care… Doors open at 6:00 pm, and friends are welcome to drop by until around midnight.”

Thirty or so came and went this year, bringing a variety of goodies to share.  The pool table was used and abused, with the theater room collecting the footballers.  Hot mulled wine, chilled dry cider punch, and a partially successful attempt at bacon-infused bourbon grounded the bar.  Gingerbread trifle, peanut butter pie, and gooey salted caramel chocolate bars appeared on my kitchen counter.  Guests learned to toss pizza dough, and assembled personal pizzas from a spread of toppings. We ate, laughed, and yakked through the night…

the drunk thinktank

Mr. Pickles, my senior dog, has had recent issues with bladder control. Studley was aware of this, and let him out several times to make sure he didn’t paint the carpet.

Around 10 pm, Mr. P took to intermittent barking.  This is usually due to random signals from the dog planet, but that night it was somehow more directed and urgent.  He’d stand next to someone and bark.  Not begging.  Not needing to go outside.  Not wanting attention.

So we kept taking him outside to make sure it wasn’t urinarily urgent.  i patted him and said “Pickles, shutthefuckup!” more than once.  He continued the intermittent barking or the next several hours.  As the last guests were preparing to leave around 1:30 am, he stayed nearby, and would occasionally launch a solid bark.

As i walked the last couple out, i took him for one last mercy break.  Back inside, i unhooked the leash, and he immediately trotted off to the bedroom.  i went into the kitchen to do the final sweep before bed.  Following my old pup shortly afterwards, i found him sprawled across the passenger side of my bed, snoring loudly.

The next day, Studley and i were doing the “Post-Party Analysis”.  i finally realized why Mr. Pickles had been barking.

daisyfae:  “i think i figured it out!  He wanted people to leave so he could go to bed!  He was trying to chase them away because it was past his bedtime!”

Studley:  You think?

daisyfae:  Yes!  This was the old dog equivalent of “Hey, you kids!  Get offa my lawn!”

get offa my lawn

* And we were thankful.  She couldn’t cook for shit…

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29 thoughts on “Party Dawg

  1. Lacey’s kind of like that. If I don’t get to bed when she thinks I should, I’ll find her in my bed waiting for me. I don’t torture her with lots of people in the house, I just drag her to places where there are a lot of people. When she barks, it’s usually at the security guard going down the stairs outside my apartment. Or somebody at the door. No danger this dog will let the burglars in. Give Mr. P some pats for me.

    • In the past two years or so, he really is acting like an old man… if he wore trousers, i’m sure he’d have them hiked up to his ol’ doggie nipples! Like Lacey, he is no threat to an intruder… My son once came home late at night, and the dog didn’t move from my bed until he was in my doorway saying “Hey, i’m home!” Mr. P gets lots of loving these days… and lots of sleep…

    • In theory he could have gone to bed whenever he wanted to, but there was just too much going on! People! Food! People Dropping Food! Playing with his toys! i think his little doggie circuits were fried…

  2. I love how Mr. Pickles has become your “senior” dog. He used to be just the dog. I’m glad to read things can be pleasant with a dog around. We’ve been having nothing but problems with this expensive pain-in-the-ass we bought but nothing can be done. I, again, broached the subject of finding a more suitable home for Coco and it resulted in a waterfall of tears. I’m stuck.

    • The really bad news for you? Those little yappy bastards can live a long time. Sadly for me, the big ol’ pups like mine tend not to live as long. He is in his final few years…. and he can do absolutely nothing to upset me. Well, now that i’ve blocked the cat’s litter box and he’s stopped eating Huey’s turds…

  3. We were at good friends’ house for dinner a few years ago when one of their three year olds (they had twin people, not dogs) marched in and said, “People go!” There have been a few occasions that I wanted to try it myself. The waning years with dogs are a bittersweet time, but all part of the package. And Happy Thanksgiving, a few days late.

    • Wasn’t it WC Fields who said to never work with kids or animals? Oh, and glad you specified they were twin people, not dogs… although i’d have been really impressed if a dog had pulled that off! Happy belated T-day to you as well! Saw that you’ve got another post up – will get there soon. Been swamped lately…

  4. I’m with Mr. Pickles. When I was little, my folks belonged to a group that had a monthly get-together that rotated between couples. Their party was a patio luau. My bedroom was close by and I couldn’t get to sleep with all the laughing and music. I remember opening the door to the patio and yelling, “Will you drunks be quiet!”

    I don’t think I got a spanking, but I’m sure I deserved one. 🙂

    • That’s a hoot! i’m pretty sure your parents and their friends had a good chuckle at that bit… i wouldn’t have punished you, just moved the party somewhere out of earshot! 🙂

  5. You had me at “expanded the bar”… and damn how can you not love a cranky old dog, you should nickname him Kurt after a certain author who he seems to be taking after in his golden years… and someday i will write the post of the most hungover Thanksgiving ever and my burning need for a goddam pizza!

    • You would be so very welcome here, my dear kono! Doing it again for Christmas Eve, and The Boy will be home, with The Girl arriving the next day… Looking forward to your Wilderness Years post. i’ve been so god damned slammed at work, with estate stuff, and the endless party lifestyle i’ve crafted, that i’ve been a blog-slacker… but i’ll get to it!

  6. ‘People Go!’ I like that, reminds me of our boy when he was maybe three or four and in the kitchen one evening when we had friends round and one of them was (for a short while) not so much part of the conversation, and Frankie (the boy) must have been feeling increasingly sorry for him and suddenly blurted out: ‘the Poor Man! Somebody talk to the poor man!’. Anyway I am as sure as you are that is exactly what the old dog was saying.

    I do like the sound of your Thanksgiving tradition though and it sounds like it’s here to stay and Mr P is just going to have to get used to it…

    • Hi Jonathan! Welcome to The Park! Your boy must have a very kind heart! That’s sweet! Since Thanksgiving, i’ve had several other parties, and Mr. P continues to try to clear the house before his bedtime. It’s cute… but perhaps wearing a bit thin!

    • Happy New Year, Catmont! i’ve been somewhat missing in action in the blogosphere last year, but am feeling the need to write again! Hope to see you out here as well! Cheers!

    • Welcome back, Sandy! At least he’s not continually painting the carpet, Jackson Pollock style, as he did a few years ago! i love my dog, hate my carpet. It generally works out… i’ll stop by soon! Have been off-grid for a month or so, and need to catch up in my reader! Happy New Year!

  7. Thank you for sharing your journey in 2014. Blessings to you, the boy, the girl, Studley, sisters, brother(s)……all. Happy New Year

    • Happy New Year, Cheryle! As always, i appreciate that you’ve tracked this adventure for so very long… i’ll be writing more this year. So many things have happened, and there have been some surprising plot twists since Mom died. i have a good bit of stuff to get sorted out! Here’s to a great year for you and yours, dear lady!

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