It’s a dog’s life – by Riley Meyer. Golden Retriever, Esq.
6:00am. Where is everybody? Thump, thump, thump. Nothing. Louder. Thump, thump, thump. That kind of hurts actually. Nothing. In fact, Dad is snoring. Sigh. Will go find little Christian (age 6). He’ll get up.
My nose presses against Christian’s nose. His eyes open.
“Mmmm. Hi, Riley.” he murmurs sleepily.
Then he rolls over.
I don’t think so. “Get UP!” I bark.
Christian shoots out of bed, bumps his head on the shelf over his pillow and showers 350 football cards across the room like flower petals. Ok, that was definitely not my fault. A card flitters past. Hey – Gronkowski!
6:18am. The bookends (Ben age 16 & Christian still 6) are downstairs. Ben is making a poached egg. Well, Ben is intending to make a poached egg.
“How do you make a poached egg?” Ben looks at me. I wag my tail helpfully.
Dad walks in. “What’s that?” he says peering into the water. “It looks like a weather pattern on Jupiter.”
6:26am. Griffin (10) appears. He is totally naked.
“Griffin, what if there was somebody here?”
Griffin thinks about that for a moment. Full frontal. The question clearly does not engender any interest whatsoever. Griffin marches over to the laundry basket and starts shoveling around for some clothes completely mooning the rest of us.
9:46am. I am outside with some satisfaction looking at the 4 large holes I have dug into the front yard. I don’t really get why people need shelves. They can just bury stuff outside. I drop a slipper into hole #1. It strikes me that covering the hole back up seems like a lot of work. It must be time for dinner.
10:30am. Mom calls, “C’mon Riley.” Sweet. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk! Or…errands. I watch the world sweep by out the back window of the car. Nature Connection, High School, Crosby’s, Post Office, Library, Middle School, “Hi, Riley”, Elementary School, Home, Middle School, “Hi, Riley”, Labadini’s, Elementary School, High School, Home, High School, “Hi Riley”, Acton, Home. Definitely time for dinner.
6:34pm. Is somebody going to feed me? Cooper (13) reaches down and draws a line of ketchup across my forehead and intones “Siiiimmmbbaaa”. I don’t think that’s funny.
7:22pm. Dad walks in but does not get his coat off before Mom yells from the kitchen, “You have to get him there in EIGHT MINUTES!” Oh, I am definitely going. “Riley, wha.., argh, whatever. Get in.” In… like Flynn.
We skid to a stop in front of the high school.
Ben looks over at his father, “Dad, you did not get within 10mph of the speed limit, well, ever. You rolled through that last stop sign, only used your blinker at Orchard and fiddled with your phone twice. But I do appreciate the ride to Drivers’ Ed.”
7:45pm Home. “Dad, I got my part for the Nutcracker!” jubilates Christian. “I am Hairdresser Meyer!” Dad snorts his water, “do you mean Herr Drosselmeyer?”
“That’s what I said – Hairdresser Meyer.” I don’t know if anyone will let me into the play but it sounds fun.
Dad lost his rights to critique public performances after emceeing the elementary school talent show this year. In an effort to describe Charles Shultz to the crowd of 400, he helpfully added “you know, the famous Peanus illustrator”. No, er, “t”.
7:50pm. “Griffin, I thought you were playing hide and seek with your brother?” “What?” Griffin looks up from his book. “Oh, er, yeah.” “How long has Christian been hiding?” “Ummm, two chapters?”
8:46am. Saturday. We are off! I am again banished to the rear end. Of the car.
Mom’s voice comes through the speakers: “You are in the Suburban, right?”
Dad: “No. Why?”
“Because you are going to have 5 people”
“No I am not. Four.”
“Who do you think you are getting?”
“Cooper, Griffin, Jack, and James.”
“What about Christian?”
Silence. Dad looks over at Cooper and frowns.
From the speakers – “You do have Christian, right?”
“Ummm, right.” The car is hurtling into a U-turn.
Cooper hisses, “she is going to find him playing legos behind the couch!”
Dad. Thinking. Dad to Mom: “Have you left?”
“Yes, about 5 minutes ago. You do have him, right?”
“Of course. He’s right here. Oh, er, wait, my, um, mother is calling.” Dad stabs repeatedly at the hang up button.
5 minutes later we skid to a stop in the driveway.
“WHAT?” floats up from the basement.
“What are you doing?”
“LEGOS. WHY?” he yells up.
Christian comes up from the basement wearing a doctors’ jacket and a football helmet. Cooper laughs, “Christian, we just left you! You almost had a Home Alone moment!” Christian pauses for a moment and then his face lights up, “Awwww, that would have been awesome! I could have eaten all of the Halloween candy!’ Pause. “Can you leave again?”
3:13pm. I think I might have just chewed the Christmas labels. They are sticking to my teeth. Blech.
On behalf of my humans, hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
All love, Riley.
(Oh, and Polly, Christian, Ben, Cooper, Griffin and little Christian)