The azalea bushes were ablaze with pink and white blossoms. The grass had begun to grow again and felt like a cushion when feet pressed upon it. The willow oak trees were sprouting out their green foliage and dropping the brown worm-like pollinated stems everywhere. As the breeze blew the yellow pollen could be seen even in the air. White cars were covered in a yellow powder letting everyone know that spring had finally arrived.
The seven room house that had been built in the early fifties looked as if it needed a good pressure wash to rid it from all the spider webs and leaves left from the fall. Dead branches were piled waist-high awaiting the local trash truck to come by and pick them up. The Wilson’s had the most beautiful yard on the street and the tall trees only added to its beauty. However, there is a price to pay for such beauty and so it was with the falling dead branches from the past winter storms.
Inside lived Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and their four beloved pets. Riley was a white Pomeranian who had been rescued from people who had abused him and the most intelligent dog the Wilson’s had ever owned. Mrs. Wilson thought he could actually read her mind when it came time to think about giving baths. Riley would go into hiding if he picked up any signal of the torture of the shampoo.
Milo was a rust-colored Pomeranian who was so small one might step upon him if they were not paying attention. He was the dog of Mrs. Wilson’s dreams as a child and she adored him. His owners did not want to part with him until Mrs. Wilson told them of her desire as a child to have a dog that looked exactly like him. Mumsie was a black miniature poodle who was born without a single ounce of aggression in him. He had been purchased by a lady who could no longer keep him because of her employment so Mumsie came to live with the Wilson’s as well.
Then there was Ernie( Ernest T) who was a twelve pound solid-white Bichon. He was the only one who was not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. He had been rescued as well. As you can see it was a very busy household with lots of noise from one end to the other. All the dogs just happened to be through-breeds. They each had their own personalities, likes and dislikes.
Mrs. Wilson always pampered her pets by purchasing pretty collars, sweaters, sweatshirts or tank tops. They each had their own fragrance and she allowed all four of them to sleep in her big king-sized brass bed.
“Get off of my pillow! Mom put it there especially for me!” Milo growled angrily.
“No one made you king of this house. You have a terrible attitude and it is getting worse each day.” Riley snapped.
“Have you never yet heard of the pecking order? I might be the smallest, weigh the least, and have more hair than you do but I am the head of the pecking order. You might not like it but that’s the law of the animal world chump!” Milo replied with a low guttered growl.
“Oh shut up you spoiled little brat!” Ernie barked. “You just think you are all that and you are not! If it were not for you we could all play and be happy. You make life around here miserable. Riley, Mumsie and I all get alone fine until you show up. We can play games and have lots of fun until you butt in. We are tired of your barking.”
“Well that is just too bad. Mom loves me much more than any of you. That is why I have a special pillow to sleep on right beside of her. She buys me special shampoos and conditioners. If that were not enough she loves to take me for walks when you guys are not along. I am her dream come true and we all know that. She has said it out loud to lots of people!” Milo added as he stretched out his little body on the soft pillow.
“Squabbling is all my ears are hearing. Can we not all just get along? I am trying to get some sleep here and noise is not something I need right now.” Mumsie whined.
“Get lost Mumsie!” Everyone here knows you are a simpleton and a coward. You are a scared of your own shadow. If you mess with me I will bite you when Mom is not looking.” Milo threatened.
“I’m going to get something to eat. When I finish you all can come and get something if there is anything left. I’ll be sure to eat all the good pieces so you all will only have the yucky ones!” Milo laughed as he made his way to the end of the bed. He jumped down onto the stool and then down onto the wooden floor. He turned quickly to see if anyone had followed him. No one had of course.
The sound of crunching dry food could be heard well from the kitchen. Milo made sure that every ear heard him eating.
“Can you believe how selfish that little twerp is?” Riley sighed. “One day I’m going to catch him when Mom is not home and beat the living doodles out of him. When Mom comes home she will have enough hair to fill a king-sized pillow lying all over this floor. He will probably out-live us all if someone doesn’t do something.”
“No fighting! There can’t be any fighting because it will mess with Mumsie’s nervous system. Poor thing is afraid to even walk by Milo as it is. Just stay out of Milo’s way and things will be alright. We can play by ourselves and just leave him out. Just pretend he doesn’t exist.” Ernie cautioned.
Everyone knew that Mumsie was a very small poodle and very sensitive. If he even thought Milo was coming his way he would let out a scream just in case. His screams would bring help immediately. The rule in the house was NO FIGHTING!
“Get some chocolate from Dad’s table and give it to Milo. He will eat it and die!” Ernie mumbled quietly.
“Everyone knows that chocolate is just like a poison to us and Milo will eat anything. We can all watch while he vomits his guts out.” Ernie smiled at the very thought of his words.
“Garlic is bad for all dogs. Mom grows lots of garlic in her garden. All we have to do is dig a bulb up, pull the cloves apart and wrap it in some cheese. If he doesn’t die he will be one sick dog I’ll tell you!” Riley giggled.
“You all should be ashamed of yourself even thinking about killing a member of this family. We are all supposed to love each other and protect each other. We are all God’s creatures and we are not supposed to be violent. Can you imagine how hurt Mom would be if Milo were to die? She has lived her entire life dreaming of having a little Pomeranian. She does love him but it is because she has always wanted a pet that looks just like he looks. Mom and Dad love all of us and we should all be ashamed of inviting turmoil into this household.” Mumsie lectured.
“Oh please knock it off! You might be the most humble dog in the world but frankly I am not. I guess I have a mean streak in me. Maybe I got it from my wolf brothers. I just can’t sit back and let some little mutt abuse everybody. My teeth are so long and sharp they could tear him into ribbons.” Riley spurted out angrily.
“I’m telling you that you need to be more loving and less violent. When dogs become fighters and tear each other up then they just get taken to the pound. You both know what happens at the pound. They will kill us all because the veterinarians will think we are a danger to society. I’ve heard horrible stories about how they gas violent dogs who have bitten people. I’m having no part in such actions. I promote love!” Mumsie voiced softly. His little red tongue stuck out of his mouth making him a perfect picture of a poodle.
Milo continued to eat all his little stomach could hold leaving only a small amount of food in the bowl.
“I really don’t care if they get food today or not. They all are over-weight and need to be on a diet anyway. I’m just helping them to achieve their goals.” He giggled at the thought of his obese brothers.
“Alright boys come and eat. I’ve prepared a nice dish of chicken and rice Beneful. I’ve heated it up nice and warm. Come and get it!” Mrs. Wilson called out from the kitchen.
She could hear the sound of feet hitting the stool she had placed at the edge of the bed and the running sound of all dogs feet coming hurriedly into the kitchen.
“I’ve placed four bowls of your favorite food here on the floor. Your water bowl is full so let’s see who cleans their bowl first.” She smiled as each dog chose a bowl.
“What is wrong with my Milo?” She asked. “Milo, why are you not eating your food? You always love this special dish. Is my baby not feeling good today?” Mrs. Wilson continued as she reached down to pick up the ball of fur standing beside of her. “Maybe your tummy is upset.” She said lovingly as her eyes checked out Milo from head to toe.
“See, just look at that! Disgusting is what it is!” Riley snorted as he gulped down his food. “One of these days that little twerp is going to get his! She has to know he just gorged himself on all the dry food that was in the bowl! It’s just plain sickening!”
“Peace brothers! Let’s have peace reign in this house. We are all loved, safe and well taken care of. Let’s appreciate all that we DO have. Jealousy is not a good thing. It only breeds violence.” Mumsie whispered.
So it came to be that Milo kept his place as leader of the pack and peace reigned in the household once in a while. All of this happened because one little black poodle used wisdom, intelligence and patience. Perhaps we could all learn from Mumsie’s philosophy allowing peace to rule and reign in our families. It’s always worth a try!
Question: Who was the leader of the pack? Who was the most intelligent dog?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All rights reserved.
Mumsie, The Black Poodle
Ernie the Bichon
Riley the White Pomeranian