Toby and Buster, our two dogs, have recently started to show their ages. Although Buster the Lhaso wears a collar that says "Bad to the Bone" he has recently taken to snoozing a lot and being cuddly. He doesn't even bark at every little thing as much as he used to. Of course, as I typed this, he must have heard something because he just ran to the window and started barking.
Toby, being a follower, more than a leader is wandering around, looking out all of the windows to see what might need a bark or two to scare it away. This usually works, since the people he tends to bark at are the mail carrier, the UPS man, and various other delivery people who invariably leave after being warned off by our two brave guard dogs.
Of course, if they happen to work their way through the door, usually when we aren't fast enough closing it behind us, they greet the visitor with wagging tails and agressive sniffing. Agressive because dogs don't have the same definition of personal space as most humans. Sniffing areas you would have otherwise not have thought to stick your nose is just like shaking hands for dogs.
Today, Larry got some tags from a lady at work. We have attached them to the dog collars, since they fit our dogs so well. Buster's says "Are you gonna finish that?" and Toby's says "I like big mutts, and I cannot lie." The other two or three weren't appropriate for a family newspaper, so I won't share them with you.
Toby has also taken to showing his age, mostly by sleeping a lot more. His favorite place to sleep is at the foot of the bed, but this is sometimes hazardous in the middle of the night since Toby is a black dog, and nearly impossible to see in the dark. Larry has almost tripped over him any number of times when he got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Although Toby seemed to have learned that it's better to get out of the way than get stepped on, since Larry has stepped on his tail or foot a couple of times.
In any other case, Toby just refuses to move. He lays like a large hairy lump in the middle of the floor, snoozing the day away. Walk toward him, and he will open one eye, and look at you as if to say "You don't really want me to move, do you?" Nudge him with your toe, and he will wake up long enough to give you the full impact of both eyes with lifted brows, in the patented puppy-eyes look that says "You wouldn't make a poor old tired dog move, now would you?" If you insist, he staggers to his feet, moaning and groaning for effect before moving aside to lay down in another spot.
The reason I say this is all for effect is because if you happen to have been on your way to the kitchen to pour food or fill the water bowl, he is there almost before you are. Dramatics are not confined to humans.