Submitted by Rita Lockwood
It seems that lately things have gotten a smidge slack around here. I feel it is time to remind you of the rules that heretofore we have operated under. You are both cute dogs, but your continued cuteness in no way negates our previous agreement. Let me remind you of a few details of this agreement.
1. In exchange for room and board, you are to guard the kingdom. That would be guarding the kingdom from any and all bad guys, robbers, serial killers, etc. Feel free to bark maniacally at any of those that should appear in the yard. Guarding the kingdom does NOT include barking maniacally at bunnies, squirrels, cows, sheep and invisible things that only you can see, especially between the hours of 5am (when I stumble out of bed to let you out) and 8am (when I actually have to be out of bed to get to work).
(And let me take a moment here to remind you that the pizza guy is a potential bad guy. He is not your friend. Just because he comes bearing food does not allow him free and easy access to the kingdom. He is potentially way more dangerous than the bunnies that you threaten to tear limb from limb.)
2. All of the stuff that lives in the toy basket is yours. Everything else is mine. Yours includes squeaky balls, random bones, partially unstuffed stuffed animals and chew ropes. Mine includes any and all shoes on the floor (especially the expensive leather ones), underwear that missed the hamper, bras, socks, dishtowels, the remote, the cell phone, the legs of my grandmother's antique chair and the vacuum. Did I mention shoes? ALL the shoes are mine. They come in pairs, not quads, for a reason.
3. The cat gets to sleep on the bed. You do not. You each weigh 50 pounds. The cat weighs 12. You sleep smack dab in the middle of the bed with all four feet spread out covering approximately 12 square feet apiece. The cat sleeps in a neat little ball covering about 2 square feet. The cat does not bring fleas into the house. You do. You, dogs, will never be allowed to sleep on the bed. Quit sneaking up when you think I'm not looking. Your 50 pounds of dogginess negates your stealth superpowers. I know you are up there!!
4. Speaking of the cat- when he hunkers down into that little mound, lays his ears back, squints his eyes and growls way back in his chest, HE IS NOT A HAPPY KITTY. Leave him alone. He does not want to play with you. What he wants to do is poke your eyes out and shred the skin around your face. He can do that, you know. Five of his 6 ends are really sharp and pointy. He has previously shown very little restraint. Clearly he enjoys smacking you upside the head with a paw full of claws. Do not aggravate him. When he takes your head off after you have cornered him, I will let him. You have been forewarned.
5. The cat is mean. He will lead you down a path to destruction. He likes to tear around the house winding you up. He does this knowingly and intentionally. When you chase him, I will only yell at you for careening into walls and furniture. He knows this. Quit falling for it.
6. If you find something in the garbage can, assume that I intend for it to be there. Plastic tampon shells are not chew toys. Don't eat them.
7. Also not for doggy consumption- anything you find in the litter box. This is why you no longer get to kiss me.
8. You are allowed to sleep on the furniture. You are not allowed to eat the furniture.
9. Yes, I have to leave every day to go to work. No, you cannot go with me. That's why there are two of you, so you can entertain each other. The cat gets to stay in the house. You both have to stay outside while I'm gone. The cat does not chew things up. You do. Quit whining about it. Your porch is air-conditioned. It's just like inside the house minus the sofa. If you'd quit chewing up dog beds, it would be just like inside the house. You have made your own proverbial bed by destroying two very expensive dog cushions.
0. I have opposable thumbs. This is why I get to be in charge. I can open cans, doors, and bags of treats. I am the only one in the house that can operate the hose sprayer. I'm also the only one with a driver's license and a car. I win. Being cute is no match for opposable thumbs.
While I in no way wish to suppress your rightful dogginess, I feel that these very simple guidelines will allow us to continue to co-exist in peaceful harmony. Please know though, that should you choose to continue in willful violation of these rules, I WILL PUT THE CAT IN CHARGE. He has just been itching for a position in management.