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Bisou In The Morning

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

The alarm rings at seven, and before I open my eyes the scrabbling inside the crate next to my bed tells me that Bisou is ready to greet the day. I take her in my arms, trying not to fall down the stairs, trying not to drop her as she wriggles, and let her out into the back yard, along with Wolfie and Lexi. I stand in my flipflops and pajamas in the low-forties dawn while Bisou gets up the nerve to wade into the (to her) shoulder-high, freezing-cold grass.

The minute she\’s done, I swoop her indoors, leaving the big dogs outside, and prepare her breakfast. The second she\’s done eating I swoop her outside and let the big dogs in. And now I have a dilemma: Wolfie and Lexi need breakfast, but I don\’t want Bisou inadvertently getting into trouble by nosing into one of their dishes. Plus, she has to relieve herself, again. I could leave her in the little exercise pen we have set up for her in the yard, but the grass is too cold, and she doesn\’t like to use the pen as a bathroom. I could put her in her crate in the house, but she\’s just spent ten hours in it, plus she is supercharged with energy from her meal.

My sleep-addled brain has trouble figuring all this out, but eventually I decide to take her on a walk down the driveway to give her some exercise and the opportunity to find a more comfortable spot to poop in. Down the driveway we go, me still in my pajamas, Bisou endangering her life by dashing around, way too close to my feet.

I can hear Wolfie and Lexi racing and crashing inside the house, skidding on the rugs and bunching them against the walls and furniture. I check Bisou for signs that she\’s winding down, but she\’s running like a bullet, tail high and ears streaming in the wind.

Eventually we go back inside, I pop her in the crate, and fix the big dogs\’ breakfast. While they\’re eating, I fill the water bucket to take out to the goats. This reminds me that I haven\’t been to the bathroom yet myself, but never mind, there\’s no time for that now. For all I know, I\’ve slept through Blossom\’s labor despite the baby monitor by my pillow, and there\’s an obstetrical hecatomb awaiting me in the barn.

I rush to the barn with the bucket and the milking pail. The goats are lying down, drowsily chewing their cud. Relieved, I grab some laying mash and go to feed the chickens and let them out to pasture. The goats, fully awake now, start calling for me. Back in the barn I fill the grain dishes and the hay feeder, milk Virginia Slim, fill the water bucket, and assure Blossom that I will be checking on her throughout the day.

Back in the house, I\’m straining the milk when Bisou tells me that she needs to go outside NOW. I take her out, but the grass is cold, etc. She pulls a water plant out of my little garden tub. I replace the plant, replace Bisou in the crate, put the milk in the fridge. Suddenly the universe smiles upon me: Bisou falls asleep. I go to the bathroom. I eat breakfast. While I eat, Wolfie brings me a toy to throw. I tell him we mustn\’t wake Bisou. He gives me a look that drowns me in guilt.

Now it\’s time to give Lexi her aspirin and her joint medication, and to brush everybody\’s teeth. By the time Lexi\’s and Wolfie\’s teeth are done, Bisou pipes up, so I brush hers too (without toothpaste, and just for practice). Bisou waddles over to the water bowl and has a big drink. I take her outside again.

We come back in and I take her into the guest room with a tiny ball she loves, for a retrieving session. I throw the tiny ball many, many times. She brings it back faithfully, but has difficulty with the concept of letting go . After a while she decides to forget about the ball and just try to sever my fingers from my hands. Play session is over. I take her outside, then put her in the crate.

Now the big dogs need some quality time. So I let Lexi wander in the big field in search of deer droppings while I do some heeling work with Wolfie and then throw balls for him. I\’m still in my pajamas, but have managed to put on a jacket.

I let the big dogs in the house, begging them not to make noise. Bisou is still asleep. Yesss! I go upstairs and brush my teeth.

5 Responses

  1. Maybe you should re-read Operating Instructions for some comfort! Not that you have time for reading. I called my friend the other evening, one who just had a baby, and that afternoon her smokejumper partner had been called away for a fire–his first one since the birth. When I called, she said, she'd been standing at the bathroom sink, infant in arms, looking at her toothbrush and wondering how in the world she was going to accomplish this one task for herself. Yikes.

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