Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010 - A Few Tips for Guests


It occurs to me that what seems normal and every-day here at the Shady Rest might come as a surprise to a visitor, perhaps even a little odd.  So, in the spirit of being prepared, much as one might study a guide of some sort before touring another country, there are a few things you should probably know about life here.

First, watch Archie. He'll be watching you. Closely. With his limited vision, this means he's usually about a quarter of an inch from either your shin or calf.  He's a very involved little pug, always wanting to see and sniff what you're doing, so he's there a lot.  So far we've managed to avoid either serious head trauma on his part or orthopedic repair on ours, but caution while backing up is always a good thing.

Listen to George.  George has roughly two states of being - asleep and annoyed.  Occasionally, he manages both at once.  If he's snoring, he's asleep.  If he's not snoring, he's probably annoyed to one degree or another.  If he's growling, grumbling, snorging, chuffing, or rawring like a small, furry dinosaur, he's seriously annoyed and should be approached with caution.  Treats help.  I don't think he'd ever deliberately bite a human; he'd just think you were the refrigerator, oven, or filing cabinet that's been teasing him.  Once he figures out who you are, he sometimes even slides into Charm Mode and becomes irresistible.  Then, you've got it made.

Keep an eye on Loki, too.  He's small, dark, sneaky and can turn on the cute like most people turn on the light switch.  This makes him far more dangerous than he appears, especially if there's food involved.  If you set down a plate where you think it's out of reach, he appears.  His shiny dark head rises slowly, a little puggy periscope, silent.  The nose seeks, locks on target, the eyes shift, looking for signs of capture. Should the coast be clear, the mark distracted, a black paw edges forward, hooks the edge of the target, and your sandwich will disappear as swiftly and soundlessly as the morning mist evaporates with the dawn.

The coffee pot is always on, the mugs are in the cabinet above and to the right. Help yourself, just know that Spencer will be sitting firmly on your foot by the time you're done pouring. Gently slide your foot out, check for your shoe, then proceed. He won't mind. He'll grin up at you, teefies and all. He's just about impossibly handsome, so just enjoy.  Ear rubs are always welcome.

Orville, on the other hand, will maintain a respectful distance. He's not fearful or shy, just somewhat experienced in being around feet.  He will watch you in solemn silence, looking vaguely worried, but a smile in his direction will be returned with a blink and a tail twitch.  If invited, he'll happily come and snuggle as close to you as he can possibly, physically get, and stay as long as you'll let him.

That leaves Sammie. What do you need to know about Sammie? Ah, what don't you need to know?  He's mouthy, rude, pushy, demanding, with a face like a gargoyle and a heart of gold.  His first appearance can be a little startling - he has a half-inch underbite, with fangs Dracula would envy, bottom front teeth that stick straight out to the front, a nose that's a little snubby even by pug standards, and a tongue that doesn't quite fit all the way in his mouth.  You'll be forgiven for jumping just a little if he pops around a corner unannounced.  He's anything but shy, and likely to body check another pug clean out of the way if you don't pet him first.  Still, he really just wants to be close, and he'll sit and sag and sway and drift and try as hard as he can NOT to go to sleep, just so he doesn't miss it if you want him for anything. 

So, that about wraps it up.  Watch for flying cats, climbing pugs, and Freya, who will herd you around so you don't get lost, and you'll have a fine time here at the Shady Rest.

Y'all take care now.