Georgie Speaks

Georgie Speaks

Well, it is January, and I, along with many other Irish-Viking Dachshund Americans are starting the new year with the idea of being healthier.  My promise to myself, and my Companions, was to spend 2016 trying to exercise more, eat more nutritiously, and generally take better care of myself.  Of course, my loyal Companions were eager to join me in this endeavor.

To this end, I began incorporating healthy habits in the Family Bed right away.  I’ve eliminated in between meal snacking by putting a retinal scanner on the Commissary door.  Since none of the Companions have actual retinas – it’s been working very effectively.  Of course, Bachmann has tried to outsmart the locking mechanism several times, but he’s only accomplished getting himself zapped by the alarm system.  It’s amusing, but growing tiresome.  I do hope he finds a better way to occupy himself soon.

Another health-conscious change to the Bed has been increased workouts for all Companions.  We are all benefiting from these expanded conditioning sessions.  In fact, I’ve already seen a huge difference in Candace’s balance and Je M’appelle Claude’s eye/claw coordination.  Even Ernst is looking more svelte and sleek.  I, myself, noticed a significant increase in my own haunch-flex ratio after just a few weeks of daily work.

 

Georgie Speaks

Naturally, diet is one of the most important components of good health.  Nutrition has always been a priority in the Family Bed, and now, more than ever, I am making decisions about food choices with that in mind.  I’ve added many more nuts and legumes to the menu plans – a change that most of the Companions are quite pleased over.  Of course, many of the aquatic creatures are disappointed with the lack of variety in the seafood department, but as I’ve explained many times, we just don’t have sufficient refrigerator space to keep seafood fresh for any length of time.  And no one wants old fish stinking up the place.  Except Bachmann, but he’s always the dissenter in any conversation.  I do try to bring in organically raised, sustainably-sourced wild-caught salmon when possible and Raoul likes to grill it with just a little lime juice and dill.  Very tasty.

Additionally, I’m regularly attending local farmer’s markets to obtain the freshest possible produce for my vegetarian Companions.  Well, and for myself, of course – who does’t love a fresh, crisp apple right out of Mama Dog’s hand?  Hmmm??  While I have been forced to outsource for some of our dietary needs – dairy in particular (Candace doesn’t like to talk about it, but she’s lactose intolerant, which is quite embarrassing for a cow, as you would imagine.) – most of the Companions don’t mind only having goats’ milk cheese or yogurt a few times a week.

We’ve been working to eliminate artificial food from our diets, as well, including sugar.  And believe me, that hasn’t been easy.  Dijon in particular has quite the sweet tooth.  I’ve been substituting stevia in my dessert recipes with good success.  Dijon has not seemed to notice any loss of sweetness or richness in his nightly dish of flan, for which I am grateful.  He becomes absolutely unbearable when he doesn’t have his nightly flan … breathing fire over the other Companions as they try to watch television in the Commons area, slashing his tail around the room, bellowing, and generally making a real scene.  It’s just better to avoid that sort of theatrics altogether whenever possible.

Overall, I believe the Companions are much more focused mentally with the addition of these changes in physical activity and nutrition.  I’ve kept careful notes in their behavior charts over the past few weeks and have seen an upswing in both their general happiness and gross motor function.  It’s very rewarding to see a plan achieve such success.

As we move forward, I will be increasing the number of discussion group sessions for the Companions, as well.  I think giving them more opportunity to work through their individual issues through group discourse will bring them closer together and create a real sense of community within the Bed.  As I have mentioned before, Family Bed harmony is often non-existent.  And I plan to incorporate even more options for physical training as the weather warms up and the Companions can work out of doors.  Tai Chi on the Lawn; Gopher Hole Digging 101; Voice Projection; Releasing Your W.O.I.D. (Wrath of Irish Dachshund); and Quiet Wandering are just a few of the new classes that will begin in the spring.  There is already considerable interest in this area.

I sincerely hope each of you is experiencing the success with your own goals for the new year that we in the Family Bed Education, Training and Rehabilitation Center are experiencing.  I just can’t express how rewarding it is to lead this group of Companions on a path to better health and well-being.  Oh, yes, a few are not really coming along willingly.  But you always have a few stragglers and late-bloomers in any educational setting, don’t you?  You just drag them along until they get tired of fighting you and then … well, everyone’s happy, aren’t they?  Indeed.

So.  Good luck to all of you, dear readers, in your New Year’s goals and objectives.  Good Day, and thank you for your support.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

The view from the Family Bed is rarely a peaceful one.  As is so often the case, Bachmann has made himself a nuisance in The Family Bed once again.

Over the past weeks, since before Thanksgiving, he’s been causing all sorts of trouble for the other Companions and for me.  His porky mouth and reckless beaver antics have crossed numerous lines of Family Bed etiquette and socially acceptable behavior.  At times, he’s been almost unseemly.

Now, I consider myself to be a very patient, loving, and understanding dachshund.  But that beaver is certainly creating a tense, and uncomfortable situation with his conduct.

At first, he was just shooting off his porky mouth.  He would taunt some the other Companions and make fun of their various and sundry deficiencies. For example, one afternoon, I heard him jeering at poor, sweet, harmless Ernst.

“Hey, Eggplant!” he was gibing.  “How’s about you and I mix it up with a game of Boggle?! You know what’s a four-letter word for stupid??  E-R-N-S-T!”

He was deliberately mocking poor Ernst’s lack of vocabularical prowess.  It was sickening.  I reprimanded him immediately, but he exhibited not a single shred of remorse.

Another time, I caught him following Candace down her narrow hallway, poking a piece of string cheese between her two feet, trying to trip her.  He was making mooing noises and ridiculing her awkward mobility.  Disgusting.  And even though I took away his electronics privileges and his dessert privileges for a week, the horrible comportment continued.

It all came to a head the other day, when Bachmann decided to make what I can only assume was his Bull Run stand by challenging me to a staring contest.  He’s always been so very dramatic.

Georgie vs. Bachmann

Now, at first, I didn’t realize what he was doing.  I was in the middle of a well-deserved and much-needed nap when the sound of him wheezing through his front teeth roused me.

“Bachmann,” I pleaded, “I’m exhausted.  Can’t you go pester someone else for a while?  Or better yet, go find something constructive to do – don’t you need to clean your room?”

But he continued to stare at me with those beady little beaver eyes, not saying a word.  Which was very unusual, because generally he can’t keep that porky mouth shut.

I became instantly alert.Georgie vs. Bachmann

“Bachmann,” I sighed.  “What are you playing at?  Can’t you see I’m busy and don’t have time for your shenanigans?”

Still, he continued to challenge me with his bore-like gaze.  I began to wonder if he was experiencing a medical situation that was preventing him from speaking or moving … or blinking.  Even so, his insubordination could not be tolerated.Georgie vs. Bachmann

“Bachmann,” I warned.  “Cut it out.  If you continue with this defiant and threatening provocation, you will be sorry.  And by sorry, I mean you’re going to end up crying like a little she-beaver.  You better knock it off and leave me to my nap.”

Honestly, I gave him every opportunity to retract his confrontation.  I offered him multiple activities and constructive ideas as alternatives to this hostility.  I entreated him to rethink his folly and each time he refused to back down.  He didn’t simply refuse to back down, he grew more and more belligerent.

And then this happened …The View From the Family Bed

This is me, setting out to open a can of Whoop-De-Do on Bachmann’s Beaver butt.  Note the terror his his expression as he tries to scramble out of the path of my wrath.  But his short little beaver feet couldn’t move fast enough to avoid me dealing him a heaping helping of comeuppance.

I worked him over pretty good.  I’ll grant him this much … he took the waling I gave him with dignity – for a short minute.  Then he started blubbering and crying and apologizing and begging for mercy.  It was most satisfying.  I even took him back inside the compound so the other Companions could watch.  And since Bachmann had been making their lives uncomfortable and difficult for weeks, they were very enthusiastic about the entire affair.

Afterwards, Bachmann slunk off to his room to lick his wounds, while the rest of the Family Bed enjoyed cake and punch courtesy of the Festivity Committee.  Overall, it was a lovely end to the day.

It’s been just a few days since what is being referred to around the Bed as ‘The incident’.  Bachmann resurfaced just this morning, took his toast and coffee alone in the Commissary and then retreated again to his room.  He hasn’t spoken to anyone since his beatdown, but many Companions have reported receiving letters and notes of apology via Inter-Family-Bed mail.  So it would seem Bachmann has possibly learned a lesson.  Or not.  Only time will  tell this beaver tale …