The Center of the Universe



If you’re wondering how come we don’t bark much at Asherpark anymore, you don’t have to look any farther than my big smiling face. It’s a long story, but basically me and mom are locked in a battle over who runs our pack.

I’ve been through all kinds of training. I’m part border collie so it’s not for lack of intelligence that I’m a problem. Mom has spent hours working with me. I’ve learned to leave the hens alone and not chase the alpacas. I come when I’m called and walk real nicely on a leash.

Once I snuck out the front gate when it was open. The automatic gate closed behind me and I couldn’t get back to the house. I lay down by the gate and waited a long time until Ash got somebody to let me back in.

Here’s the rub. I’m a diva and I have to be the center of attention. If mom is petting Jack, I push between them so she’ll pet me instead. If people are ignoring me, I pester them until they turn their attention to me.

When it was just me and Ash, everything was fine. Ash likes to do his own thing and doesn’t care if I get most of the attention. But then mom got this stupid idea to bring homeless mutts into our pack. It’s disgusting the dogs she has brought home.

Darcy was the first mongrel. Old, fat, smelly and not terribly bright. I thought to myself, “Why bother?” I tolerated him because he was so pathetic.

Next came Jack straight out of the joint. He was crazy in the head after months of confinement. He made himself at home by pissing on every surface in the house. Mom hated the smell. I thought it was funny. A couple of times me and Ash marked over Jack’s mark. That sure made mom mad!

One day mom came home with a bag of urine soaked fur. She got the hideous fur ball from the shelter just before the ragged mutt was to be put down. Mom named the fur ball Nellie and treated her like a princess. I would have objected but Nellie was so fragile I couldn’t bring myself to be mean to her. I did, however, prevent Nellie from getting on my couch.

Ash loved Nellie and so did everyone else who met her. Even I sensed there was something very special about Nellie. We had Nellie for almost two years before mom had to let her go.

We were back to us three house mutts, me, Ash and Jack, when I heard mom talking about two Aussie mix dogs who had been starved nearly to death. It was a mother-daughter duo. Mom kept looking at this video clip that showed the two dogs right after they were rescued. I have to admit I’d never seen such frightened skinny dogs.

One night I heard mom talking to Ash. “Should we bring the girls to Asherpark?” she asked.

“We gotta take them,” Ash said. “That’s what we do at Asherpark.”

I was just about to say I didn’t want anymore throw away dogs, but the look from Ash silenced me.

“What do you think, Tess?” mom asked.

“I don’t much care one way or the other,” I said.

Three weeks later two of the most forlorn looking mutts showed up at our doorstep. That’s when our world changed.

I’ll tell you more tomorrow, but I’m busy right now being the center of my own universe. I’ve got some new friends who think I’m the cat’s meow. MEOW!!






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