Bicky's Story, Chapter 16 (The Sofa)
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|Sat, 09-22-2012 - 10:38pm|
This is the 16th installment of “Bicky’s Story”
Chapter 16 -"The Sofa"
It didn't take very long for Bicky to make himself completely at home, Lucky's rather less than friendly reception notwithstanding, Bicky was in suburban heaven and 'living the dream'. He would walk around with that "I just won the lottery" look of his, so elated to have a family that loved him and a home to call his very own. We got him a very ‘comfy’ looking ‘doggy bed (placed majestically in the front of the living room), assorted cute food and drink bowls, and of course the 'necessities' such as dog food, dog shampoo, and treats (sesame jerky was his favorite). In retrospect, I smile to think that Naoko and I were just like two new parents preparing for the arrival of their newborn baby. So by the time Bicky arrived at home, the house was all ready for his grand entrance. He was the prince of our modest house and he reigned over it with adorable regal charm.
There was, however, one place on the ground floor that Bicky was prohibited to go: our new sofa. I had absolutely no problem with it, but Naoko thought that it would be best that we have (at least) one place for guests to sit without the fear of 'doggy hair' getting all over them (and there was CONSIDERABLE dog hair). I recall we had a bit of an argument over this very issue, but in the end, Naoko won out (how surprising), and it was decided that the sofa would be a “No-Bicky-Zone".
So when the new sofa was delivered to our house, we tried to make it clear it to 'The Bixter’ that under no conditions would he be allowed on our latest furniture addition. The sight of Naoko and I gesturing towards the sofa, crossing our arms in an "X" to emphasize that he wasn't supposed to go there, and in harsh and dramatic tones, saying "no!" and "damee" ("no" in Japanese), prompted his proportionately perfect little white head to tilt to a slight angle and don a cute innocent perplexed look. Still, he didn't make any motion towards the sofa, so I turned to Naoko, "Ok, I think he's gotten the message". I quickly looked back at Bicky and shouted "Good Boy! His chocolate almond brown eyes twinkling with just a hint of mischief connected with mine, and he appeared to have officially 'acquiesced'.
I walked the delivery men out to the driveway, thanked them for a job well done, and returned to the front door, happy to have the chore of the delivery out of the way and looking forward to a well-earned lunch. Letting the heavy front door close behind me, I sat down in the front hallway, fumbling with the Velcro strap on my new sandals. "Well that went smoothly". OOPS, boy did I jinx it, because just at the very moment the "ly" syllable of "smoothly" was leaving my lips, I heard the faint but distinct sound of a fur ball thud on the brand new sofa. Instantaneously I stood straight up like an arrow and with an exaggerated ‘gasp’ shouted (actually it was more of a exasperated moan) “Bicky”! I jumped up onto the new hardwood floors of our hallway and leaned my body halfway into the living to confirm with my eyes what my ears had already told me. Yes, the Bixter was indeed on the sofa. And not only was he on the sofa, but he was lying down fully stretched out, looking at me sideways with that "paw caught in the cookie jar” smile of his. “Bicky”…No, no! Bicky, jumped down immediately “Good boy”! I turned my back only to hear that now familiar sofa thud. I looked back. Bicky was on the sofa again. He smiled at me mischievously as if to ask me “what are you going to do now Mark?" Yes, he was testing me, and I was failing with 'flying colors.'
I scooped all 20 pounds of him, “No Bicky!", and put him down on the newly carpeted living room floor. I really had no understanding at the time of how to properly train a dog. In fact, it was more like Bicky was training me. One thing was clear though; the more I indicated something was off-limits, the more he wanted to do it. “How human of him”, I thought as I vainly plotted multiple ways of coaxing Bicky to relinquish his affinity with the sofa.
Over the next few days, Bicky eventually did capitulate, but he would gaze at the sofa as if he were Adam gazing at that succulent apple in the Garden of Eden. Then one day, out of the complete blue, Naoko said “If we put a towel on maybe Bicky could relax on the sofa during the day while we’re at work". “You mean it”? “I think that’s a great idea” I hurriedly ran up to the closet upstairs (didn’t want to wait for her to change her mind) and came back with an old towel and placed it over the cushions of the sofa. The whole time Bicky was monitoring our conversation, and when I brought the towel down and placed it over the cushions, he knew something was definitely up. “Bicky!” I motioned towards the sofa…”It’s ok now baby”. He wouldn't budge. His little ears perked up but he still wasn’t sold. I started patting the sofa, "Come on baby, it's ok now".
Finally, his delectable mouth opened and started spreading into one of his full-fledged grins. And with that, he took two steps towards the sofa, coiled like a spring, and catapulted, leaving aeronautical physics to do the rest. And there he was, as proud as Sir Edward Hillary on top of the Himalayas. . No sooner was up there that went from a very formal (upright) sitting position to his relaxed, sprawled out lying position. Bicky sure knew how to make the most of something.
Yes, Bicky had the run of the house…At least on the 1st floor. The steps to the 2nd floor were much too steep for the Bixter to navigate and I had to put a gate on it. Bicky’s little legs looked so fragile and twig-like, I was terrified that if he were ever to take a tumble (and I'm sure he eventually would have), there could be a serious injury.
The Bixter and I soon developed a daily routine that we basically kept for the rest of his life. I would wake up in the early morning around 6:30am (depending on that particular’s day schedule), and in a sleepy haze make my way downstairs. Bicky, having been awakened by my quiet rustling on the 2nd floor and heavy footsteps on the old wooden steps, would be impatiently waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs, donning that exuberant, loving, and endearing smile of his. I would in turn greet Bicky with a morning whisper of "Good morning Handsome", plant a kiss on his forehead and/or snout, and proceed to open the living room drapes, all the while singing the Beatles’ song “Here comes the Sun”. Then it was just a matter of hooking up his leash and bouncing off the front steps....Onward to yet another one of our adventures! Our morning walks would last upwards to 45 minutes; however, our evening walks would last well over an hour. And on weekends, I would throw in an afternoon walk (at the park with Naoko) for good measure. Life was perfect. Indeed, these times Bicky and I had together were treasures, each and every one of them. And it was during one of these magical walks that Bicky would meet the girl of his dreams….
To be continued…
Thank you so much for reading!