The Lassie Chronicles

With a dog like this, who needs a babysitter?

I was washing dishes while 2-year-old Tom and 9-month-old Seth played in the other room. Suddenly Coltrane, our Border Collie mix, ran into the kitchen, barking.

“Oh hush,” I snapped. “If you can’t be quiet, you’ll go to your kennel!” I was tired, and the dog was getting on my last nerve.

But he kept barking, darting back and forth between the dining room and the kitchen.

I plunged my dish rag back into the sink and soaped a pot. Cole barked some more. When I didn’t turn around, he poked his nose in a very intimate spot and gave me a nudge. That got my attention.

“What do you want?!” I demanded, glaring at him.

He barked and ran into the dining room. I followed, just in time to catch Tom as he attempted to climb into the corner cabinet — the one filled with my great-grandmother’s $1,500 crystal stemware set.

The catch earned Cole a pat on the head and a treat, and Tom a trip to time-out.

A few days later, I was taking five minutes for myself in the loo while the boys ostensibly played nicely in the living room. I had just settled in with the newest Pottery Barn catalog when Cole started barking again.

“Holy Lord!” I rolled my eyes. It was probably a squirrel or another dog or something. Stupid animal.

When his barking became more anxious, I washed my hands and stepped into the kitchen. Cole was sitting right outside the bathroom door, worriedly glancing between me and Seth, who was lying on his back chewing my cell phone charger cord … which was plugged in.

One of these days I’m going to learn to listen to that dog the first time he says something.

Article © 2008 by Stacey Duck