It’s a lovely day in the outskirts of the Ozarks, and this morning Jade had a request.  It’s the second time this week she has made a request.  She’s still learning how to do this, or that she can do this, since she no longer has the benefit of a personal translator (Parker).  Sometimes it is helpful to have a translator, but as I observed this morning, it isn’t always necessary.  I went to town for my morning cup of coffee, and as I walked back to the truck, some people were approaching from the other direction, having crossed at the corner.  There were one or two people in front, then a lady probably in her 30s or early 40s wearing a summer dress, followed by a lady who was probably in her early 60s.  These two were followed by a man of similar age as the second woman.  He had dark hair and a moderate complexion.  As they passed, I caught part of the conversation between the ladies.  It seemed that the older lady was looking for a place to live.  The younger lady asked her how many people would be living there, and the older lady replied that there would be two women.  The older lady had an accent that may have been from an Eastern European area.  The older lady and the younger lady understood each other well, and so did I, until the younger lady commented at the other lady’s last reply, “Hoo-rah!”  The older lady quickly responded with “Nay!” followed by a language that I couldn’t understand but didn’t need to.  I spent the better part of the next 15 minutes trying to figure out the relationship between those two.  The younger lady didn’t look like a real estate agent, and the two were comfortable enough with each other to joke about gender issues.  Who needs reality television when the world around us is so much more interesting?  ; )

Jade’s request this morning was this:  she wanted to stay outside, to lie in the cool grass and enjoy the cool breeze while the cars passed by and the Mockingbirds sang.  (Yes, there is some additional interpretation on my part, but she was clearly enjoying listening to the sounds.)  We are in a busy phase, so the Newfs have been spending a lot of time at home in the past couple of weeks.  I thought about it being Friday, and how Parker loved to lie outside and enjoy the sounds while I sat in the swing.  So, I told her that she would have to go inside for a while, but that I would be back soon and we could spend the morning outside.  She seemed dubious, after all I can get caught up in things and a “little while” can be quite a bit longer.  Her request a couple of days ago couldn’t be honored until last night.  We’re learning how to negotiate with each other, but instant gratification isn’t always an option.  I left and came back as quickly as I could.

Banner thought this was a fine idea too.  She is now enjoying being outside, and finding plenty of sticks.  She has tried lying down for a while, but her personality is a little too busy for that.  She still “sleeps” with her eyes open.

I set up a lawn chair to have “desk space” near the swing, then filled the large bucket from the hose.  First things first, the Newfs had to drink from the slowly running nozzle, held upside down for their personal fountain needs.  Something about water hoses brings out the naughty in young Newfs.  The water sprayed fast and forward and I adjusted the control.  Banner was jumping and bouncing with each movement of the spray.  I like to run the hose for a few minutes so the water is fresh and free from hose rubber residues, and since it is a 100’ hose, that takes a few minutes, which can seem like an eternity to a young water-excited Newfoundland.  I use this time to water the plants near the grooming room door, the bright and vivacious rose bush, the fig tree in a bucket and the citronella geranium (“mosquito plant”).  Banner is confounded.  She sees no purpose in pouring perfectly good water on the ground.  Finally the Newfs are allowed to drink, and what is only a few minutes of bending over to hold the hose at an ideal drinking level for them seems like an eternity to a human who still has back pain from last week’s injury.

Finally we move to the “base camp”, with me carrying the full bucket of water, enough to quench any thirst all day long.  But, up comes the paw, and into the bucket!  A little later Jade walked over to inquire of the bucket whether there may be any more water for Newfoundlands.  She seems to think that the bucket, like the back door, can interpret her request.  Plus, Banner has begun to bump the metal bucket around, lest I forget that the bucket is empty.

Well Jade was right.  It is a marvelous time to sit outside and enjoy a casual Friday.  Except for the human, who needs to get some work done, as soon as the bucket is refilled.

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