Dave and I had a rather busy month in March. It seems like we were going somewhere every single day, which meant our Beagle Boy Cletus was on his own for at least a little while every day. 

Fortunately, April is shaping up to be a slower month for us. Good thing because I’m exhausted. Cletus is enjoying the slower pace and more "family time," although I did manage to break his little heart (and then mine) the weekend Auntie Gramma Sandi stayed with us. 

I had been flitting around the house like a butterfly in schizophrenic mode and finally sat down with Cletus for a minute. Sandi said, "Wow, Cletus is really sucking up that Mommy time," which is when I popped back up to do something else. 

She said if I had seen the look on his face just then it would have made me cry. Poor thing. Most of the rest of his weekend went OK. While the adults spent a majority of our time at the kitchen table playing games, spoiled Mr. Cletus rested on his bed, which we brought into the kitchen so he could be right in the middle of it all. 

He napped while we played and he logged in his time in the bed like he does every day since Dave threatened to get rid of it. 

Cletus did have a nasty bout of "Sneezy Face." He came in from outside and sneezed about 10 times in a row, really violent, came-from-his-toes kinds of sneezes. The kind of sneezes where his face rared back and his lip curled up, one eye closed and Aaachooo!! Again and again. 

He was fine before he went outside. The consensus was that he snorted a bit of sawdust. Being a dog and being a beagle means he’s got his nose to the ground all the time. And we just had a couple of trees cut down in the our back yard. 

The boys haven’t even cleaned up the logs yet, let alone the branches or the sawdust. I’m not really sure you can clean up sawdust. 

We finally convinced Cletus to get a drink of water and he eventually quit the sneezes. As if we would have to convince him to drink water. We’re constantly refilling his water bowl. We used to have two dogs living in our house and never filled the bowl this many times. 

Then it occurred to me that Duke and BoBo drank out of the toilet — the freshest, coldest water in the house. Cletus doesn’t do that. 

He will drink out of the cup I pour to use on the plants upstairs. I can either let him drink some first or run the risk of being tripped on my way to the plants. And all that drinking means a lot of trips to go out and pee on something. 

I’m hoping the boys eventually get to cleaning up the branches laying all over the back yard. Cletus is constantly getting his cable hung up on them. I wanted to trim them back right where they lay, even with the driveway, but the boys pointed out that he can reach that whole side of the yard anyway.

The new cable we got him doesn’t help either. I admired the one the kids had for our granddogs, BoBo and Roscoe, with its heavy duty clasp and heavy duty cable. Our No. 1 Son said to get one for a dog a size bigger than Cletus. 

Dave and I pondered getting the 40-footer but settled on a 30-foot cable. Good thing, since he really only needed about a 15-foot cable. He can reach all kinds of dumb stuff now. He completely wiped the grill off its legs — my bad for leaving it where he could get to it. 

He can reach the hole that goes down to our basement, but just barely. I’ve only seen his footprints in the snow at the top edge. I’m afraid he’s going to fall in there and hang himself. 

I should have been more concerned about his goofball gene kicking in. The barrel at the edge of the driveway was never an issue before we moved the Torino. Cletus couldn’t reach it anyway. Now with the car in the garage, he can go completely around the barrel, like he did the other day.

Miraculously, Cletus is quite good with the concept of "go back around." Most dogs have no clue. We spent years trying to get Dukie to "be smarter than the tree." Sadly, he never was.  

Cletus is smarter than the barrel, but not when the barrel has help from the concrete block. He got untangled from the barrel and hung up on the block. He went back around and got off the block and back on the barrel.

Every time I helped get him untangled, he’d take off like a rocket, but was still hung up on one or the other. We did that like six times before I got smart and moved the block. We may need to move the barrel, too, or all his "family time" is going to get used up in the driveway. 

© 2018 Laura Nethken