Retirement PresentMonday, March 04, 2013 by: Mac Headrick
It is Monday morning and still no column for this week. I officially retired from the Algoma District School Board on Friday, March 1st/2013. Now, my lack of a column for this week is not due to yours truly slacking off. The reason for the delay in this week’s musings was developed over this past weekend.
Linda and I celebrated my first day of retirement on the road travelling to Vassar, Michigan. Vassar is a small town approximately 17 miles from Birch Run Michigan. We spent Friday afternoon at Birch Run so we would be prepared to pick up my retirement gift Saturday at noon. My gift was born on January 1st, 2013. As stated in an earlier column my family thought the perfect retirement present for me would be a Pug puppy.
The puppy has a name. The inspiration for this name came one evening as I was on my computer. Pugs are very personable dogs with friendly dispositions and wide bodies. The Green Bay Packers have a defensive tackle who weighs in at about 340 pounds. He has a very outgoing, amiable personality and goes by the name B.J. Raji. Thus the newest addition to the Headrick family is named Raji. As Raji grows he will, of course, wear a Green Bay collar and leash. Raji will of course have his own football jersey.
It has been awhile (8 years) since a puppy took over the Headrick household. Raji has quickly adopted his new surroundings. Saturday evening when we first put Raji down he froze and didn’t want to move away from Linda or I. By Sunday afternoon he was tearing around the first floor. Raji knows where the water and food dishes are. He has developed a fondness for one of Beau’s beds and occupies it at every opportunity.
The first night Raji slept straight through eight hours. My first thought was training a pup to sleep in his crate isn’t so hard. My previous Pug, Morris, felt it was his right and a privilege for Linda and I to share our bed with him. Even with a king size bed at the trailer I often would wake up at the side of the bed with about 10 inches of mattress supporting my rather large frame. Pugs can be notorious bed hogs. Last night Raji woke up three times. The first time (being half asleep) I took him out of his kennel. He sighed and contentedly began to snore. My first thought was who is training who? The next two occasions’ I ignored the whimpers which lasted less than a minute.
I am sure most people have heard of the “Dog Whisperer,” Cesar Milan. I am known as the “Dog Master”. Of course, this title is only known to me. I trained Morris to sleep on the bed in less than five minutes. When I sat down on the couch, Morris was there as I lowered myself to the cushion. Give me two minutes and I can train any dog to consume a treat. Naturally with all this ability I should have no problem training Raji to schedule his bathroom breaks. The good news is within one day Raji has learned about using dog pads. Unfortunately the weather is still cold. In theory times should be scheduled for a new puppy to go outside to do their business. Raji wants nothing to do with the cold. We go for a short one to two minute walk. Raji cries to get inside were he promptly does his business. Consider this part of his training as a work in progress. Fortunately for Linda and I, all our flooring is laminate or tile. We wisely decided years ago that carpet and pets was a bad combination.
Tonight Raji gets his first professional photo shoot. The Green Bay Packer stuff has been ordered. I believe we have enough dog toys to satisfy any member of the canine family. Apparently Raji doesn’t completely understand the master/dog relationship. I believe he regards me as a large chew toy who gives rubs.
As I see it, I concur completely with the saying “a dog is a man’s best friend.” I’ve got to go… Raji needs food, and then he needs to be picked up. I also believe it is about time for a rub and hug. He hasn’t had any attention for at least an hour.