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John Eggers: More adventures of Simone and Simon

One of the best pieces of advice we received from friends was “You know, you really should get two dogs. That way Simon would have someone to play with.”

One of the worst pieces of advice we received from friends was “You know, you really should get two dogs. That way Simon would have someone to play with.”

What in heaven’s name were we thinking? We are not young anymore. We are not Navy Seal graduates. All we wanted was to have two nice, beautiful dogs lying at our feet by the fireplace and that maybe, just maybe, they would get our slippers for us.

What do we have? One Tasmanian Devil is a bit too much, but two? Again, I say, what were we thinking? Slippers? Right! The only way I would trust these dogs with slippers is if they were made out of iron. Even then they would probably bury them.

I think I know how this all came about. I made some homemade grape liqueur this summer and I must have had a glass too many when we decided, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have another dog like Simon?”

As some of you know, Simon fathered a litter of six and our penalty was that we had to select the first one. We chose Simone the terror who, at the time, looked like a soft furry bunny.

After we obtained Simon our lives changed for forever. As least that’s what I thought. I stand corrected. Simone has given new meaning to “changed forever.” Simon was no tiptoe through the tulips. Together, Simone and Simon have been a walk through hot coals with no end in sight.

“Simone, leave Teddy’s blanket alone.” Teddy is our cat and his blanket is Simone’s favorite toy. In case you missed it, Teddy put an ad in the paper that read, “Please adopt me. I will accept any home. Rescue me, now.”

Simone is 5-months-old and weighs close to 50 pounds. Every time we take her to the vet, she has put on about 10 pounds. At this rate, by this time next year, she will be about 150 pounds. She can still walk under Simon. Next year, she will be walking over him.

So how are they getting along? Well, it truly is a wonderful father/daughter relationship. Everywhere Simon goes, Simone follows. When I whistle for Simon to come, Simone comes — except the time she discovered a dead fish and was enamored with the taste. And aren’t they fun to roll in?

Their favorite game is tug-a-war with any pair of boxer shorts or socks, new or old, clean or unclean. At this point, Simon doesn’t move an inch but Simone keeps on tugging. Simon doesn’t know that he is about to meet his match in the not too distant future.

Simone has lost her baby teeth. Kathy was picking them up all over the floor for a week or two. I thought it would be nice if she would make a necklace out of them, but maybe not.

Other than store chew toys, one of Simone’s favorite things to chew on are Simon’s ears. She jumps on his back and grabs an ear. Simon shrugs her off as if she were a flea. Simone jumps right back on as if she were riding a bucking bronco.

Simon says “Simone, let’s go get some sticks.” This is a ploy for Simone to follow him while he picks out a big one and Simone grabs it and hangs on for dear life. I am amazed that Simone still has both of her eyes.

In addition to playing with anything that might be considered garbage, getting sticks and chewing on sticks are their favorite things to do. That’s probably the case with all golden retrievers. I am surprised no one has made a chew toy that is shaped and tastes like a stick. Maybe someone should just package real sticks and sell them.

We did have Simone spayed already so we are happy for not having that worry. We thought it might calm her down a little. Guess again. The whole episode seems to have given her more energy. We think out of spite.

Simon is a good father despite the fact that he is still growing up himself. If Simon is outside and we don’t see Simone, I tell Simon, “Where is Simone? Go get Simone.” In a few minutes, he will be back with her.

They will both sit on the top steps of our deck and look at the lake. Simon will lean his head to the side and Simone will lean her head to the side. Simon will lie down and Simone will lie down beside him. We still keep Simone in her kennel at night and Simon will come and put his nose next to the wire door as if to say “Get some rest, Simone. Tomorrow is another day. We’ll have some more fun.”

Dogs are an adventure. They tax our system. They cause us to question our sanity but in the end, they lie at our feet, twitch and yawn a little, and say, “Well, it’s been a fun day. I can hardly wait until tomorrow. How about you?”

“Go to sleep, Simon. You, too, Simone.”

JOHN R. EGGERS of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.