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Send in the Clowns: The Dogs at Shady Rest

By David13676 @dogspired
Send in the Clowns: The Dogs at Shady Rest Through the years, the phrase “this place is a circus!” has been used to describe Shady Rest more than once, and it is not always in jest. Looking at our gang of Pugs in the kitchen and dining room around dinnertime, we realize that there is a big, fat kernel of truth to this description.

Freya is the Ring Master (Mistress?) and sideshow barker (pun intended).  She does her best to bring some sort of order to the chaos, and barks to draw attention to whatever seems out of the ordinary.  As Ring Master, she’d probably wear a red coat if we had one, but I suspect she’d eat the black top hat.

Sammie is the Strong Man!  He really is. Not only is he buff, but he even can drag our solid oak dining room table a few inches, if he can get a little traction. During dinner, we have to tie him to one  the table legs so he won’t shove his nose into somebody else’s dog dish.  If dinner takes a little longer than usual, he’ll put his head down, throw his shoulders into his harness, and lunge over and over. Eventually, the table will start to inch across  the floor. I’d worry about my Strong Man, but he does take breaks, and he seems to enjoy what he’s doing. When he stops, he grins from ear to ear, eyes shining. It’s good exercise for him.

Archie has an outstanding talent for ventriloquism.  He works with Spare the cat as his assistant. (I dare not refer to Spare as Archie’s “dummy” because he would kill me in my sleep). One night, Spare was sitting on the end of the table, waiting for the cat plate and, well, barking. He’d open his mouth, and say “Wurf! Wurf!”  It took us a few minutes to notice that Archie was tucked away behind the curtain, out of sight, but somehow he managed to bark in time to Spare’s attempts at meowing.  They managed to keep in sync until the cat food was served.

Riddi-kitty performs daily on the high wire (the backs of the dining room chairs).  She balances carefully and delicately, not needing a pole or parasol for balance.  No net, no wobbles, and she always sticks the landings.

Sherman is the Roustabout. Back and forth he goes, attending carefully to every detail. He knows what happens next and what needs to get done, and he will follow me like a furry magnet to make sure I get the process right.  He’s not above nudging me or the other dogs, if he thinks it’s warranted to keep things on schedule.

Spencer’s the Magician.  He is quiet, handsome, and can make most anything disappear by size, stealth, or appetite.  Like most illusionists, he’s a master of distraction, a prince of charm and guile.  He has been known to run down the hall barking, and then take over the still-warm bed of whoever was gullible enough to chase after him.

And then there’s Loki. All this dog needs is the red rubber nose and the big floppy shoes.

So, step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and boys and girls!  It may not be the Greatest Show on Earth, but it is ever-changing and never, ever boring.

The author, Ky, is the Innkeeper at Shady Rest, a home that fosters many older or special-needs Pugs. She is also a member of Ohio Pug Rescue.

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