John has gotten use to the shots being fired in the air, however he will never get use to the Black Cat firecrackers that Popsy strategically places by our bedroom window that our bed is next to. You can hear his giggles as he lights the fuse and runs for his life. John shoots straight up in bed as white as our bed sheets, loudly informs me that that was only “my insane father,” something about “needing to rein him in,” and finally, “someone’s going to get hurt.” Austin and Jamison enjoy seeing their normally calm and “in-control” father get a little flustered, and laugh because there is honestly nothing he can do about it. I just can’t imagine why these occasional “wake-ups” don’t seem to put John in a good frame of mind as he heads off to work. As for me, I grew up with it, kind of use to it, and always expect it. If he does catch me off guard, I would never admit it. Popsy doesn’t need any encouragement.
With their new found freedom Mimi and Popsy decided to take a little trip to Florida to pick up something for his car collection and see some pretty beaches and towns along the way. Although they would only be gone for a little over a week, there was only one problem with their plan. My parents have an affinity for German Shepherds. They have always had one for as long as I can remember. Popsy laughs and teases Mimi that it is because of her German heritage. Mimi has put up with his teasing for 49 years and nothing seems to rattle her. The German Shepherd they have now was picked out for them by Austin and Jamison and has been a loyal companion to Mimi and Popsy for several years now. Jacob, came home trained with all of the normal commands and displays the loyalty that German Shepherd’s are known for. But for all of his loyalty, also comes a particularity. This loyal and attentive dog won’t eat unless Popsy sits down with him and practically holds his paw in support. Jacob will only eat if Popsy is with him and paying attention to only him while he daintily picks at his food. At first Popsy thought this was quite cute and unusual. But with the freedom of retirement and their desire to travel, Popsy has felt a little stifled by Jacob’s neediness.
This stifling is a great bargaining tool. A certain agreement was entered into between Austin, Jamison, Popsy, and Jacob. Popsy proposed that if he and Mimi could go to Florida for 8 days and come home and see that Jacob hasn’t lost a pound that he would owe the boys a trip to the movies and to a restaurant of their choosing. Austin took the bet, but upped the ante by adding an end to the shotgun alarm clock for at least 3 months. Hands were shook and backs were slapped.
I woke up the next morning to the smells of bacon and eggs. My mind filled with bliss as I thought of my little men making me breakfast. I walked into the kitchen and reached for a piece of bacon as my hand was abruptly swatted away. “This is Jacob’s breakfast.” Jamison informed me. “This is his second helping. He really, really likes the way Austin cooks the eggs and I do the bacon just right.” Later for dinner I noticed that they took him some of our leftovers and carefully mixed them with some of his dog food. Each time the boys went to feed Jacob, our 115 pound lab, Jasper, escorted them. This routine continued daily until Popsy and Mimi returned.
When Popsy and Mimi returned they were greeted at the gate by a waddling Jacob who offered them a lot more of himself to love with a big dog grin. The boys not only had him eating freely they also had him gain weight that had filled out his wiry frame quite full. Honestly I am not sure if it was all of the gourmet food they fed him or if it was Jacob’s fear that Jasper would finish off his food before he did. Jacob had undergone quite the transformation and seemed rather proud of himself.
Since their return they have never had to hold Jacob’s paw in eating support again. The boys won their bet and then some, with Jacob and the boys having an established respect for each other. Things in Texas tend to be bigger and better, and things at our ranch certainly follow suit. The Bloom’s tend to make things blossom.