Over the course of the past three weeks, I’ve probably started a half dozen different blog posts, all of which got thrown away unfinished. This was not because I didn’t have anything to write about or even because I was so terribly busy. Nope, it was because I truly, truly hate the new WordPress editor. It makes me not want to write. It’s not designed for writing, it’s designed for designing, which seems to me to be completely contrary to the point of a blog. Sure, if I wanted a web page editor, it would be lovely to be thinking in blocks, but I just want nice, plain words. The new interface is all… blocky. Clunky. Awkward. Annoying!

Today, however, Sophie was so darn adorable that I determined I really HAD to blog about my dog’s incredible cuteness. Much to my delight, the top widget in my my dashboard had a line that caught my eye: WordPress Extending Classic Editor Support Until 2022. Yes, please! It turns out that there’s a plug-in I could have been using that rolls back the clunky and returns me to my nice retro simple editor. Yay! Of course, 2022 is literally only two and a half months away, so I’m hoping that “until 2022” really means “through 2022” (and hopefully beyond), but I will take what I can get.

Back to my dog’s incredible cuteness: Suzanne is on vacation with her dogs, so it’s just been Sophie, me, the cats and the chickens here at the Mighty Small Farm for the last several days. Sophie has missed her playmate, of course, but Bear’s absence has meant more walks, more games, more snuggles, and lots more chances to play with Olivia Murderpaws.

Olivia has a “catio,” a fenced outdoor enclosure that she enters via a window from the house. It’s got a cat hammock, a cat climbing post, a bench and a bunch of potted plants. It’s not a big space, just nicely cozy for a cat, but the various furnishings are placed at different heights, so the different levels make it a good place for stalking games. Olivia stalking Sophie, of course. I don’t entirely understand why Sophie loves this, but she clearly does. It’s very different from the way she plays with Bear, which involves lots of growling and tumbling and chewing on one another, but it’s super cute.

Olivia and Sophie in the catio

Olivia and Sophie in the catio.

But Olivia is a grown-up cat now, which means her tolerance for play is limited. She plays with Sophie for a bit, then leaps back into the house. Or worse, goes to sleep on her hammock, her tail dangling and twitching occasionally, so that Sophie can see her and know that the potential for playtime is there, just not being realized. Poor Sophie.

But yesterday I’d played ball with her, taken her on a nice walk, and gotten settled back in the house when she rushed in. With every motion, she conveyed that she needed my urgent attention: her eyes fixed on me, her tail waving, her whole body taut with excitement. A thing! A thing needed to happen! I asked her a couple of questions, then looked back at my computer, and she carefully took my sleeve in her teeth and tugged. It was so clear that she was saying, “You must come!”

So I got off my bed and followed her outside and she led me to the catio. Olivia was there, on the ground, poised for the hunt. I let Sophie inside and the two of them played for a while. Success! Also just so cute. And smart! I much prefer her solving the problem of “How do I get into the catio?” by coming to find me rather than trying to chew her way through the fencing.

Sophie’s also bringing me her ball now to tell me that it’s time to play ball, although our games never last for very long because she’s so extremely reluctant to let go of it. She’ll fetch it quite happily and she’ll bring it back to about two feet away from me, but that’s where she draws the line. “Give you my toy? I just can’t,” she seems to be thinking. Sometimes I try bribing her — aka offering her a trade in the form of a treat — and sometimes that works. I usually walk away eventually, but our games last a little longer every time.

The other thing she’s getting better at — ha — is jumping on my bed. Somehow she is committed to the idea that it’s impossible for her to do. It is absolutely not impossible for her to do. Three times now, she’s forgotten that she can’t get on the bed and simply jumped right up. I’m not sure why she did it the first time. I was moving around the tiny house and was so surprised when I saw her on the bed that I had to ask myself whether I’d forgotten I’d lifted her up. The second time she was excited about going for a walk and jumped up next to me when I was putting my shoes on. The third time was, I think, that she was trying to reach her chipmunk toy. But she definitely still believes that she can’t get on the bed. She’ll put her paws up and let me know that she wants up but it’s only when she’s not thinking about it that she makes the jump on her own.

Sophie on the bench in the catio

She has no problem jumping onto the bench in the catio. She’ll try to put her head in the window to see if Olivia is there. So cute!

She and Bear had their first vet visits last week. Covid protocols are still in place, so I waited in the car while the dogs went in alone, one at a time. Bear went first. The tech finally had to carry her in, all forty pounds of her, because she wanted no part of that scary place. When he brought her back, he told me there was much nervous peeing. I apologized and warned him that Sophie would probably be the same. Au contraire. When I got her back, I was told that she was fine, super comfortable, eating cookies and “showing off,” said with a laugh. She sits and lies down on command now and pretty much understands that if a treat appears, it’s a good bet that promptly lying down will get it into her mouth asap. Will she ever do anything other than lie down on command? Unknown, but she’s sure good at that one. Ugh, which does remind me that I meant to try to finish that expensive video dog training: I should probably get on that today.

In other news… well, I have none. I’m hanging out with the dogs, reading a lot, thinking about writing but not doing any, contemplating life, and trying to remember to practice happiness whenever possible. My big accomplishments are almost always food related, ie cooked something delicious and/or different, and occasionally video game related. Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen, but I don’t know what that would be. Inspiration to strike, maybe? But I’m grateful for these peaceful, placid days.