A pup like Willow

Konrad Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist who wrote many books on animal behavior. One of his most popular was Man Meets Dog. This book moved me when I read it many years ago. It’s a deeply personal account of his relationship with dogs. Some of his conclusions are scientifically incorrect, but his message is moving.

He wrote about the particular problem that Mrs. Lion and I are facing: handling the reality that dogs don’t live as long as we do. Our relationship with Daisy was as deep and strong as our love for a child and each other. She was a member of our family. We treasure our memories of her.

One of Lorenz’s points was that the best way to honor a dog we love who passes away is to get another of the same breed. He believed that while each dog is certainly an individual, there is a shared foundation that all members of that breed possess. Nine years ago, when our beloved golden retriever Lily died, I wasn’t sure I could handle the idea of giving my heart to a dog again. Mrs. Lion knew better. About two weeks after Lily passed, Mrs. Lion researched available pups. She found a breeder with goldens at a price we could afford.

She called them and arranged a visit. I agreed to go. I was still unsure of whether I wanted another dog. When we got to the kennel, and a herd of excited puppies scampered around our feet, I was hooked. They only had one female. Mrs. Lion picked her up and handed her to me. She didn’t look like a golden. She was light gold with short hair. Her tiny tail was wagging frantically. She didn’t try to squirm out of my arms.

We bought her. It was Daisy. She spent the ride home snoozing in my arms. It was obvious that she wanted to be with us. She went into her crate and spent the night sleeping. She never whined or complained. We were obviously meant for each other. Daisy was nothing like Lily. She was a bulldozer of a dog who pushed her way into anything that interested her.  We were both delighted. None of us regretted our adoption.

Daisy died a week ago. Daisy taught me that the best thing to do was to find another dog like her. I was wary. This time it was for a different reason. I didn’t want a dog who would end up with bad hips, knees, and eyes. It was those bad joints that put Daisy into such pain and forced her to leave us years early. I can’t face that again.

I didn’t know it at the time, or maybe it didn’t exist. The American Kennel Club has a marketplace for puppies. Only breeders who are members can advertise there. They also require breeders to show if their puppies’ parents were tested for the genetic weaknesses of the specific breed. Golden Retrievers have a genetic weakness for hips, knees, eyes, and heart problems. Decades of too much inbreeding have weakened the genetic pool for most breeds of dogs. In case you wondered, the same problems plague mixed breed dogs too.

I only looked at breeders who said that the parents of the pups were tested. It was surprising how many didn’t bother. Mrs. Lion and I are very fond of the nearly-white goldens. We first saw one on the sitcom, “Mom.” We thought it would be fun to have a dog that color. However, we didn’t make that a hard requirement.

It turned out that Mrs. Lion was doing a similar search and also ended up on the AKC site. When she got back from New York on Saturday, we compared notes. Several breeders within 250 miles had female puppies whose parents were tested. I called a few and left voicemails. The first breeder who returned my call was one whose pups looked great. We had a nice talk. She had two females available. One was spoken for, and the prospective owners were coming to decide which of the two they wanted. We could have the other one. There is a steep price for a dog so carefully bred. Fortunately, our pet health insurance (Trupanion) covered all but a few hundred dollars of Daisy’s hospital bill. I took money out of my 401k to pay for the hospital. We’ll use the money to buy this new puppy.

Because of the historic heat here, we agreed to put off our visit until Wednesday. The breeder is over 200 miles away. If we like the puppy–fat chance we won’t–we can get her in about a week. She is still too young to take away from her mother. I’m very happy with that timing. I’m still processing Daisy’s death.

I always believed that people needed time to process the loss of a dog before adopting a new one. My thought was that the new dog would be less loved because the former dog’s memory was too fresh. Konrad Lorenz was right. It feels like we are honoring Daisy by welcoming another pup into our lives. This dog won’t replace Daisy any more than Daisy replaced Lily. The new dog is a continuation of the circle of life. She will be named Willow. We welcome her into our family with our hearts full of love.

I woke up at 9:20. It was 80 degrees already. Fifteen minutes later, it was 83. Oof! If we had continued that speedy warmup, we might have hit 200 degrees at some point. As it is, it’s 96 at 12:15. My hair is sticking to my back, and I’m seriously considering shaving it all off. Nope. I don’t do well in the heat. [Lion — We have a couple of room air conditioners. It’s about 80 degrees where Mrs. Lion is. At 1 PM, it’s 98!]

Lion before his spanking. He hadn’t been spanked in almost 2 weeks. The marks you see are apparently discoloration from my long-term spanking history with him.

Rather than wait until Monday (when it will be even hotter, by the way), I dragged the spanking bench out last night. I remembered to take pictures of Lion’s butt beforehand so he could see the presumably permanent marks I’ve given him. They aren’t bad. I think it’s just discolorations. I also took pictures after. I want Lion to see why his buns feel the way they do. [Lion — It was a very painful spanking that I am feeling now.]

This time, I spent more time trying to get inside the crack. Lion is correct when he says I view spanking as more of a challenge. I try to do a good job. It doesn’t turn me on or give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I really am concentrating on hitting the right spots. Actually, I’m concentrating more on not hitting the wrong spots. This time Lion said I hit pretty far down. I must be out of practice. I thought I was hitting in the right spots. He also noticed a crease in his skin. I guess he’ll need to be further up on the bench. Or maybe further down. I think his legs might need to be bent.

Lion after his spanking. I may have missed some upper real estate, but his crack and center are felt my concentrated attention.

Was he cheating by being too far up on the bench? I know it hurts more when his skin is stretched. Maybe we’re both out of practice. He’ll have to pay attention to where he is on the bench, and I’ll have to pay attention to where I’m hitting. Practice makes perfect. I know Lion isn’t happy to hear that, but it’s true. Don’t let him fool you. He loves being spanked.

Lion’s position on the bench. We’ll adjust him better next time to be sure his bottom skin is nice and tight.

Who knows what shape we’ll be in on Monday in the heat. The bedroom air conditioner is doing a pretty good job. It was still sticky last night but much better than no air conditioner. Lion mentioned going out today. The car is air-conditioned. We might even be able to run one of the air conditioners in the camper if we need to escape the heat of the house.

Regardless of the heat, Lion and I both slept much better because we were together.

My unspanked ass
My unspanked bottom. It’s a fresh canvas for Mrs. Lion.

You have to understand that where we live, a heatwave is a couple of days over 85 degrees F. The Pacific Northwest, particularly the Seattle area, has its own climate. While other places freeze and swelter, we live in a moderate climate that rarely goes below freezing and above 90. Suddenly, we are confronted with Arizona weather. Since I’m a native New Yorker (Greenwich Village), I can’t imagine living without AC. When we moved to this house, we bought two portable AC’s. I doubt they will give too much relief to 100-degree weather. Better than nothing, right?

I’m just over a week since Mrs. Lion let me ejaculate. I’m pretty horny. She is unlikely to give me relief. Poor, horny lion! On the flip side, she will almost certainly spank me today (I’m writing this on Saturday). There is also a good chance that she will do it again on Monday. She’s very consistent about her spanking plans.

There are some good reasons that she has me on a twice-weekly spanking plan. From her perspective, she gets the chance to perfect her technique now that we have the spanking bench. I get my hide toughened, which may reduce the bleeding. We both benefit from the frequent reminders of our disciplinary relationship.

You would think that after over six years of domestic discipline that spanking would be a routine activity. It isn’t. Over the years, Mrs. Lion has learned to be a strict spanker who makes sure I get maximum pain from each spanking. She has developed into a true DWC wife. She is still working on perfecting her technique.

The problem for us is that Mrs. Lion has a problem punishing me for annoying her. She can’t reliably do it. Perhaps with our minimum of two spankings a week, the process of identifying annoying behavior and punishing it will become easier.

Our “just because” spankings are full ten-minute sessions. Mrs. Lion is committed to delivering one every Monday and Thursday. If I annoy her, perhaps she can add time to the scheduled spanking to punish me for the offense. She is currently following the DWC plan. She adds an extra five minutes to the initial ten for any additional offenses. If I interrupt her, she can extend the next “just because” spanking by five minutes.

She is tempted to change the “just because” spanking into punishment for an offense if needed. This is probably not a helpful thing to do. Offenses require their own retribution. She has said that. Much as it pains me, she’s right. We both learn best by taking very deliberate actions.

We made the most progress when Mrs. Lion decided to act consistently and frequently. Spanking me has to be simple and undramatic for her. That’s where the “just because” spankings come in. If she understands that she doesn’t need to be fair when deciding to punish me, she will be much more likely to punish annoying behavior. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t all my fault.

It’s always about love.

Since she is learning that it is perfectly fine to spank me twice a week for no particular reason, she will understand that spanking me for something I may not be totally responsible for is no big deal. It’s good for me whether or not I really did something wrong. It’s just an activity we share. Make sense?

If Mrs. Lion learns to consider spanking as no big deal, she will be free to do it without a lot of soul searching. We both know it’s good for our marriage. Hell, if she feels no qualms about spanking me for not setting up the coffee pot, why would she feel any guilt about beating me for interrupting her. If she is spanking me twice a week for no real reason, why fret over a possibly unfair punishment? Spare the paddle and spoil the lion.

I am currently over Chicago, on my way back to Lion. I saw some cousins I haven’t seen in decades. Oddly enough, talking to them made me want to call my mother. I guess you always want to call your mother.

There’s a heat wave in Seattle. The forecast says it will be 115 on Tuesday. I hope they’re wrong. No one needs heat like that, least of all an area I’ll-equipped to deal with it. Most people don’t have air conditioning. Our portable ones may not keep up. I told Lion we can remove the food from the freezer and take turns sitting in there.

I’m really glad to be on the way home. I miss Lion and I want to get back to normal. Two trips roughly 30 days apart is too much. I’m a homebody. I’ll have to rest up for my daughter’s college graduation next year.

Our plan is to go to the casino tonight. I think Lion is trying to avoid the just because spanking he should have gotten Thursday night. He’ll protest and say he only wants his free dinner, but we know. He doesn’t want his buns bloodied. I can’t say I blame him. Ever since he encouraged me to learn how to give butt-blistering swats, he’s been wondering what the hell he was thinking. Silly boy.

Even if I don’t spank him, I still have plans for him. It might not happen tonight. Between my having to be at the airport at 4 am Seattle time and our going to the casino, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do much more than snuggle. There’s always Sunday. And I have Monday off as well. Plenty of time for Lion fun. Of course, it may only be fun for Lion up to a point. I doubt he’ll have another orgasm, but you never know. That’s one of the good parts of being in charge. I can give, or not give, an orgasm whenever I feel like it.

[Lion — Today is forecast for 100 degrees. Seattle holds the dubious rank of the city with the least air conditioning. I’m going to suggest we skip the casino today. I know, we will miss the free food. Everyone knows that lions never turn down a free meal. Today will be an exception. I’m pretty sure that the heat will drive record crowds to the casino where it is air conditioned. I expect that I will get the spanking either way and another on Monday. I trained Mrs. Lion well. Stupid lion!]