Monday, January 11, 2010

The Old Watering Hole....

"Thwack...clatter...snort....grrrrrrrrrrrrrr."  Strange sounds emit from our kitchen....

Mom, working away at her computer, asks, "What was that?  Is Addie into something again?  Addie, off!!"

[Poor's tough being the "kid" in the family,  Even when she's being good, she gets into trouble.  But this time, she is as innocent as a lamb.]

"No, Addie is out here helping me read my magazine. It sounds like Jazzy got the dish drainer caught on  her head again.  I guess she's telling us the waterer in the kitchen is empty.  I'll go check."

Sure enough, little Miss Jasmine is standing in the middle of the kitchen glaring at the offending plastic dish drainer she's dislodged from it's storage spot atop the dog waterer that resides in the open space under our kitchen sink.  The glare shifts its focus towards me, and my small, brown, torpedo-shaped houndette stomps over to register her great displeasure.  Jasmine has distinct opinions about everything, and she's not a happy camper about the evil dish drainer that has "attacked" her yet again.  She stares up at me and then gives me her version of "The Paw", which consists of a stomp on my instep, and a good healthy scrape with her toenails down the length of my foot.  Her little legs are so short and stubby, she can barely catch the top of my foot, but she manages to let me know about her unhappiness in no uncertain terms.

"Mama, it's empty.  You're falling down on the job!  And that thing attacked me again.  I'm not at all happy about that."

"Sorry, Jaz.  How about some nice Bathroom Water while I fill this one?"

"Nope, I'll wait."

I try to "herd" her towards the back bathroom where there is an identical 2 1/2 gallon dog waterer, but no soap, she'll have none of that Bathroom Water "stuff".  It happens to be full--it's been that way for at least two days, and the water is absolutely pristine.  Bathroom Water just doesn't have the same appeal as Kitchen Water.  Why, I do not know, but Bathroom Water is always a second choice, and only if there is no way to alert the Basset Mama that the Kitchen Water is empty.

There is no dearth of water for the dogs in our household.  Even in the worst of a Texas drought there is always a large rubber horse tub that has a float-valve stock waterer on it and a constant flow of fresh water just half a Basset-body length outside the doggie door.  Do they drink from it?  Only when they are locked outside or can't get into the kitchen or bathroom, which happens about .001% of the time.  All of the other critters in the neighborhood love that water bucket, but the Basset Brigade wants Kitchen Water.
With four dogs, the Kitchen Waterer is in need of refilling every other day.  The Bathroom Waterer is refilled about twice a week. I scrub each before refilling them, and run the bowl parts through the dishwasher every other week.  I use a scrub brush on the outside waterer once a week or so to keep the algae out of it.  It's not a perfect system, but it works, and there is never a lack of available water for the houndage.

Much to the consternation of the supervisory committee (Jasmine and now Pelly, too), I did the washing routine for the Kitchen Waterer and gave it a thorough scrubbing before refilling it.   I  refilled the base of the waterer, then proceeded to fill the large water-supply bottle.  In order for me to successfully flip the large bottle into the base, I need both space and no interference from an inspecting hound, so I gave the "Out" command, and the committee reluctatnly exited the kitchen.  Mission accomplished,  I let them back in and the drinking began.  Jasmine first, followed by Pelly, then Penelope, and finally Addie.  Now, we are not talking dainty little sips here, we're talking large gulping mouthsfull of least half a gallon of water between the four of them.  It was as if they'd not had water in days.  The bottle gurgled and belched as it readjusted its water level.  I'll be refilling that bottle tomorrow before lunchtime, I guarantee it.  Meanwhile, the Bathroom Waterer remains perfectly full.  I'll dump it in a day or so and start over, but they won't touch unless they absolutely have to.

What is the difference between Kitchen Water and Bathroom Water?  I cannot tell you, it is a mystery understood only by the Basset Brigade.  The two rooms are less than 12 feet apart, the water comes from the same system, and the waterers are identical in size, shape, and volume.  (They do differ in color, but that does not seem to be the deciding factor, because I often switch the two after they've been through the dishwasher. )

Kitchen Water, it seems, is the premium water and better than any of that "exotic" bottled water that we humans consume.  Take that, Evian!  You, too, Aquafina!  So much for Sierra Springs!  Bathroom Water can't hold a candle to Kitchen Water.  They can't wait to get at it, they take long, luxurious drinks of it, and they seem to revel in the fact that it is, indeed, the finest Kitchen Water ever to be had.  The Bassets have spoken, and Kitchen Water prevails.

The Kitchen Watering Hole--and the infamous Dish Drainer...

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