Creature(s) of Habit

"I don't care what the subject is, I should be in your post."
“I don’t care what the subject is, I should be in your post.”

To say that Maddie, our 3-year-old Irish Setter is a creature of habit, is to understate. To say the Maddie is positively anal about some things – might still be to understate. Maddie needs to do certain things, and she seems to need to do some things with me and some with my wife, at certain times, or else the world is not right.

It also seems that, in her little red head, all that matters is her world.

I’m not going to describe or enumerate Maddie’s habits, but I want to mention one, because it leads to some very nice photo opportunities. It can be summed up by the statement my wife and I often say to each other:

Apparently, I have to go out.”

And no, I do not pee in the backyard. Maddie does, but very often, after she has gone out with one of us, she will focus her stare, stance and voice on the other one of us and talk us into taking her back out.

We know that she doesn’t need to go out. We know that she doesn’t really want to play. It is as if she thinks we need to go out. In the summer, we have to sit. In the winter, when she takes me out, we walk the perimeter of the yard. We stop a few times and sniff. Well, she sniffs. We might say hi to the neighbor’s dogs, and then we come back to the porch. Usually, Maddie then plops on the couch and goes to sleep.

The photos in the gallery today are from my most recent morning, late afternoon, and evening walks around the yard. I can report that all is well, and the perimeter is secure.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday.


  1. That’s an adorable photo of Maddie. With that face looking at me, I would probably do anything for her, as I do just about anything for my two felines. You can’t resist the face. It’s called “training the humans,” right?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If she does what she’s supposed t do while we’re out there, she gets a cookie. That’s one of the early training habits that never got removed. She has switched roles, she is the trainER and we are the trainees. I’ll give her a little bi of Jerky and tell her “it’s from Judy” – thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My old cat Joey had to go out every evening before we closed up for the night – his job was to walk once around the yard – we’d say exactly the same as you, when he got back in – that all was well, the perimeter is secured, sir, yes sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Audrey. Maddie can be quite persistent. I’m glad you liked the photos. I often have to correct my thinking when she takes me out. I start off being annoyed, but then I see something I wouldn’t have seen if I had stayed inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Our cat is much the same way. She doesn’t stare at us go out, but rather stands in the den doorway and makes it very clear that it’s bedtime. You can almost see her with her hands on her hips!

    Great piece, beautiful dog, beautiful always. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I must admit, my dog takes me out quite a bit, too, but you seem to get better pictures… :)
    Sadie likes to secure her perimeter every single time we go out. When she doesn’t, when she runs out, makes and hurries right back, we tell the other humans, so they know it’s crazy cold out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. Sometimes, she gives me the evil eye when I grab my phone or my camera. Sometimes, I thinks she’d be fine if I were taking her picture. Maddie is only fast if you tell her: “do your stuff and we can go for a walk.” The weather doesn’t seem to bother her.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Those little moments and habits are so precious Dan. I suppose it what makes Maddie, Maddie. We’ve just lost our little dog, Stryder because of a brain tumour. My mind and heart are full of his little habits,habits that made him so precious to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wonderful views! someone once said that a dog is the reason we get out of bed in the morning. In your case your dog is the reason you get out of bed, and walk the yard, walk to the park,see the sunset and many more things… great post made me smile

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jolynn. Some days, she’s the only reason I get the exercise I should get every day. I’m always amazed that I can see such beauty, right outside my door. It’s not like we live in a scenic setting.


    1. Thanks! We’ve been four times through the “I miss having a dog” – “Why did we get another dog?” cycle, but it always seems better with a dog in the house, than without.


  7. Maddie’s sweet face In your morning post made me smile! Seems you are well trained to accompany Maddie as the security guard of the yard. Smart dog. Love the little habits of our dogs. Understanding them and going along is key! Even when it’s, “Really, Charley, you have to go out again, you just went out. Oh…kay, let’s go.” Well trained we are too! Great photos, Dan! 🐶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Animals are like that. Cats bring home dead things because they think we’ll starve because they never see us hunting. Maddie probably thinks you need to go because she never sees you going.


  9. I’m sure every pet owner is nodding their head sagely while reading this post. We are all very well trained in the aspects of life which our pets deem critical :D
    Great photos, Dan … especially Maddie. She looks so patient … I’m guessing that expression suggests she thinks you might be a slow learner ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Isn’t it great to have that overwhelming sense of security that comes from knowing you have a diligent dog to take control of your world, and to direct you.

    No wonder Maddie needs to nap so often. I’m sure it’s exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard something about that. I think that’s what you folks call rubbish. I used to give our first Setter a beer bottle when almost empty. She would lay down, “hold” it with her front paws and lick the top until it was empty. We’ve never tried with the other dogs for fear they’d eat the bottle.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My husband is also a creature of habit. Most nights he adopts a stance — TV on, head hanging, eyes closed, mouth open — which tells me it’s time to tell him to go to bed. Which I do. Which he does.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Maddie is so adorable. Does she like playing around like fetching the ball? My sister had a German Shepherd named Sunny and he was so fond of me because I was the only one who treated him like my buddy. I used to play ball with him, take him for a walk, sit with him in the corridor on the floor as I read my book and he guards the perimeter. Sometimes I would just sleep by his side and he would let me. Such wonderful memories of him.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a dog person and I like cats too. I don’t have a pet but here we have a lot of stray dogs and the kids in the community love them. Just few weeks ago a pup was born and since it is cold at night the pup was shivering so these kids (age 7 – 9) made a space for the pup where they would park their bicycles inside the building and arranged for a bedsheet to let the pup sneak under it at night. It was so good to see kids helping the pup to stay warm at night.

        Liked by 1 person

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