Cover the Spread

Damyanti’s book is out, and I have my copy – Yay!

This isn’t a post about sports, it just starts out that way. I am not a fan of UConn sports, but I watched the first half of their football game against University of Central Florida (UCF) Saturday night. I have to admit, I had an ulterior motive. Last week, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), my graduate school alma mater, snapped UCF’s 25-game winning streak when Pitt beat them in Pittsburgh. The ESPN talking heads were mostly mute about that game, choosing instead to talk about how Georgia beat Notre Dame (which had been predicted). So, I figured if UConn stunk, as predicted, they might show some game highlights from UCF’s loss to Pitt.

They did and they did.

UCF was a 41 ½ point favorite. When I stopped watching, they were winning 42-0. In gambling parlance, UCF had covered the spread. I don’t gamble, but if I did, I wouldn’t have taken UCF. If they got up by 40 points, they would likely start putting their scrubs in and UConn would put some points on the board. UCF won the game, but only by 56-21, so they didn’t cover the spread. But then, as I said, this isn’t about football. Around here, covering the spread means protecting a nice bit of fabric with an inexpensive bit of fabric. That way, when Maddie gets a drink and sloshes her mouth on the cushion, or MiMi or MuMu throw-up their dinner, a hairball, or, as MiMi recently did, bits and pieces of a cricket that had found its way into the basement – we’re safe. Well, the couch, chair and bed are safe.

Of course, we don’t really use the expression “cover the spread.” We’ve had dogs and cats for so long, it’s just a thing. We also don’t use a lot of other expressions. You see, Maddie, like her predecessor Irish Setters (and probably like your dog) learns quickly.

Our first Irish Setter, Mitzi, loved to go for rides in my truck. “Ride in the truck” became “R in the T” became “R” and then became a glance at my keys and a nod to the driveway. Mitzi still knew. As she was busy going crazy, my wife would remind me that I should get ready before “telling” Mitzi what we were doing.

Maddie has two favorite things, going for a walk and sitting. She doesn’t care where we go when we go for a walk and, although her new preference is to lay in her cot on her deck, if I took her to the mini-patio Faith and I built for my wife, she’d be fine. We just have to do these things. The walk happens without any discussion. Maddie knows that it’s time, and she starts making noise, but we just have to gear-up (harness, leash, poop-bag) and we’re ready to go. Sitting is another matter.

We can’t possibly carry the cot, a chair, a bag of peanuts and something to read with Maddie tugging at our arm. The cot and the chair have to be set up ahead of time. We don’t say “sit.” We no longer can say “S” or “I’m thinking about that thing…” Maddie knows. We can’t even go out the back door in the late afternoon, because she knows we’re going to prepare the deck. The major question now is, which one of us gets the relative peace and quiet of carrying the furniture out and which is left with the screaming, whining, panting, toe-tapping nut-job.

One other thing about Maddie, she can tell time. If we skip sitting in the morning, we need to be careful not to say, “we can sit later.” Maddie knows what “later” means and she knows when “later” is. When it gets to be later, the noise starts.

Dogs are creatures of habit. Their habits. It’s an honor, I suppose, to be included in their habits. It does seem like Maddie likes to sit with us, and when I walk her, she frequently will turn, jump and give me a smooch, as if to say, “thanks Dad.”

Yes, Maddie, I’m writing about you. Who’s a good dog?


  1. The Big-E fair looked like it was fun. I may have to try one of those chamois towels one day. I like the Absorber.We use one of those after every shower to wipe the stall dry. I’ve tried other brands, but they don’t absorb nearly as well as the Absorber does.

    Maddie’s new cushion looks comfy.

    Diva Dog could tell time too. Changing the clocks would throw off her schedule. I miss her.

    The steps are looking good. Just about ready to install them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That”s interesting about the Absorber. I use a small squeegee in the one glass shower stall we have.

      Maddie is loving the cushion. We have a pad for the cot, but it moves when she moves. This is attached to the legs, so it stays still as she flips. She’s been falling asleep out there.

      I miss hearing about Diva Dog – that was such a perfect name.

      I measured the bases this weekend so I can order the Trex. I’m hoping they have enough in stock so I can get it this Friday.


  2. I’ve been pulling for UCF because after all the years they went unnoticed, most FL residents not even knowing the school existed – they burst through last year with flying colors – the underdog finally reached new heights.
    Looks like an outstanding fair, Dan!! Good to know they still get this kind of support.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry about breaking their streak, GP. I was very happy to see them bounce back and smack UConn. UCF plays so fast, it’s amazing. I know that, prior to the game with Pitt, the coaches were working to try to get ready for that speed. UConn is leaving the AAC conference, but they said that they hope to continue playing UCF – I don’t know why – that’s like adding a big “L” to the schedule.

      The Big-E had over 1,6 million visitors this year and broke the one-day attendance record on the 21st with 176,500 – At that number, you can’t really move on your own, you just go where the crowd goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I don’t have to tell you I have a cat that tells time, with a one-hour spread. Neither cat knows the “F” word, but all I have to do is either walk down the hall or act like I’m sleeping. And the bed cover in our house serves to keep the two nitwits from spreading hair all over the pillows and catch an occasional hair ball. I gave up trying to cover everything as it seems they do prefer the floor for their sickly antics.

    Your fair is really a big deal to have had the big-name artists like Johnny Cash and Liberace. Do they still get the mighty talent in to perform?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know your cats are walking alarm clocks, especially for that morning feeding (for which you seem to always be late). Faith’s cats do that when I’m taking care of them, but they mess with me – “this is when mom feeds us” – “Um, it’s 3:30 am, I don’t think Faith feeds you at this hour.” MuMu seems to be confused about the last time she was brushed.

      They still have a musical act almost every day on the main stage. I don’t know most of the acts that were listed. Yesterday, the last day of the fair, Foreigner played. I remember seeing them in concert, a long long time ago. The show was sold out, as was “Skillet” ??

      Liked by 1 person

      • Skillet is a Christian rock band. They’ve probably been to Lifefest (a Christian music fest in Oshkosh) before, but I’m not familiar with their music.

        Gibbs had better not start the waking-up/feed-me period at 3:30, although he has woken me up once or twice at that time as he proudly announces his smelly lump in the litter box. Ewww.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! That’s funny about the wok. These guys learn the strangest things. Maddie knows that when my wife is making pasta, that Parmesan cheese is going to be grated. She gets a little hunk, and if there’s any left over, she gets some on her dog food.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I will be glad to get these monster shapes out of my garage, so I can shove two cars in there. I’m not really looking forward to installing the Trex. When I did the front porch and ramp, it was a frustrating experience. I’m hoping I have the ability to use some different fasteners now.


  4. Parker and Piper let me know it’s time to eat about 45 minutes before time. If we even start to walk back to ‘Piper’s room’ which also happens to be my office, she runs ahead knowing it’s time to eat. But you have 45 minutes yet, Piper! Cats and dogs are amazing! I bristle when people talk about ‘dumb animals.’ I just consider the source…..and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Big E is very popular, isn’t it? I’m going to tell my son-in-law about it. He loves fairs like this.

    We’ve been through abbreviating key words, using just the first letter, doesn’t matter, Murphy decodes them all. Instantly! If we forget a “snack time”, she doesn’t. It’s that inner clock dogs seem to have. But how is it Murphy has never learned the term ‘quiet’ when she’s barking her fool head off because apparently a moth flew by the house?!

    Maddie’s deck is progressing nicely. And I see she’s done a nice job of breaking in her new cushion. Good girl Maddie.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Ginger. Maddie totally ignores “no barking” “easy” and “quiet” but look sideways that the back door, and she’s dancing on those front paws. I’m glad to hear it’s nearly universal among dogs.

      Maddie is so chill in her cot now, she slept yesterday while a squirrel stood on the deck structure and ate a peanut.

      The Big-E broke an all time attendance record this year. They had amazingly good weather.


  6. As you can now see, I’m playing catchup, Dan. This week is the BIG push to get my gardens closed but as I’m finding out, this body aint what it used to be so the process is a bit slower. I’m giving you a LONG comment (sorry) cuz it will probably be the last one for the entire week. No gym, no blogging, until I am finished with these gardens.

    I had to laugh by what you wrote regarding “house-proofing” as I call it. Every surface in our house is as washable as possible cuz you just don’t know when the “oh no!’ happens again. As for Maddie knowing how to tell time, yep, got that here too. Other day as I’m trying to catch up on comments, Charlie comes along whining and pushing his head against my leg. Sure enough it was 4pm or thereabouts, time for snackies. Of course I had to stop what I was doing, get up and feed snackies. This is just not putting food down and returning to what I am doing. Nope. I have to stand guard due to the “piggies” in the family who will charge another’s dish in order to eat his or her food. Oh yeah, I’ve got that going on every meal. I’m the Sarge in Charge.

    Really cool gallery, with so much variety. Had to laugh (again) at the coffee picture. As for you drooling over the motorcycles, hubby and I owned 2 at one time. When I felt fear on the highway I told hubby no more riding. It’s just not worth it. Now I wish we had kept our last one just to ride on the back roads. Oh well! I still buy Harley Davidson boots. I LOVE them! And I’ve kept my leather coat. Can’t part with it! I actually gave my chaps and vest to someone …. kicking myself for doing that now. Oh well. Live and learn, I suppose.

    Anyways ….. have a busy day out in my gardens. Hope to get all front gardens done including shaping some bushes. It’s chilly and overcast here so I’m putting long johns on under my jeans. Once chilly hits my legs and back, forget it. Pain takes over and I’m done.

    Have a great day! Give your “kids” big hugs and kisses from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the long comment, Amy. That will hold me for a while ;-)

      It’s good to know that it isn’t just our animals. My brother had one cat that ate slowly and one that ate everything. He ended up feeding them behind closed doors in different rooms.

      I had a motorcycle when I lived in Seattle. I had it moved to CT, but I went out one time and decided that drivers were too crazy here, so I sold it.

      Good luck with those gardens.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a great story! I had to remind myself a few times that you were talking about Maddie and not one of my sons when he was little — we had to take to calling ice cream “nails” to throw him off the scent! (Don’t ask me why; it just was.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We travel too much to have a dog. Maybe some day . I had dogs as a kid , but they were just mutts my dad found at the Pound , and no one picked up after them around the neighborhood. I ‘d have to learn a whole new dog culture . Maybe some day —ie. teaching an old dog new tricks about new dogs .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The major question now is, which one of us gets the relative peace and quiet of carrying the furniture out and which is left with the screaming, whining, panting, toe-tapping nut-job.


    Thanks for visual and the good laugh 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post and can relate in so many ways. Attractive furniture covered with unattractive spreads, check. Don’t mention the “W” word to
    Dog until absolutely ready to leave the house , ✔. Right now my Lucy’s eyes are boring into my head because I’m wearing my walking clothes. Sigh, alright Lu, let’s go. Whose a good dog . .

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m convinced our dogs speak English, too. Not everybody in my house is careful enough, though – I nearly threw something across the room at someone who used the word “ride” five minutes early. I don’t have enough chill to withstand frantic dogs while trying to get out the door on time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Ride” doesn’t mean much to Maddie, but “Walk” or “Sit” are deal breakers. Our first dog? Look at the keys funny and she needed to go around the block. Two dogs, I don’t know if I could handle it.


  12. I so enjoyed the Big E photos. Thanks, Dan! I really should buy a couple of those Shazam towels. I know what you mean about the phrases and routines for Maddie. Somehow they endear us to our pets even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Poutine and an ice cold soda, please! And what a pretty food truck? storefront? kiosk??! I love that.
    Maddie’s SUCH a good dog! :D
    I would like sometime to make a list of words Sadie knows. I’m impressed.
    The cats know their names and “down” and “no” and I think, I think, Catticus knows the word “eat.”

    Liked by 1 person

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