It was hot wash day.
Laundry day. Nobody really likes that. I'll call it Clean Sheet Day instead because everyone likes the feeling of sliding into bed with freshly washed sheets.
Hot wash day is a full morning of fun, if you can call it that.
There are two loads. Bed Linens and Dog Stuff. The Dog Stuff got into the washer first this particular wash day.
Not wanting to annoy Rack the McNab Superdog, I picked up the mats around him. Bedroom, the hiding corner, and the bed. I tossed in some oddball things of my own since according to the National Health Service of the UK, when you wash clothes at 120F, you kill everything. My water heater is set to 125F as a result.
Don't run your hands too long under the hot water, you'll burn them. Trust me, I have.
Finally I needed the last of the dirty mats so I got him out of the crate, pulled it, then replaced it with a fresh mat. In a week, those mats go from pristine white to a color of gray that I describe as "week old snowfall in a big city". Grey. I am sure that it's more than just stuff he tracks in from outside too. Evil, evil, stuff that needs to go into the wash at 125F.
I settle back into my own routine. The super low water use front load washer does its thing. It will take an hour and I can finish quite a lot in that much time.
I blank out on what is going on around me.
Rack pads to the back door.
Open up some web pages, do some research on a nagging question on networking in Linux.
Rack pads out of the back room and does a perimeter search.
Read a page on how to share your home directory by modifying a file called smb.conf .
Rack pads past again, huffing on his way into the kitchen and the laundry beyond.
Restart networking on the linux workstation. It worked!
Rack pads past me whining in that high McNab Dog reedy whine. "Rack? What's up boy?"
He stops in his tracks, wags his tail exactly twice, sighs, and goes back on the search. "Show me what you want!".
Not a good idea. I spend the next ten minutes looking over every single inch of the house that was open, and a few closed rooms too. He wasn't telling me what he was looking for, but he certainly got the point across.
"Sorry boy, you just have to keep looking."
Herding dogs. They all have some sort of OCD. They also are called Hoarder Collies, even if they aren't strictly speaking, a collie. Besides, collie just means "useful dog" in the Gaelic that it is derived from.
I let him be. The wash had another 40 minutes to go. He clearly was missing something.
With a flourish and a loud sigh that sounded more like a distant locomotive horn on the early morning breeze, Rack finally and begrudgingly settled in on the mats that I replaced.
I went back to my own morning nonsense. I still haven't found that quirk in networking that will let me see Windows 7 machines. Windows 8 is fine, but 7 is not.
After a couple more pages, I push that search to the back of my mind. The washer has just sounded its beeper, I drop all the linens into the dryer. The hedgehog bounces off my left foot. I say "this must be what he wanted" and toss the little brown toy into the dryer. It was stiff with slobber before it got washed, it needed the trip through the dryer now that it was a sodden mess.
A second load of hot wash goes into the washer, the dryer is closed, and both machines get started.
Rack is curled into a dog ball. Resting quietly from his search for his long lost friend, he's finally settled down.
I go back to my own minutia. Read up on some more tech, a new shiny object to pass to a friend, some discussion on tablets, that sort of thing.
I lose track of time and the dryer sounds off. I walk out to the laundry and the washer is in final spin making a sound like a jet engine. It takes a lot of energy to spin your wash at 1200 rpm.
Grabbing all the mats, assorted dog toys, and my few things from the dryer, I press them hard against my chest. Managing to make it to the living room, I notice I'm being watched.
Rack comes closer, parks himself mid room, and stares through me with twin laser beams.
I fold up the dog mats and stack them on top of his crate. I get midway through the stack and I notice Rack came closer, his tail wagging.
My own hand is on the Hedgehog, Rack gets closer still.
"Is this what you want, boy?"
I get a reedy squeak out of Rack. Handing it to him, he immediately trots over to his bed and curls up with his long lost friend.
Dogs are amazing creatures, but on their best day, they're still a dog. Unless you have a McNab, then every day is an adventure, and it's a new opportunity to learn something new.
Especially if a toy hedgehog is involved.