Richie’s Ground Rules

Judging by the number of times our dogs have pooped on the nursery floor in the last few weeks, I think they’ve figured out what’s going on.

And also, Richie told me. For those who don’t know, Richie is our 1.5-year old cockapoo. We also have a 6-month old cockapoo named Ollie, but he hasn’t learned out how to talk yet. Plus he’s just not that smart.

Sir Richard (Richie) Branson approached me the other day about writing a column for this esteemed blog. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t want to mess with the brand that I’ve created with the tens of people who have visited this site. But alas, Richie knows how to cut to the heart of me.

So without further ado, enter Richie Richardson. I promised him I would not censor his writing, so this is totally uncut. And oddly enough, he writes in a tone very similar to mine.



Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce myself: My name is Richie. Me llamo Ricardo. And Richard. And Lionel Richie. And Richie Rich.

I honestly don’t know what my Christian name is because my masters can’t seem to settle on one name. But “Richie” seems to be the most prevalent of the bunch, so I’m going to stick with that.

For the first year of my life, it was just me and my masters. I ate when I wanted. Slept when I wanted. Slept where I wanted. Once a week or so they would take me to some sort of facility with hundreds of other dogs. I owned that place, too. They had to move me to the “big dog” room because my personality was too big for the “small dog” room. At least, that’s what I overheard.

Then 4 months ago they brought home another dog. He has a small head and looks a little funny, so I think my masters took him in as a favor. It’s fine, though. He’s finally big enough to play tug-of-war with my favorite stuffed skunk. Plus he has to sleep in a cage in the dark. I make sure to curl up on the bed right between my masters to rub it in. To make sure he knows I own this place.

But now I’m worried. Something is rotten in the state of Georgia. All of a sudden there’s new furniture in one of the rooms upstairs. And the masters are testing new paint colors. Well that, and I’ve also heard the words “I’m pregnant” multiple times. So I think my masters are having a baby human.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. However, I love my life and I know I don’t want my living situation to change. The masters seem intent on this, so I’m just going to embrace it. In fact, maybe I can increase my standing even more by helping make their lives better. And since I’ve been through this whole “life” thing pretty recently, I’ve put together a few pieces of advice for Baby Rich. This should make for a smooth transition and a mutual respect between us.

When They Say this Word “No,” That Means Do More of What You’re Doing

The masters say this word a lot. I’m not even sure what it means. They seem to use it when I’m parched and just want to grab a quick drink from the white, oval chair-looking thing that has water in it. They also use it when I’m trying to talk. A lot. In fact, I have to talk even louder just to be heard over them. And then they say it even louder. I think they think it’s a contest to see who can talk louder.

They also say it when I’m just trying to play with another human. Humans are so tall that I’m not sure they see me. So obviously I jump on them to get their attention. My masters say “No,” and the other humans pick me up and pet me. So all I can assume is that the word has something to do with encouragement.

My advice to Baby Rich, therefore, is to do more of whatever it is you’re doing when you hear them say, “No.” And the louder they say it, the more you should do it.

Keep Your Hands Off My Toys

Because. They’re mine.

Unless you’re ready for a hopeless game of tug-of-war, keep your paws off. I assure you I’m stronger and faster than you. Just ask Ollie.

And all those new toys the masters are buying you? Those are mine, too.

You’ve been warned.

That Little Space In Between the Masters is Mine

Ollie has tried to find his place in the bed at night. But mostly he just moves around constantly and talks at inopportune times. So he usually ends up back in that cage.

Oh, I’m not saying you’ll end up in a cage, Baby Rich. Not at all. In fact, there’s room for all of us in that huge bed. But there’s a super-awesome spot right in between the masters. It’s this glorious little nook where the two pillows separate ever so slightly. Where the covers end and heaven begins. Where when you lay at just the right angle, you can mooch the body heat from both parents.

And that spot is mine. Good luck.

Keep the Volume Down at Night Time

I generally like to get 8-9 hours of sleep per night. And I’m talking uninterrupted sleep. This is very important to me, and very important to the masters.

But mostly, it’s important to me. Please respect that.

If you do not respect that, then the masters have this thing that goes around your neck. When you make too much noise, it sprays some sort of smelly spray in your face. I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t pleasant.

If you interrupt my sleep, I will put that put that spray thingy around your neck. Well, I’ll get the masters to do it. I would have a hard time operating the clasp without opposable thumbs.


And that’s it! Simple enough. Right?

Just remember: I was here first. I know what I’m talking about. I’m not “warning” you or anything. But if you’ll heed my advice, you and I will be just fine.

I'm Brandon.

I’m a dad who writes about being a dad. When I can find the time between wiping butts and breaking up fights and chauferring and working. 

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