The silly cat got to write a column about this stay at home thing a few weeks ago, so it’s only right that the dog gets a turn, too. Life is always grand for this pup. And, yes, technically I’m no longer a pup, but if my mum can refer to her friends as girls, then surely a 13-year-old dog can be a pup.

Mum also says things like “boys will be boys” when Dad does something silly, and no one has mistaken him for young in quite a while. I mean he may be young at heart, but he’s on Social Security, and you know what that means he’s old—really old. And that makes me wonder why there’s no program like that for elderly dogs—maybe Doggie Dollars? But I digress.

It’s not bad having the royal parents here all the time, except I’m used to having uninterrupted barking time. I like to lie by the front door and bark at passersby — people, dogs, bicycles, deer, squirrels, and the occasional loud car. Mum says I bark at leaves falling from trees too, but she likes to exaggerate.

I’m kinda tired of hearing, “Banjo, enough.” I believe it is my prerogative to bark whenever and as long as I please, especially because barking is a personality trait of the Great Pyrenees breed. Methinks this quarantine thing is making my parents cranky, or maybe it’s that they never realized just how much time I spend barking.

For the most part, though, I like having them around. With Mum in her office most of the day, I can make my way upstairs to lie beneath her desk where she can rub my belly with her feet — sometimes for several hours since she no longer leaves to work out, eat lunch with girlfriends or shop.

When I’m not beneath the desk or barking by the front door, I keep Dad company in the living room. He says I’m only supposed to lie by his recliner and demand attention at 6 p.m. or later, that I should not expect him to cater to my wish to be touched all day long. Me? I say if he’s in his recliner watching television all day, then his arm needs to extend to my belly and rub it nonstop.

The other cool thing about them being confined to the house is they’re always here for lunch. That means I never miss a day of getting my tribute of three chunks of ham when Dad makes his lunch. Cool, huh?

One strange thing is they’ve begun hanging out on the screened porch doing something they call a jigsaw puzzle. I have a vague memory of them doing something like that years ago before Puddin’ arrived. She’s 7, so it’s been a while. They sit at the round table on the porch moving tiny cardboard pieces around. Dad even built a big wooden platform for the tabletop, so the little things won’t fall through the slats in the table.

Mum says that once Puddin’ discovers what they’re doing, all bets are off. The girl has a disturbing tendency to bat things off tables — coasters, pencils, pens, paper clips. She’s even tried to push Alexa off Mum’s desk. Can you imagine what fun she’d have with the puzzle pieces? Before we had this cute calico kitty, we had a white cat named Dancer. She lived to be 22 and had given up leaping on tables, so puzzles were safe back then.

Was it Art Linkletter who said, “Kids say the darnedest things?” Well, all I can say is pet parents do the darnedest things, but I love them despite their silly ways.

Banjo lives in Sandy Springs with his mum, Kathy Manos Penn, author of the Dickens & Christie cozy animal mystery series available on Amazon. Find their books locally at the Enchanted Forest and write him at

Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest and on Amazon. Contact her at, follow her on Facebook,, and/or read her blogs at

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