Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gone To The Dogs

It never fails. After the whirlwind, we call breakfast, and the Tasmanian Devils have been dropped off at daycare and school respectively, the hubby and I plop ourselves down at the kitchen table. After prying syrup laden plates off its surface, cringing while scooping soggy rogue Mini Wheats into the palm of my hand and then into the garbage, and after half-heartedly swiping a damp rag across the table, we have a moment of peace. This is when we both wrap our hands around our lukewarm second cup of coffee and figure out what each of our schedules will be for the day, make comments about what the latest headlines and the weatherman has to say. In one of those comfortable pauses that married couples have, I notice two chocolate eyes staring at me from just over the edge of the table. They stare at me and then quickly dart to the right and back at me. I return the stare. The eyes dart again. I slooowwly turn my head and yes, there is a minuscule piece of waffle, quite nearly teetering on the edge of the table. The eyes belong to our dog. He's trying to let me know, that if I'm not in the mood to wipe up that piece of food, he'd be more than happy to help me out with it.

I elbow Shawn and nod towards the dog. The head doesn't move and the eyes continue to hold my gaze, but suddenly his tail swish, swish, swishes. Shawn will do it first, "Hey, I don't mean to interrupt, but, ummm, there's a piece of waffle right there. I mean, RIGHT THERE. And umm, I'd be happy just to slide my tongue across that little area, and it'll all be good." Thing is, he says it in a voice that's somewhat of a cross between Patrick Star on Spongebob and Hugo, the abominable snowman. (I will love him, and pet him and squeeze him and call him George.)
This is old school. Loved him!

We all create voices in our heads for our dogs (oh yes you do, don't lie!), and that one is Bo's. I don't know why we make him sound stupid. Wait, I take that back, yes I do.

Shawn had Bo when I first met him. Found him on an adoption site with floppy ears and a big pink nose.
Blurry, but still cute. And his nose is pink, just doesn't look it here.
He's part Lab and part we-don't-know-what-the-heck-he-is. Some say it looks like Collie, or maybe even greyhound, or maybe a wild combo of several canine breeds. He's a puppy trapped in a small horse's body. He's as lovable as they come. He tolerated the kids pulling his ears, tugging on his lips and catching a crack the whip ride on his tail. But he's dumber than a box of rocks. Oh we love him, trust me. He's just not that blessed with doggy sense. Some examples:

He uses his nose to push through his doggy door, but will sit and whine if "trapped" downstairs because the door is only open three inches.

He'll suddenly bark at thin air, bowl you over on the way to bark at the thin air through the window, yet remained mysteriously quiet when our car was stolen out of the driveway.

He sits thisclose to you while you're in the bathroom doing your business, not for affection, but because he's waiting for you to remove your butt from his watering hole, even though there is a fresh bowl of water in the kitchen.

He once spent the whole day on a throw rug, because he didn't want to walk across tile.

The minute the garage door is open, he'll shoot out to go exploring, but he won't jump the 4 inches of fence that is still protruding from the snowbank he is standing on in the backyard. (Yes, the snowbanks were that high.)

One time, Shawn had to get up in the middle of the night to the sound of whimpering. He followed the sound out into the kitchen, flipped on the light, and found Bo had managed to climb completely on top of the kitchen table (for a scrap of waffle, I'm sure) and stood frozen on four shaky legs because he couldn't get down.

I was trying to get a cute video of my son in his plastic swimming pool, and upon playback, see Bo wander in the background to lift his leg...for a solid 3 minutes!

You get the idea. When we met, I also had my dog. His name is Ripley, because he is a Shar Pei. He seriously looked like a manatee when I first got him.
I fell in love. (I find that the uglier the dog, the more I love it...bulldogs, pugs...that kind of cute, not the cute only a mother could love like Chinese Hairless with no teeth and bulging eyes.) He's totally opposite of Bo. He's dark, Bo's light. Bo has a beak and Ripley's snout nearly touches his eyes. Ripley has a deep baritone bark, and Bo's bark causes a streak of light to blur my vision. Bo is tall and big, Ripley is short and stout.

Getting them together wasn't easy at first, but they've learned to tolerate each other...somewhat. Ripley's "voice" is a bit higher, but probably just as dumb sounding. Bo is kind of a bully. He gets let out and then waits for Ripley at the foot of the two stairs, just so he can pounce on him before heading outside. He feels a need to 're-mark' his territory. Where ever Ripley pees, Bo must pee in the EXACT same place, sometimes he doesn't wait for Ripley to move before he does. We have the bowl of food in two separate bowls, because, like my children, they can't share. But once both bowls are filled, Bo will hover between the two. If Ripley picks one, Bo will run over to it. Ripley will move to the other one, and suddenly THAT'S the bowl Bo wanted. Sometimes he won't even eat, he'll just make sure Ripley doesn't eat either, until I have to step in and break it up. Even when they do play, Bo's long beak-like nose can reach places that Ripley's flat face can't. I've had to treat some pretty serious wounds.

Bo craves attention, all the time. "If I sit right here and stretch my neck, I might get petted. Almost there, almost!" (Voice again.) The problem is when you pet him, he gets so excited he'll feel a need to stand on his hind legs to give you a big hug, one giant paw on each shoulder. I would pet him more if he just sat there, but the minute I start, he leans in to it, rolls across my feet and leaves a small pillow of hair on my pants.

Since I've had time at home, I realize all they do is sleep. Bo moans like an old man when he switches position and Ripley snores louder than a freight train. I do notice one thing though. Before each of them find their spot for the night, they will each take their turn, walk into each child's room and walk up to their bed as if they are checking on them to make sure they are okay. They good dogs. Even if once in awhile they'll eat a box of crayola crayons. Makes the yard look like the Easter Bunny ate some bad Mexican.
They are loved.

1 comment:

  1. Great post and I love the voices - we do that too here. PS I am so jealous of your alone time with the hubby!