Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our gifted child

A few evenings ago, the wife and I were sitting on the couch enjoying some tube. Our dog, Sadie, had evidently not received as much attention as she wanted in the form of play time, so she rushed through the open back door and ran to find her stick.

The dog has had many sticks during her year and a half of life, many of them bordering on logs as she has grown to her current above average dog-size. Her current stick is actually part of a branch from a tree the wife and I had to chop down one day, which is nearly three feet long and sporting two sub-branches that make it form something resembling the letter F when viewed from the correct angle. She loves it, probably because it's big and unwieldy, offering her a variety of structures on which to chew, yet is still quite portable unlike some of her previous sticks/logs.

So, Sadie rushed out to find her stick, located it, gnawed on it viciously for a little while, then decided that if she brought it inside and showed it to Ma and Pa one of them might be enticed to follow her outside to play and allow her the opportunity to play keepaway from us with said stick. That decided, she raced back toward the house with the stick held horizontally in her mouth and attempted to run through the open back door with it. And because our back door is a bit wider than average, she might even have cleared it had our back screen door not been slid about four inches from being fully open. One end of the stick hit the screen and the other hit the door frame and the dog came to a sudden and violent halt, a comical act for which the wife and I had front row seats on the couch.

Before bursting into uncontrollable laughter, we first paused to make sure the dog hadn't just brained herself. She immediately looked a little surprised, sat down and dropped the stick. Then her expression shifted into a cartoon bluebirds flying about the head dazed sort of look, but as she saw us rising to examine her she walked into the house easily enough and seemed to be little worse for wear. We checked her teeth and mouth for cuts, but all looked fine. Soon she was back to her usual self, though she gave the stick a wide berth for a few days.

Cut to last night. The wife, being on call, came home late, so it was already dark. The dog, who'd been waiting patiently impatiently for Ma's usual evening arrival for hours, went nuts and began happily mouthing (we call it biting) her Ma and jumping around excitedly slashing everyone with her claws. (It's really the cutest thing you've ever seen, provided you're wearing the proper protective gear.) When she gets into one of those moods both she and we know the only thing that can be done about it is for her to take some of her pent up excitement out on one of her toys. And in these cases, we simply say "Where's your toy?" or "You'd better go find a toy" at which point she dashes off, finds one and then dashes back to show us how good she is at mauling it. All of her toys were outside at that point, so I opened the screen door and she dashed out to go find one. Unfortunately, I closed the screen door behind her and when she shortly returned with one of her toys she plowed headfirst into the screen door, knocking it off its tracks and bending part of it into the interior of the house.

I was standing right there when she did it and happened to look down at witness the whole thing. It was one of those slow motion moments in which I remember thinking, Here she comes. She'd better slow down. She's going to stop. Any second now she'll... *SLAM* What an EFFing moron.

Sadie stood still for a moment looking pretty surprised. Her expression was one part dazed and one part concern that she might be in trouble for breaking the door. I pulled the door a little further into the house and told her to come in, which she did. Again we checked her out and she seemed okay, not to mention relieved that she wasn't in trouble.

I've now reattached the door, the dog watching me all the while. It too is okay, though there's kind of a double crimp in one side of it from the two recent impacts.

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