A 6:30AM meeting of the minds in the kitchen floor. Yup, myself and the two danger dogs (Izzy & Mikey). I’m beginning to despise anything ending with “Y”. My apologies to anyone in which that effects including my favorite day (Friday).
I did it to myself though – I can’t blame anyone else. I took my hard earned money, handed to one of my friends – Gabe, and picked the polar bear looking dog up and went about my business. Self-inflicted pain, my favorite sin. The kind of pain you contemplate at 2:00Am when another impromptu meeting of the minds has occurred in the backyard because SOMEONE (I will try to be discreet… her name ends with a Y) has decided I have nothing better to do but sit on the back porch shivering because it is only 22 degrees outside. Because SOMEONE (I will continue my discreet-ness… has a yellow coat and a long tail that will soon be capable of clearing a coffee table with one fail swoop) has decided that this was not a bathroom break, but a chance to lay in the grass and chew on random object #7002394 (a piece of bark not burned at the last BBQ). Because SOMEONE (seriously…) is not old enough to understand their full name… ISABEL “ISABEL STEPHENS” CROSS (long story) yelled across the yard in a screaching monkey tone that I’m sure will send other dogs (not named Izzy) in a frantic early morning fit.
So here we stand, well she sat – licking her foot… facing off like Old West gangstas (sep. for the fact that its 25 DEGREES). Minus the guns. Her weapon- shear cuteness and the fact that I spent hard earned money on her, her bed, her food, her toys… OH and lets not forget, her freakin’ dog house that I built by hand. Mine. An insurmountable amount of body hair from years of shaving for swim meets (and no we didn’t have to shave “Down there”, anything covered with a Speedo was off limits – Geez) that is sure to scare anyone. My will, comparable to that of a demon-possessed pregnant mother that is mid-labor (minus the pain meds) and the fact that I know I am smarter than a DAMN DOG.
Still… I’m out-witted at times. Seemingly more times than not.
After all, I am the one breaking my sleep schedule to sit in the kitchen floor at 6:30AM and teach both dogs how they need to “Share the water” (a hot commodity for dogs, believe me I’m vested), “Don’t bite him”, “Pick that food up”, “Quit humping her” and my fav… “Girls DO NOT lick themselves”. Mikey is an easy learner. I read one time that dogs can learn up to 200 words. This dog will make you believe it.
We used to put him in a cage when we first got him and lived in an apartment. Crate, cage, kennel… you know what I’m talking about. I just didn’t want someone picturing this dog in a cage in a lab with makeup on – like in the movies. You know… the test dogs/monkeys/rats. Anyhow, Mikey hated his cage. I assumed he hated it because the word began to shutter the dog’s whole world when mentioned.
He looks around like… Is it treat time? Am I needed in another room? Water?! A new BONE!
“Let’s get in your cage”
Not sure why we used “Let’s”, I never shared the cage – not once.
The poor dog’s head would point down, he is a daschund – so gets this twisted up-tail waggin’ real fast but low to the ground-sorry for what I’ve done-please don’t put me in that HELL HOLE of a cage-demeanor about him. You don’t have a choice when your in an apartment really – no backyard – whatchagonnado?
So anyhow – Mikey grew up considerably in the next year, so the cage was banished from sight. However the word, from time to time would come up and still wreak havoc on Mikey Danger. We didn’t intentionally do it to him, well… at least at first. A casual mention of the word, wait… how do you casually mention something like a cage in conversation? Well in that context, not very easily or often… however think of it like this.
“Shala… I’m drawing a blank on this actor. I can see his face, just can’t remember who it was.”
“Six-across says… actor that played David Sprintz in The Weatherman.”
She thinks to herself… umm we never watched that movie, and WTF why is he doing a crossword puzzle?
The word cracks mirrors two apartments deep in our building – birds fly – angels fall from the sky with wounded wings – roaches & beetles (not the band) cover the walls…
Mikey is reminded of a life that once was thought to be his eternal damnation, picturing a life behind bars and the family he left behind. Thoughts of his frequent escapes, incidents of destruction and his eventual release and exoneration after a long instance of good behavior flood his mind. He buckles and involuntarily is forced into the before-mentioned fit of twisting, self doubt and dismal demeanor.
“What have I done?!? Why do we have to do this?! I will be good, I mean it!”
After a minute of licking hands, prayer and finally realization that nothing is happening… Mikey swears he must be going senile and hearing things.
Now about once a year at a party or family function if Mikey is around, we show off the “cage” trick to impress new friends.
“Mikey, who’s your favorite actor?” – I’m sure he’s thinking… who’s your favorite actor …is it David Hasselhoff? But… he knows he wants to impress the new friends too, after all… he gets their pity pets after that for playing the part and no one is any wiser.
“Nicolas… CAAAAAGE!” He buckles, like he has never heard this joke before and begins his act with Oscar-winning precision.
We’ve created a monster.
Still, he can’t pass on his knowledge to a brick headed dog like Izzy. You could tell a house plant seventy-five times an hour that 2+2=4, in 7 weeks of training… it still wouldn’t get it right come game time. Izzy is that house plant. “Izzy, you need to go outside?” Are you formulating an answer? Why is your head crooked? Are you freakin’ kidding me? “DO – YOU – WANT – TO – GO – OUT – SIDE”, I’m signing with my hands and speaking slowly in a non PC way.
**cocks head to the side**
I hate you Izzy. I hope your tail falls off. The things you say in your mind at 6:42AM.
Our meeting has stalled… no bathroom break, no free meal, witty banter or empty promises can break this stand-still. Only time.
At 6:47 on a Saturday morning… I don’t have time. My trip to the kitchen floor in hopes to bring out the sweet dog that is cat-like in behavior, has landed me just that… a trip to the floor. Another knock out for the girl in the red corner.
After muttering my defeat, she runs to the door and whines. I open it and feel the super chilling to the bone wind hit me and she runs out to the yard pisses & runs right back.
Shaking my head I mumble something about “my granny would have called you ornery”, “outta be in the doghouse anyway” and “not being able to go back to sleep now”. Inside I think about how really I won, and seeing her whine at the backdoor was something taught and learned.
Looking at her in her bed sleeping this whole time loyally by my side while I clickity-clack out my frustrations, doing the exact thing she wouldn’t let me do 1.5 hours ago… it is ok. She is quickly outgrowing her bed… my shirt scrunched up by her face (I throw something of mine in there each night… never underwear – ok.. sometimes, so she knows I am close by and doesn’t whine or wonder where I am), her pink belly still so innocent to the world, unrubbed and untainted with years of use and misuse. She is so over-the-top and fitted, quite possibly, to be one of those… damn dogs. Or, a damn good one.
I’m voting for the later of the two.