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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And To Think Noah Had Two of Each

We usually go to the annual dog show in the big city next door, if for no other reason than to see what we could have had. We love our dogs, but without us, they’d be in the line for federal assistance. There are two of them, which in Bible language is a multitude.

Lucy is a Dachshund mix. I’m not real sure what’s in the mix, but she looks like the love child of a link sausage and Daffy Duck. Lucy could give Jennifer Lopez diva lessons. She has an aversion to dog food, getting her feet wet, and sharing the Earth with other life forms. We can’t open the door, turn on the television, or stroll into the kitchen without having her alert the news media with a dedicated barkfest. We've taken to flushing on the sly when she goes outside to eat ants.

Bo is a Lab mix. If you noticed a trend, it’s true. All our dogs are mixes. It’s so much easier than making one from scratch. Just be careful when adding the water, so it doesn’t overflow.

Bo is a talented liar. To hear him tell the tale, he hasn’t been fed since finding the stray square of Shredded Wheat under the refrigerator in 2005. At present he is on the Atkins diet, having failed miserably at Weight Watchers, the Zone, and the cabbage soup diet, the last of which gave our kitchen a signature scent I’d rather not discuss and gave Bo the opportunity to spend a lot of time outside.

I’ve read him all the articles about walking off the weight, but he whiles away his time table surfing for bread crumbs and licking likely spots off the linoleum. He has no shame and will face off with the big, brown-eyed “I’ve never been fed” look if he thinks he can score a bite of your peanut butter sandwich.

The dogs are supervised at all times by the house warden, Justin. Justin is a tabby cat whose official title is Supreme Ruler of the Household and Wielder of Sharp Claws. Unfortunately, as is the case with many heads of state whose family tree is shadowed with intertwined branches, Justin is common sense challenged. Most cats understand that if a space is occupied by another object, they should find somewhere else to lurk. Not Justin. Therefore he has numerous wounds and abrasions inflicted by flower pots or dishes or wayward dogs who weren’t quick enough to escape breaking his fall.

For aesthetic reasons, and to earn the gratitude of our feathered friends who, it turns out, take us for granted and write ugly messages on our windshields when the feeder runs dry, Bill Dear hung a bird feeder in the tree outside our bathroom window. This window is a favorite perch for Justin, who amuses himself by chatting with the birds outside.

However, the window ledge is too small for Justin’s elderly, but massive frame (another candidate for fat-free catnip), and is high off the ground to boot. So Justin sits for hours on the bathtub, staring at the window and willing himself to levitate so that he can see the birds. Occasionally we take pity on him and hold him up to the window, but this became embarrassing when our friends found out. (So, Bill, I hear you hold your cat up to the window so he can see out. Why don’t you just buy him a canary?) It’s not the sort of thing that a man likes to talk about around the water cooler at work.

Despite his best efforts (Bill Dear’s present method of discipline is threatening divorce and shooting me ugly looks across the potatoes at dinner), I’m sure Justin’s kingdom will increase. There is an invisible sign etched into the atmosphere above our house that beams longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates to homeless animals all over the globe. “SLEEP WARM! EAT FREE! OPERATORS STANDING BY!”

I just hope the offer ends soon. I’m tired of sleeping in the doghouse.


colbymarshall said...

I know it sounds crazy, but when our dogs have been overweight, the green bean diet works wonders....It sounds crazy, but the service dog program I train for recommends it, and it's a charm. Let me know if you might wanna know more.

the Bag Lady said...

Amy, you nailed it yet again! I'm thinking my dog could give your dog lessons in bumming at the table. The wavering paw on knee trick is one she mastered at a very young age...

Nancy said...

Great post!

We live with "He Who Will Be Heard," an aging cat of some distant Siamese lineage. Just in case we might have NOT heard him the firt time, there's alway a nice, long encore.