Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dog Days

Sgt Mom has written her adventures with the Lesser Weevil here, here, here, and here, and some of her comments got me thinking about my two “boys” and how they make me laugh. The Blue Eyed Infidel also would post about her dogs and I really enjoyed reading them, so I figured WTH, I’ll try and convey some of the adventures my two dogs have had and the joy (and occasional frustration) they bring to my wife and I.

Our oldest is a pure chocolate lab that my wife got while I was deployed to Korea the last time back in 1999. In some ways, he’s a typical lab; he LOVES the water, and has a very “soft mouth”. However, he doesn’t enjoy fetch like other labs. In fact, after about 2 retrievals, he’ll look at the stick/ball/Frisbee then me, then the stick/ball/Frisbee, back to me with a look like, WTF? I just BROUGHT that damn thing to you, why are you throwing it away again? Then go lie in the grass and chew on some grass. Now if I throw the stick/ball/Frisbee into a lake, he’ll keep playing till he drowns…

The younger one we got a year after the first to keep him company while we were at work. He is a black lab/blue heeler mix and is one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever seen. In fact, he’s too smart for his own good and I’ll often call him Einstein. When he was a puppy, my wife’s shoes (not mine, or anything else) were getting chewed up. We never caught the culprit, but assumed it was the older dog, being jealous of the pup and acting out since we ALWAYS found the shoe remnants either in his bed or near where he was laying and the puppy was at least all the way across the room. Well, one day I snuck in the house to see if I could catch the monster in the act. I heard the tell tale sounds of something (I assumed it was yet another shoe) meeting its demise. As I snuck up the stairs, I could see the big dog lying on the floor looking the other way. About that time, the stair creaked and I saw a small furry black streak dragging a Teva up to the big dog, drop it between his outstretched paws, and continued like a shot clear across the room and jumped into his bed, tail wagging a mile a minute. I had to laugh; he was deliberately placing evidence to frame the older dog for his misdeeds, and then look on with his innocent little face while the older dog was like what? I’m just laying here dude!

Our lab is not the most graceful dog on the planet; in fact, I affectionately call him lumber for the way he runs. It’s sort of like a bull in a china shop. Last night I laughed out loud at him as he played with his tug-o-war rope by himself. This rope has a loop on either end and is about 2 feet long. He had the rope in his mouth at the center and was jumping around and shaking his head trying to get me interested enough to play with him. At one point, he had gotten each of his front paws in the loops, sort of like a hobble for a horse. He couldn’t quite figure out what to do, but continued to pull and shake the rope, tripping himself over and over.

When we first brought the little one home, he would stalk Lumber and pounce on him (still does in fact) trying to incite him to play. Lumber outweighed him by about 60 ponds then and would let him do what ever he wanted. Very tolerant that one! In fact, Einstein started sitting on Lumber, either his head or his back, whenever Lumber was lying down. Einstein will walk across the room, sit on Lumber’s head, and then look over at us as is to say, “That’s right, I’m king of this here castle.” Lumber just accepts it. For a long time I thought Einstein was the Alpha, and Lumber was a big old baby, but my neighbor mentioned something to me once after they had ‘babysat’ for us. I think he may be right. We now think Lumber is definitely the alpha, but lets Einstein act all tough; much like a big brother does with his bratty sibling. I’ve seen the few occasions where Einstein goes too far and Lumber quickly puts him in his place. Einstein immediately acquiesces and slinks off till big brother has forgiven him.

These two guys are a constant source of laughter and companionship for us, they are our boys and I really don’t know how we could live without them. Since we’ve not been able to have children, we sometimes treat them as such (NOT to the point where we treat them like kids) but we have some of the same feelings and concerns.

Not long ago, while my wife was deployed, Einstein got really sick one night. I mean really. Sick. He made it to the back door and threw up on the floor mat. I let him out for some fresh air as I cleaned up the mess (this was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever had to do. It. Was. Awful.) and threw the mat away. Anyway, I let him back in the house, made sure he had fresh water, and went to the bathroom to wash my hands. In that short time, he got sick again, this time in his bed. It was so awful I simply threw it away as well. When I came back in from dumping the hazardous waste in the dumpster, he had lost it once more by the back door (I had no idea a 60lb dog could hold that much) on the tile floor. He looked up at me with a look that said, “Dude, I’m so sorry, but I’m so sick right now…” I cleaned it up yet again (by this time I was ready to throw up too) and then sat there and rubbed his head and made sure he kept drinking water. He lay there looking at me with his tail flicking, letting me know how much he appreciated my efforts. I figured that if he was still sick in the morning, we’d run down to see the vet. Luckily, the next morning he was fine and running around like the little imp he is, tormenting Lumber with a renewed vigor, as if to make up for those few hours he couldn’t find the energy to.

These guys drive me nuts sometimes, but not a day goes by that they don’t make me laugh out loud and that is priceless.


Cowgirl said...

Loved the pics. Glad I could be of service.

Rude1 said...

Thanks again for your help Cowgirl! I enjoyed out chat :)

Day by Day said...

I have a 5 year old Jack Russell. She was our baby before we had our son. She is one of our family. Love the pics and your love for them. ;)

Rude1 said...

Thanks Shayna! Im glad to hear your little man is doing better :)

BarnGoddess said...

Hey! thanks for stopping by! Like reading yours, I think we have similar views. got a chuckle over your lab who doesnt like to fetch, one smart dog~