Monday, April 16, 2007

A Toddler’s Guide to Dog Ownership, Part I

Start the day by sneaking up on one or more of your sleeping dogs and yelling, “Wake up!” as you jump on top of him. Without skipping a beat, show your mother that everything’s on the level by patting the dog gently on the head and looking into his sad, tired eyes and repeating, “Aw, you’re a good girl,” over and over.

When your breakfast of a pancake slathered with butter is ready, insist on walking around the entire house with it, despite certain urgings from someone in the kitchen to please eat the damn thing or put it on the kitchen counter. Offer it to one of your dogs by very nearly ramming it into her mouth. When the dog actually shows the nerve to try and eat it, use the pancake to beat her about the head and shoulders while shouting, “No! No! No!” Sing the theme song from the show Dora the Explorer sixty seven times to drown out the din of battle. If possible, work in a few original verses about pooping in the potty and your undying love for the yogurt smoothie product, Danimals.

Discover that one or both of your dogs has eaten the pancake you left on the coffee table so that you could ram twenty seven CDs into the five-CD changer. Lose your mind to the tune of relieving yourself on the carpet, or ideally a piece of leather furniture. Run a hysterical circuit around the house, simultaneously chasing your dogs if possible, screaming, “I want that pancake!” until one of the dogs turns tail to face you and barks as loudly as possible right in your face. Escalate your hysterics until NASA calls to find out if they can use your grand mal seizure to power the next Space Shuttle flight.

Insist on a Band Aid. “A Dora one,” sob to your mother, and point to a half dozen places on your face where you think the noise from that one unconscionable bark may have broken the skin. By the time you’re dressed and ready for preschool, wonder why your mother hasn’t yet called the vet to make an appointment for euthanizing the offending dog. Adjust your Dora Band Aid forty two times to adequately cover one gaping wound after another. When asked in the car why you think your dog barked at you like that, pretend you’ve suddenly lost your hearing for a few minutes before answering, “I have poop.” Affirm to yourself that tomorrow those mutts are in a lot of trouble. Instead of butter, you're asking for a billy club to go on your pancake.


Nicole said...

So ... I'm thinking, not a good idea to combine toddlers and dogs!

Mickki said...

One day not so long ago, Jasper disappeared into his parent's bedroom, and the sudden silence alarmed me. A few seconds later, the great dane yelped and Jasper ran out of the bedroom wailing.

"What happened, Jasper?" I asked him, checking his body for dog teeth or gushing blood.

"Chugach bit Jasper!" he sobbed.

"And why did Chugach bite you?" No sign of blood, but a scratch on his red, bloated, beautiful face.

He responded with a blank stare.

"Did you jump on Chugach? Or pull his tail?" I prodded.

Still nothing.

"You must remember, Jasper, that Chugach can't use words to tell us what he likes or doesn't like. If you were bugging him by pulling on his tail or jumping on him, he can't just say, 'Stop bugging me!' So he has to communicate in some other way."

Yes, that's me, trying to explain the power of words versus teeth to a two-year old.

A few sniffles and hugs later, Jasper cocked his head and said, "Jasper bugged Chugach. Chugach bit Jasper."

Ah, the brilliance of a pre-pronoun user discovering our ideas of cause and effect.

The dog is an angel.