6. A Dog’s Life

There are 13 dogs residing in the various households of our immediate family.

Several of them could benefit from some psychiatric intervention.  Of these, probably the most interesting case is that a gorgeous blonde cocker spaniel named Molly who lives at the Warden’s house.  Molly looks like a hot mama.  Unfortunately, she also has a split personality.  And a plumbing problem.   But if not for these little flaws, I have no doubt that she would already have been pegged as the Westminster Dog of the Year.

I’m going to tell you her story because we can all learn lessons from the animal kingdom.  Or perhaps not.

Anyway, there are a total of 3 cocker spaniels living at Susy and Curt’s house.  Molly is the executive in charge.  She’s the alpha dog.  The general.  The boss.  The big kahuna. The CEO, so to speak.  You get the idea, don’t you?  If you don’t get the picture yet, try to pretend you’re one of the two male dogs operating under her management.  Right.  Lucky you.

Molly takes her managerial role very, very seriously.  No one, I say no one, is to have the temerity to eat so much as a nibble from their dog bowls without permission.  And she does everything she can to guard and monitor everybody’s toys under the strictest possible supervision. When it’s time for cookie rewards, many are called but Molly is first to be chosen.  Then and only then comes Rodeo, then Sarge, and then any other little doggies fortunate enough to be visiting at Molly’s house.

Now to explain Molly’s schizophrenia.  As far as the male dogs are concerned, Molly is — dare I say it — a bitch.  She’s their idea of dog poop.  She runs the canine operations with an iron paw. They wish she would move somewhere else, preferably to the nearest dog pound.  Of course, they have the good sense to keep their opinions to themselves. They are deferential in her presence because among other things they don’t like it when she chews holes in their ears.  Cocker spaniels are very proud of their ears. It’s humiliating when they’re in shreds.  (It’s okay, boys, you look fine. The fur will grow out in no time.)

Now this is where it gets interesting.   Try to think about this from Molly’s point of view.  Here she is slaving away all day trying to keep those smelly male dogs in line, barking herself hoarse trying to protect everybody’s toys, underfed and  unappreciated, overworked and underpaid, too much responsibility and not enough authority, yada, yada, yada, you know the drill.

Then, all of a sudden, another kind of animal enters the scene.  This is a two-legged one.  This one doesn’t seem to bark, bite, drool, snarl, snore, fart, or drop a little urine on  every bush and tree in Bellevue.  This one is tall enough to reach the shelf the cookies are on.  This one will decide who will go to the vet for shots. This one is all-powerful. This one is GOD.  (The rest of us call him Curt.)

According to Molly, my son-in-law Curt is a divine presence and she considers herself to be His Dog.  That’s where all her power comes from.  And somehow, she has concluded that all the other two-legged dogs Curt associates with must surely be gods and goddesses, too.

Consequently, whenever one of these two-legged human creatures steps into the room, Molly undergoes a most electrifying transformation.  It’s spectacular.  One minute she’s the menacing  Cruella deVille and the next minute, she’s Little Miss Sunshine.  Tail wildly wagging, gazing up at you with intense adoration, she will instantly morph before your eyes into a playful, cuddly, adorable, frisky little puppy that you just want to pick up and hug and squeeze.  But you can’t.  That is exactly what you cannot do.

Beware. Danger, danger.  No matter how cute she is, you cannot look at her, pick her up, speak to her, give her any eye contact, or acknowledge her presence in any way, because if you do she will promptly leap into your arms and pee all over you.  It works 100 percent of the time that way.

Now I’m telling you Molly’s story because I think there’s a lesson to be learned here. There must be.  I’m not sure what it is, but whenever you pay a visit to Susy and Curt’s house, you will NOT want to be wearing your prom dress. Trust me.

That’s just the way it is.  After all, nobody’s perfect.  Not even Curt.

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5 Responses to 6. A Dog’s Life

  1. Susy says:

    Hi Mom,

    I just finished reading this passage aloud to Molly and she quite approves your documentation. One additional note. If Curt raises his voice even the tiniest bit Molly reacts immediately. She is horrified by any kind of shouting and she will throw herself into Curt’s arms panting and licking and whirling about. He has to stop everything to reassure her that the world isn’t coming to an end….. and then you guessed it!! Molly curled up in his lap for a good bit of petting. She is a very good alpha leader as long as you don’t have a set of long dangling ears within her reach.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    So funny, and so true. It isn’t uncommon for me to have to change my clothes and borrow an outfit from Josie because of Molly’s greeting.

  3. Denise Fortune says:

    Moral of the story: Love Stinks.

  4. Linda Lewis says:

    I’m looking forward to more manual reading. I can only ‘picture’ Molly. And Rodeo and Sarge deserve their pix, too. I mean, as they go down in history, they deserve their day of fame with at least a pix!

  5. Pingback: 343. Tinkle Toes | Going on 80

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