'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

20 May 2013

My Life Probably Won't Be Saved By My Dog

I love Angus a lot, I really do. He's a happy dog. It doesn't matter what we're doing he's completely ecstatic to somehow be included. I'd say he loves one activity more than others but I'd be lying, or running for office as it's colloquially known. Walkies, runnies, swimmies, poopies. He loves them all. Of course sometimes runnies and poopies meet and the result is somewhat less than ideal but that's probably best left for another post. Still, nothing ever seems to get him down. If I could harness his tail wag we could power greater Las Vegas for a decade.

But a guard dog he most assuredly isn't. Oh he barks. There's nothing he likes more than a good session of "Hey! Who's that!? What's that? Did I hear something? Will you throw that ball? You will? Oh Joy!?" barking and general mayhem where he throws himself around the room convinced that the Boogerman is right outside the door and if I don't open it so he can run around the yard in a butt tucked frenzy we'll all die in a mucous catastrophe the likes of which the world has never known. The surprised look on his face when he finds the yard empty of any traces of Minions Of Evil always makes me chuckle in a slightly Mad Scientist who has just watched his Hero Nemesis step into his implausible and highly complicated trap kinda way.

But Angus never gets embarrassed or disappointed. He's always absolutely certain that this time the Sultan of Snot will actually be there and then he can save everyone by barking madly and dancing around with a toy in his mouth and trying to get someone to throw it for him. I've always been a little dubious about the efficacy of this plan but then I'm not a Labrador Retriever so what do I know? Angus assures me it will work perfectly so I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. For now anyway. He's a bit more sanguine on walks though. I've seen him scared senseless by a stationary garbage bag of leaves on the curb that had in no way made any threatening moves against him despite what he claims.

So the other night we were walking our normal route around the block. A walk we've done more than once if you know what I mean and I think you do. Now, Angus tends to get fixated on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. He's a little like a guy at a strip club that way. Not that I'd know anything about that. I just heard is all. Anyway. As we got to this one house there was a small male child playing in the driveway. He had clearly been riding on his toy scooter as it was lying on the sidewalk, kinda sorta in our path. Angus was zoned in on the boy as he generally really likes kids. I think it's because their hands are at his level and they often carry scrumptious snacks that are clearly meant just for him. Hey, a free meal is a free meal and a little kid with an ice cream cone is a gift from The Great Provider. So Angus is watching the boy, almost certainly hoping for a game of 'Feed the cute puppy' to suddenly break out, and he has completely lost sight of the toy scooter on the sidewalk.

Now I must admit here that I saw it and kinda, sorta had a hunch what might happen and probably could have steered Angus around it but where's the fun in that? The comedy potential was clearly very high and I do need blog fodder after all. Don't judge me, Lu saw it too and she was totally silent as well so I'm just going to go ahead and blame everything on her. The scooter was shaped like that gorked tow truck from that cartoon movie, Lethal Weapon, so there's that. Moving along.

 Just as Angus got to the scooter he must have decided that the boy wasn't in fact a Magical Food Faerie after all so he began to turn his head back in the general direction of our walk. Now at this point we were still walking down the sidewalk so Angus had some forward momentum built up. He was moving in that kind of sidling, hopping, crabbing, 'is that candy in his hand?' way known all too well to any Lab owners out there. It's the "you can't get mad at me 'cause I'm still moving forward even though I think that's food/a squirrel/something shiny and I'm pretty sure I need it" walk that ensures your forward progress is as miniscule as your chances of tripping over a furry body is great. Angus was turning his head and must have just caught sight of the scooter out of the corner of his eye. He was suddenly confronted by what was clearly a device and/or minion of Immediate Impending Doom.

Angus jumped approximately nine feet into the air all the while emitting 'barks of agitated surprise' and 'gyrations of great consternation'. He cleared my head by a good three feet on his way in the opposite direction while simultaneously leaving a steaming pile on the ground in the neighborhood of the offensive toy. Stitches 'Crash' Squidboy, the current X-Ray Games concussion champ (douchetastic division) would have been so proud. I know I was. Angus hit the end of the leash at a full gallop, heading back the way we'd come as this was obviously an area free of nefarious implements of canine maimery. I figure he was doing about Mach 3 when he hit the limits of my retractaleash. There then ensued a tug of war twixt man and dog that could best be described as desperate and by desperate I mean hilarious. Angus was pulling one way with all his strength while casting incredulous looks at me as if to say "Flee You Fool!" while I was pulling the other way just as hard while trying to contain a bad case of the hysterical giggles. I know, I am a bad man.

After a minute or two of this I was starting to really question my decision to let this comedy/drama play out to it's totally unforeseen by me I swear conclusion. I even remember thinking "Was this the right, the mature thing to do?" Of course the answer is "I'll take Vexatious Consequences for $100 Alex."

At last we managed to convince Angus that it was indeed nothing more dangerous that a child's riding toy and with much snuffling and not a few accusatory looks we managed to circumnavigate the offending object and continue on our way. But 'The Incident', as it has come to be known here at Casa Six, was far from over. Have you ever seen a dog sulk? I swear, the term Hangdog was invented by Angus and if not he has certainly perfected the craft. He punished me for a good hour. He sat by the couch, close enough that he knew I could see him but far enough away that I couldn't actually reach him, and hung his head. Whenever he thought I wasn't paying enough attention to him he'd let out a small whine followed by a huge sigh. He even turned his head away in a clear snub when I tried to give him a chewy treat by way of assuaging my by now mounting guilt. Snubbed by my dog. I have now clearly plumbed the very depths of social ostracism.

But it all turned out Ok in the end. If there's one thing a Lab can be counted on it's forgiveness. Probably because they have the attention span of an elderly May Fly but I think that's profiling and I'm told that's bad so forget I ever said anything of the sort. Eventually he came over for pets and I even convinced him into a game of Tug O War. By simply picking up his favorite rope because, as I may have mentioned once or twice, Angus is a Lab.

And I have learned a great lesson form all of this. That lesson is...Wait, I had it a second a go. It's...No, that wasn't it. I think it was something about never playing with a sleeping dogs drool or the bark is funnier than the leap or some such. I never was any good at epiphanies. Oh wait, I remember now.

Underdog Angus ain't
It's a dang good thing I decided against arming him 'cause if he'd had a gun....



Rev. Paul said...

The mental imagery has me laughing so hard that it's difficult to type. You, sir, have a gift for writing funny.

That's a GOOD thing, in case you wondered.

Six said...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate that Rev. I love writing humor but frankly have no idea whether or not I suck at it. I'm going to give my muse her lead and see where she takes me!

Supi said...

I would have loved to see Angus's leash vault!

Monkeywrangler said...

Six, you do an injustice to Angus! If you are ever attacked by a soft serve machine, I am certain Angus would save you!


Brighid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brighid said...

love these posts, your so very funny! The underlying goodness in your heart peeks through your writing and just makes it all flow.
Besides everyone who ever had a Lab knows they are special.

Jennifer said...

Awe, you don't give him enough credit. You win every fight you don't get into, right? Brave, Sir Angus.
I had a rottweiler that would become low-rider dog when she was in trouble. Never seen another rott with the ground clearance of a dachshund. It was very difficult to continue chastising her for eating yet another garden hose without giggling at that.

Six said...

It was EPIC Supi!

Absolutely Vic. That soft serve machine wouldn't stand a chance. Angus would drain it even unto it's very dregs!!

Thank you Brighid. I appreciate the kind words. Like I said to the Rev., I hope my humor writing is entertaining. I'm still trying to find my voice but at least my muse is still in there pitching :)

Absolutely right Jennifer. Angus will pull me away from danger and what more could one ask? I think our dogs have a built in ability to distract us when they're in trouble. If only I could learn their secret!

Lee from La said...

I agree with Rev. Paul. That's good stuff.

Six said...

Thanks Lee!!