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
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