Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doggone it!

Disclaimer: I am a member of PETA*. If you don't like this, please don't read today's post.

If you ever visit the new and improved** Nowell house, you'll be greeted by two dogs: Big Tex Nowell (Tex) and Douglas Riley Nowell (Doug or Dr. N***) If you can't see them from the front door to know who is barking, you'll assume, by sheer body size, that Tex is the one giving you doggy lip. You'll be wrong. Tex really doesn't bark or growl much at all. He kind of the silent, brooding type. Tall, brindled and handsome. He just LOOKS like he should be the guard in the pack.

You see, Tex is a Whippet, which is a cross between a terrier and a greyhound. Emphasis on greyhound, genetically, because he is a member of the fastest breed of dog in the world. If you ever open our front door long enough for him to see a squirrel anywhere within a half-mile of our house, he'll PROVE it. It will be a long, angry run for you, because he won't willingly come back. You pretty much have to pull him home by the collar without his trophy rodent. Sadly, with all that speed comes a little slower processing speed upstairs. In the brainage department.

Doug, however, is a banty rooster****. He's a third the size of Tex and a cross between a terrier and a dachshund*****. He is nowhere as fast as Tex, but he makes up for it in the bark and brain power departments. For instance, he figured out that he can lap Tex around the backyard if he sticks close to the pool instead of going on the grass. Tex STILL hasn't figured this one out and, I think, harbors some resentment because of it.

Frankly, Tex has oldest sibling syndrome--he's not-so-secretly jealous of Doug for ruining his only-dog life after Dr. N came home with us from the shelter.

So today, as happens way too frequently in our house, it was time for a Costco run. After a "heavy" snack******, we left the house and Mike heard the dogs going after each other. From his office, he heard growling, barking, and, it sounded like, the dogs tearing each other apart. This was a De La Hoya v Tyson pay-per-view fight in the making. With no mouth guards. So bad were these two ripping each other new ones that, WWF fights, in comparison, should receive a "G" rating for violence.

Mike literally thought they were going to kill each other, so he left his office in pursuit of them. He found two dogs fighting over a bag of nuts. Mixed nuts. Organic, ridiculously priced, really good-for-you nuts. A snack someone didn't finish before we left for Spendtoomuchco.

It appeared that TEX was the source of the gnashing of teeth, growling and barking. Tex? You ask. Yes, the silent dog. Obviously, he was PISSED.

Now, I'm a FAIR dog owner. My motto is "What's good for the gander is good for the other gander", so I work hard to keep them both off the couch, anything that resembles a bed, or the kitchen table. I also give each of them the exact same number and size of treats, at the same time. I even work to give them the same amount of love. Obviously, my pursuit of fairness didn't work into this equation.

It was completely obvious, even though his IQ is low for a dog, that Tex REMEMBERED that, just the previous night, Doug had nabbed the ultimate after dinner cocktail, after jumping on the table and devouring TWO HOT DOGS once we had all left the kitchen for bedtime routines. I think Tex figured it was his turn to take snackage that we humans left behind. Anyway, he wasn't backing down.

Analyzing this from Tex's perspective, and being trained as a psychologist through the school of hard knocks and parenting, I came up with what was going through his mind

1. Those are MY nuts!!! Take your paws OFF them. About three weeks ago my Mom took me to a smelly place far away from home and they took mine off. Have some compassion, man--this is as close to doghood as I can get.

2. DUDE! You've had TWO hot dogs within the last 24 hours. I don't care if you soiled your cage afterwards and had to sleep in it the entire night, you still had the yummilicious experience of eating something that wasn't processed in a dog food factory. Besides, I had to SMELL your mess all night long. LET GO!!*******

Clearly, I should do the "right" thing and take Tex out back one night and give him a big ol' sirloin bone and a good petting. He's obviously a little sensitive about having a new, younger brother who is clearly headed to the doggy version of Mensa.

But, I don't roll that way. He got ahold of SOME of the nuts, which he stole off the COUNTER, and two wrongs from two dogs in twenty-four hours does NOT make a right.

So, instead, I'll patrol the counter and table a little more carefully this week. Maybe, if the dog-boys are REALLY lucky I'll give them some extra treats.

I'm darn sure not going to underestimate Tex again. Balls or no, that dog still has chutzpah.



*People Eating Tasty Animals. I only refuse to eat lamb and veal because I think those little cows and sheep should have better lives before the farmer shoots them between the eyes to present them to the butcher for me to buy.

**Partially improved, still in process of being remodeled.

***Get it? DRN for initials. Yeah, we think our poo doesn't stink 'cause we thought of that one.

****I dated one of these in my former life. He was a good two inches shorter than me and had muscles the size of Schwarzenegger. When he walked in the room the first time he met my brother, sweet bro almost spit out his beer, he was laughing so hard. Yeah, not a good dating decision. I hope all the steroids haven't rendered the banty sterile or homicidal.

*****One phrase: anal glands. Had I remembered that dachshunds have a little issue with butt scooting across expensive rugs when they become impacted, I would have put down the dog and never looked back.

******One of the many things I've learned over the years as a Mommy: if you don't want a bill at the checkout that rivals a politician's annual outlay for prostitutes, you tank up your kids on food and water before you leave. This reduces, but doesn't eliminate, the "Can I have that?" syndrome.

*******This is a true story, originating in the sub-7am-hours this morning. When the babe burst into our room and announced that this had happened, thankfully BEFORE he opened Doug's cage, I burst into action. Mike, however, was nowhere to be found until AFTER the mess was extricated from the cage. I am not, however, the least bit bitter about this.....

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