Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"I Wouldn't Have to Yell..."

Hawthorne is a pretty athletic dog. When it comes to that old adage, "Owners look like their masters," this one definitely doesn't fit the mold--in fact, he's the exception that proves the rule.

Flying balls caught on a whim, leaping tall fences, running for hours on end--this is Hawthorne. One great big white-hot ball of canine energy--that sheds. Regularly.

But yesterday was--well, it was almost as if he was having an "off" day. As if his "Jock Gene" got lost.

It started when we got home from work. Rich went straight to the coal stove while I took the two pups outside to drain the metaphorical lizard. When we came back in, Rich was shaking down the stove, door wide open, so he could load in some fresh coal and thus keep our house from becoming a freezer.

Now, we've yelled at Hawthorne for this many, many times, all to no avail. Whenever he sees the coal stove door open, he feels the need to run and leap over the door, as if he were Dawn Harper in a past life. (In case you were wondering, she won the gold medal for the 100-meter hurdle event this past summer...)

So I yell the customary "Hawthorne, no!", and as usual, he ignores me, reaches down deep into that inner-Dawn Harper and takes a flying leap over the coal stove door just as Rich is reaching back for a shovel full of coal. He lands safely in the kitchen, except--

BANG!! Shatter!

  • Replacing the high-heat resistant glass on the front of the coal stove: $200

His back legs didn't quite make it over the door. After much duct tape, aluminum foil, a few metal hangers, and a call in to Stoves 'N Stuff, we will have a new piece of glass next week. For now, our Red Green-inspired cover on the door functions...

So we get all of that cleaned up, prepare dinner, and are dishing ourselves up a nice steak meal. I pop in The Nightmare Before Christmas while Rich heads back out into the kitchen for drinks. He sets my ice tea and his can of cola on the coffee table and we plop down on the couch.

Hawthorne, trying to make nice, brings his big blue ball over, lays it on Rich's lap, then spins around to wait in the hall for us to throw it and...

SMACK! Dribble, dribble dribble...

  • One glass of ice tea and one can of soda: $1.75

I get a rag to clean up the mess while Rich tries to rescue the pile of bills and magazines from the ever-growing flood of liquid. Hawthorne stares from the hallway, ears down, tail tucked between his legs. More like The Nightmare Before Dinner, I think, grabbing towels and soap.

After we get all that cleaned up, we eat a luke-warm steak dinner and discuss how we can't really punish him for being klutzy, no matter how out of character it seems. I gather the dirty dishes up and begin to walk them out to the kitchen and...

SLAM! Clatter!

  • Two dishes, one glass, and a twisted ankle: $15

This time Hawthorne and Mary both look as if Satan himself had risen up from the floor. I look up from my half-kneeled position, shattered bits of glass and dish shimmering around me, to see them cowering under the kitchen table--their chosen hiding spot after trying to race me out to the kitchen.

"What in the hell has gotten into you guys!!" I scream. I'm at my wits end! This is the THIRD dog-created mess in less than four hours! I know people with toddlers who don't clean this much!

"Calm down, it was only an accident. There's no need to yell," Rich says, reaching for the broom--again.

I couldn't help myself--a line from one of my most favorite television shows drifted into my head and out of my mouth before I could stop it: "I wouldn't have to yell if they were such stupid, klutzoid, DUMB-HEADED NONG-NONGS!!!!

"What?" Rich was truly puzzled.

I busted up laughing, the anger leaving my body as quickly as it entered. It's a good thing, too. Otherwise I may have pulled a slightly different quote form the same source:

"You know, I'm beginning to think we don't need a dog. Or maybe, we need a new dog. Or maybe, we need a CAT!"
With a cat, at least, I probably wouldn't have to yell...

As much...

Who am I kidding?

  • Hawthorne: Priceless.

For everything else, there's Mater Card...


Ann said...

Wow, that really stinks about Hawthorne. Tell him I sympathize with him about getting older. It stinks. You have GOT to take a picture of your Red Green stove concotion though

mom said...

hello jason! what a cute story about those grand dogs of mine! :) made me laugh and it goes to show you that to get use to kids you should always get a dog first. the one thing that does make a dog different than kids they don't talk back! :) the stove does sound like a good red green show! :) are you playing some good banjo music yet to go with the look? :) love and prayers

Sylvia said...

"Would that be cash or charge???" LOL I haven't laughed so hard at one of your blogs in a long time Ja! Thank you!
Love and Hugs

elj377 said...

ha ha...your dog sounds like my son...only funnier! As a parent I often say that the only food I get to eat warm is Ice Cream!

Kel said...

Awww...lay off poor Hawthorne! He is the cutest. And I have told everyone I have a dog conversation with about your very smart dog. That whole following-your-foot-angle-to-get-his-ball thing was too much!