Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Of Chicken Wings & String

The other day Chris and I were talking about Boss and what an exciting little life he must have. Playing with squeaky duck, barking at the mystery item across the street, looking for fallout on the kitchen floor, pulling blankets out of his crate, chasing strings around the house and the ever so exciting chicken wing. Such an exciting life that if Boss wrote his own memoir it would be called Of Chicken Wings and Strings.

It was a few weeks ago when an unusually warm day turned the snow into watery slush in the gutters and on the grass. This was back before we realized Boss had taken to his new behavior – bolt – when Chris took him outside. More than five minutes later, I heard Chris bolt himself through the front door and run to the back door.

I thought nothing of it because this is Chris and he is prone to doing very bizarre things. There is no other way to put it. Even my mom noticed it – the other day she said “he is just a funny guy.” I know, mom, that’s why I married him and I can’t put my finger on what exactly is funny but then I think of things like this. Like Chris bolting through the house in one and out another door.

I hear patio door slide open but it does not close. Now, being the highly entertainable wife I am I keep my ear on this situation because it’s about to resolve itself in a very funny way. I hear Chris return through the door, this time presumably with Boss, while he shouts “and now you need a bath you bad little muddy dog, Liz will be mad.”

Mad? I don’t know. Curious, really. So I walk downstairs, feign like I know nothing of this situation and ask Chris why Boss is all wet.

“For no reason.”

Obviously. But honestly. That’s not what the trails of muddy paws from the patio door said. Really, what happened.

“Oh nothing.”

There is 6 pounds of wet fur running around my kitchen. Don’t tell me nothing happened. So then he confesses. The result of ancient Italian torture by nagging woman which always works.

Chris tells a tale of bringing Boss outside off the leash. No sooner does Boss decide the unseasonably warm day is the perfect day to bolt. Around the neighborhood. About a dozen times.

But that doesn’t explain the wet fur. What next?

Well, he ran to the field behind the house. Which required Chris to run through our house to quickly catch Boss. This doesn’t make mathematical sense to me but I go with it, like there’s a time warp you enter in running through our house. But there isn’t. So once in the field Boss decided it would be fun to tumble in the mud.

And the wet fur?

Naturally once he was caught he needed a bath. To wipe of evidence of mud and sauce from the Hooters chicken wing.

Wait, the Hooters chicken wing?


Yes, apparently Boss found a chicken wing alongside the road and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Or Hooters. Your call. So he grabs the chicken wing and runs around the neighborhood a few times getting mud on his paws and sauce on his fur. That – that is why he needed a bath.

I want you to imagine a 160 pound man chasing a 6 pound dog with a chicken wing. Around a neighborhood. Multiple times. And for the record – how did he know it was from Hooters? I suspect something only a man would know.

I am in tears.

Of laughter and of new law. New law that Boss must be leashed when outdoors at all times. Because we can’t have another chicken wing incident though he’s tried. He’s tried. But the leash he really doesn’t mind. Because it fits nicely into the category of strings. And chasing all things string is what he does best.

So the other day we took Boss to the dog park to give him some freedom off his big string, the leash. We are dog park virgins and not prepared for the complex decision making process ahead. We are faced with two gates. Behind one gate you see a large fenced area with packs of large dogs fetching balls and sticks. On the other gate, we see a sign:

“Dogs under 25 lbs.”

There are no dogs behind that gate.

But Boss is too little to play with bigger dogs so sadly we push open the gate and go in. We take Boss off the leash and he likely thinks this is a trick. They are testing me, he thinks. So he sits in a large puddle and looks at us for a clue. When we tell him to play he goes to a bunch of weeds. Sniffs around. Finds some piles of poo (but not to be trusted around them as he is the world’s smallest turd burglar).

He keeps walking to the gate that is shared by the field for larger dogs. He eyes the other dogs longingly and seems to want to play. So we take a risk. Put Boss back on the leash, take him to the other side for larger dogs. Immediately the larger dogs are enthused. They quickly approach Boss and sniff him. Boss is scared. He sits with ears back looking up at me. He is no longer the big dog.

And that’s a good lesson for him to learn. Because with smaller dogs he can be a big bully. He harasses Chewie and IChi like he is twice their size; steals their toys, takes their bones, even goes into IChi’s safe place and you never, ever go into a dog’s safe place.

So Boss has a few lessons to learn. Starting today. A Bernese Mountain Dog walks up to Boss and says “I got chunks of dogs like in my stool.” Boss runs the other way. I don’t blame him. That dog probably had chunks of things bigger than me in his stool. After being sniffed by a Beagle, a Black Lab, Australian Shepherd Dog, a pack of Border Collies belonging to a man who politely informed us that there is an area for small dogs over there (gee thanks), Boss wants to go back to the small dog gate.

We let him in again and this time he runs free off the leash. He bolts. Runs around a tree, another tree, across the field. He is all by himself but he doesn’t care. He runs through the mud, the gravel, the grass. By the end his stomach is covered in black and gray grit. The hazards of being so low to the ground. After about 10 minutes, he is done.


So we take him home and give him a bath. Give him a bacon bone and call it a day. A good day, in the life of Boss. And so there it is – a brief chapter from Boss’ memoir Of Chicken Wings & Strings. And Dog Parks. Soon to be on the best seller list.

4 comments:

~Robyn~ said...

hahahah I love it! I have the same things happen with Junior..he is a bolter, especially when he has something he shouldn't. Like a chicken bone. Since i live in an apartment, he finds those often. Also, Junior always gets dirty underneath because he's so low to the ground! Its annoying really, because he feels like the first thing he must do is jump into my bed...grrr..... I love Boss!

Stef said...

Omg this was funny! I have never had a bolter. The sheepdog doesn't bolt. She goes out the front door, takes a few steps into the yard, and looks to us for direction. Mostly she wants to know if we are going somewhere because riding in the truck is her absolute favorite thing to do!

triclancy said...

As the proud owner of a Great Dane, I have to say that some of his favorite friends are Chihuahuas! It's hilarious to see the two meet...opposite ends of the doggie spectrum. Dog Park antics are also one of my favorite past times...although I think the human interaction is more scintilating than the canine...there are some crazy dog people out there!! Hmmm..another idea of a book?? ;-)

Nora Lindvall said...

Hehe...Sage and Salli (4 1/2 and 5 1/2 lbs) would love a play date anytime! One time we took them with us to our other (larger) dog's show...these two were barking at every great dane, rottweiler, you name it...they know no boundaries!