Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 19:12:00 GMT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mumthra)
Organization: RadixNet Internet Services
Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free, alt.slack
I like dogs, I just don't like dogs in my house very much. Maybe the
only thing that has persuaded me to continue to abide with a fanged
animal that could efficiently maim my entire family is the belief that
this animal would be more likely to keep intruders out than to gnaw on
any of us.
It's hard to keep believing that Annie would truly rise to the
occasion and actually disembowel a burglar. Anything could happen;
she's certainly capable of being scary, but she's equally capable of
being a scaredy dog.
Annie is frightened by storm fronts and she will relentlessly twine
herself between my legs whenever the barometer drops. Likewise,
lightning makes her whimper. She seems to be much more interested in
seeking reassurance than warning me that there is something bad out
there. I try to tell her that it's probably nothing--since that seems
to be my responsibility as the thumbed creature--but I don't think she
ever believes me for long. We have imaginary conversations about it.
WHIMPER, says Annie.
"It's going away. It's okay," I say.
OKAY. THANKS, says Annie. OHMYGOD! WHAT WAS THAT BOOMY THING??!?
I DON'T LIKE THAT BOOMY THING. OH...YOU SURE? OKAY. THANKS. She
snuffles closer until I am immobilized.
Now there is a new fear in the dog brain: the smoke alarm. I heard its
fleeting tweet as I started my shower this morning. I suppose that all
the battery models have that signal to ask for a fresh battery. Mine
Apparently, Annie heard it too, and decided that the chirping was some
kind of giant bird monster that eats dogs. She nosed the bathroom door
open and nosed the shower door open and deposited her seventy pounds
of jumpy dog flesh into my shower. She has never revealed that much
ingenuity for anything other than food theft.
It was very a very Lassie-like move except that she wasn't trying to
warn me that the bridge was out or anythinglikethat, her message was:
I WILL JUST STAND HERE IN YOUR HOT RAIN BOX UNTIL YOU AGREE TO SAVE ME
FROM THE SCARY GIANT TWEETING BIRD. I WILL STAND AND BLINK AT YOU. I
AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE, SEE?
Since she wouldn't leave, I bathed her with kid shampoo, certain that
the smell of banana mango would drive her out.
It worked. As soon as I opened the shower door again, the big sopping
mango-scented animal exploded out of the room. I was very pleased with
myself until Spunky appeared.
"Somefings wrong wif Annie, I fink," she said, "She peed all over the
library." ("The Library" is what we call their closet).
"Great," I said, "She's just scared. Don't go in there, okay?"
"Okay, but why's she scared of the library?"
She's not afraid of rooms--not yet, anyway. In fact, she's never
developed a healthy fear of the veterinarian. She has plenty of cause,
but I've decided that she's just not that smart. Really, though, since
she has to be saddled with a below average dog intelligence, why
couldn't she have fearlessness to match her senselessness? I could
pull down the smoke detector and let her examine it, but she'd just
sniff it over and say, OKAY VERY INTERESTING BUT WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO
DO ABOUT THAT BIRD MONSTER?
It's harder now to believe that Annie would defend us from an attack,
but I still prefer to think that her killer instincts would come to
the fore. It's a sure thing that she would do damage if the mailman
ever decides to break in, but if he wears a bird suit, we're screwed.