Sunday, April 04, 2010

Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun

Friday night, the boy took me out for a most romantic secret date. Still imagining the white ocean waves lapping the shore and the orange glow of the sunset, the delicious evening was still flirting with me - as we turned on the kitchen lights, back home. We found Manly’s familiar paw-steps, slow and sheepish, head lower then usual. He took his time crossing the kitchen to greet us. Like a seasoned parent, the boy immediately had serious premonitions – something was not quite right, while I thought the contrary, “Manly’s just a dog, taking his sweet time switching from night vision to light vision”.

Making our way into the living room, it wasn’t too long before we found the incriminating evidence, all over our green grass rug –an immaculately, tenderly licked quart of Pavel’s Russian yogurt with its carefully bitten off lid, lying not to far away, like a head from its decapitated body. When the Boy waved the yogurt container magnanimously in the air and asked, “what is this?,” both Manly and Biela made their best attempts to shrink into sand and snow. Burrowing into their beds, Manly, just looked ears down into our eyes, as if to say “it wasn’t me,” while Biela couldn’t turn her head and eyes away fast enough from our disapproving looks. She glanced off instead at the wall behind her as if praying for sanctuary in the little cracks.

Always present minded, we’ve learned (often the hard way) that dogs can’t be reprimanded for something that’s happened in the past. Of course, you can try, but it’s just useless in their minds. They learn from association (both good and bad), so it’s best to catch and correct them right in the act of naughtiness. So, instead, we just looked into Biela’s guilty brown eyes and gave her a nice pat on the head. “Ok, you got away with it this time, girlfriend.” Next time, the empty yogurt container treasure will not go in its usual, recycling area – (today, reachable by four-legged, fury creatures), it will go straight into the recycling bin in the garage.

The incident left me with a bout of warm nostalgia and reflection. I’m still amazed and thinking to myself, how did she do it? Ok, so fishing through the recycling bag, identifying the yummy target, then transporting the load was easy. But how was she then able to get the damn thing to open with only tongue and paw? And why on the rug out of all places in the house? The rug that she knows, is clearly forbidden and off limits for doggies--I guess, just for the hell of it, maybe to show Manly that she can live on the wild side!

There have been so many M&B (aka Bonnie & Clyde) believe-it-or-not stories --like the time when the Boy woke up in the middle of the night to the mysterious sounds of rustling paper and snorting, only to find Manly with his head inside my purse enjoying a forgotten egg sandwich. Or the time, I found Biela with my wedding sandals; the sorry grecian shoe, its front sole and golden straps completely chewed off and irrepairable. Or the large dark chocolate bar on our café table that had magically disappeared. Or my sony-ericcson mobile phone with suspicious looking teeth marks on the ear and mouth piece. And how can I forget the time I came out of the bathroom, a little "offering" in the hallway, the lifeless body of Manly’s giraffe with a precise line cut down its chest, exposing the missing cotton filling and the plastic noise maker. (I would later find the tiny clear, plastic sphere, its squeaky toy heart, hidden in Manly’s bed). Apparently, who knew Manly had a keen gift for open-heart surgery?

And still, I’m always surprised by what I learn from my dogs, Biela especially. We call her the “psychic dog” because she’s always sensing how we feel and sharing her wisdom in her doggie wicca ways.

For example, when I’m having a bad day, she will lie next to me and comfort me and only when I feel better, she will leave my side. Or when we don’t make enough time for each other or when work takes over our schedules, we’ll usually find her covered in mud with freshly dug cu-chi tunnels in our garden. She just knows and shows us the important things that needs focus and attention. She teaches us new lessons right when we think we know it all and think we're perfect. So when Biela gives her these little clues, I usually take heed.

Call me crazy, but ultimately, isn’t she just telling me that she needs a little spice, a little fun and like any being, don't we all need this? Especially when there’s too much seriousness or too much control or discipline, isn’t it when we most need to be naughty, let our hair down and have a little fun. After all, like humans, don’t doggies just wanna have fun?

Thanks Biela for the perspective.

By Mai Brehaut

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