I’m sure you’re asking yourselves, “why would he do that?” And I don’t really know the answer to that. He’s got a fabulous life now. I’m trade with him in a second. Bristol (yes, named after Bristol Motor Speedway) pretty much only eats and sleeps with the occasional five minutes of running around after a toy. (He’s not big on exercise.) But maybe it’s pay back for the days before my new fancy laptop when I would spend my son’s entire nap time on the computer and not on the couch with him. (He really likes laying next to people on the couch under a blanket. He gets cold easily.) Or maybe it’s for the nights when he was a puppy and I subscribed to the philosophy that dogs were not meant to sleep in bed with their owner, but in a crate in the kitchen. (He hogs the bed now.) Or maybe it’s because he hates going outside to do his “business” when it’s cold out. Whatever the reason, I’m convinced he’s out to get me.
“Now, what on Earth would give me that idea?” I can hear you muttering to yourselves. I know you think I’m crazy. Maybe so. But listen to the evidence before judging.
I like to have peace and quiet. Like 85% of the time. I’m not a rowdy person. (Usually.) I like quiet activities. If I had the entire house to myself for a whole day with no TV, phone, or radio, I would be perfectly happy. You won’t hear a complaint from me. How I’ll raise two kids to the age of 18 and get them moved out before I lose my sanity is sort of beyond me. But I digress. My dog, like I mentioned before, is a pretty inactive little guy. He’s perfect that way. But he also thinks he’s a big guard dog. (Aside from being part cat and half human, as my husband likes to say.) Part of being a guard dog in his expert opinion, is barking at every single noise he thinks he hears and every single motion he thinks he sees outside. I am fortunate to live sort of out in the country (even though it is a subdivision) and in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic driving by. I would without a doubt suffer from hysterics if I were in town. No matter how many times I’ve heard my dog bark, it still startles me every time he starts. And there are times when I can’t get him to stop, making my nerves buzz like a power line knocked down in a storm.
Have you ever read a book where one of the characters (usually it’s a maternal figure) is overwhelmed by her nerves and headaches and has to spend hours upon hours in her bed? Like Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice or Emily Tallis in Atonement? Sometimes I swear that is not a far stretch for me. If only I had servants that would take care of the children and running the household for me.
So imagine Mrs. Bennett with my dog barking at every little sound and every leaf that happens to blow by. That’s me.
And, even worse, my dog will do it when I’m sleeping. My bedroom is on the far side of our house which is situated unfortunately close to our next door neighbor’s garage. They have two dogs of their own and one of them is constantly barking. So there are nights when I’m trying to sleep and the neighbors put their dogs out (sometimes as late as 11 or 12 at night) before they go to bed. My dog will hear the other dog barking outside and lose his mind. He goes absolutely batty! I throw myself to the foot of the bed to make him stop, not only for my own sake, but so that he doesn’t wake up my son. (My daughter is old enough to go back to bed on her own without any help from me.) Repeat the exact situation but at 5:30 in the morning when the neighbors wake up and have to put their dogs out. If that isn’t a shock to the system that is probably whittling days off my life, I don’t know what is.
But, I can still hear you thinking, “Sounds like pretty typical dog behavior. I’m sure it’s nothing personal.” Possibly. But he plots against me in another way. And what’s worse, I think my son is in on it.
Let me explain the insanity of my house. Before my son was born, it was my husband, me, our daughter, and our dog. Bristol is a boy, but more than that, he’s a miniature dachshund. A.k.a weiner dog. So my husband and the dog formed what Hubby calls, “The Weiner Club.” (First rule of The Weiner Club is that there is no Weiner Club.) So when my son was born, he was allowed into the club based on the fact that he has, well, you know. A weiner. There are times when my husband will be sitting on the floor doing something with my son and Bristol will come over and join the group. And no joke, they sit at the three corners of a triangle. When my husband would see this happening, he would declare that a meeting of The Weiner Club was taking place. When I would notice what was happening, my husband would quickly disband the group and they would go their separate ways. This is just one example of the silliness that occurs in my house nearly every day.
But back to how Bristol is plotting against me. I said before that he doesn’t like to go outside to do his business because of the cold. On the really cold winter days, we will usually leave the garage door down so that he could do his stuff without having to actually go all the way outside. Now, it’s turning into a habit, even though it is starting to warm up outside. His favorite place to poop is directly underneath the driver’s door or the backseat door on the driver’s side. Now, most of the time, I notice it and remember that it’s there long enough to get it scooped up and thrown away before it causes problems. But there are days when I swear the dog has covert meetings with my son and they arrange for my son to thrown a major temper tantrum right as we’re getting ready to leave the house. When that happens I’m so preoccupied with pinning my son into the car seat that I forget about that nice little present Bristol has left for me. And as I step down out of the backseat onto the garage floor, I step right into it.
Today was the second time this winter it’s happened. Which I suppose isn’t terrible when you think of all the days winter has. But when it’s stuck to the bottom of your shoe, it’s pretty terrible.
Could my dog be plotting my mental demise? Maybe not, but you never know…