Monday, October 25, 2010

Walking The Couch & Borrowing Babies

OK, enough seriousness, it’s getting a bit old on here. Lets try a little slice of my day instead.

As I mentioned before, our English Mastiff named Steve is getting bigger by the second… you can actually see him grow if you stare at him long enough. For those of you who don’t have dogs, that means two things. One, he needs to be trained and socialized while he’s still a manageable size, so that when he creeps over the 200 pound mark he doesn’t eat the children. And two, while he’s still a growing puppy there’s bound to be all sorts of shenanigans. At 15 weeks old he was big enough to stand up and watch what I was doing on the kitchen counter, and by 17 weeks it occurred to him to lean up on the counter and eat what was on it. He also discovered that he was now bigger than every other dog in our neighborhood, and naturally, thinks that they should all cower as he approaches. Which they don’t.

He’s pretty well behaved though, and the only really annoying thing that he does is get into the trash. Since he’s now 18 weeks old and taller than the trash can, he tries to stick his giant head in there and pull things out – and since we’re pretty careful about not leaving things sitting on top of a trash pile, the most he really ever pulls out is a napkin or some sort of wrapper. Plus, he knows he isn’t supposed to be in there and sheepishly gnaws on things in the corner and waits to get in trouble. Apparently, we don’t always catch him though, and if you’re easily grossed out you might not want to read the next part…

On Wednesday, I got home from work, fed the dogs, and took them out. After about four blocks I wore them down, they both pooped, and I scooped it up with my little dog bags. We moved on, except for Steve, who was still sort of bent over like he was going to go again… but he didn’t, he just kept squatting there and staring up at me. Since Steve is our fourth dog, I knew my options. It’s a waiting game, really, and eventually you just have to get in there and see what’s happening. I’m patient though, so I waited, and waited. For a second, he stood up again, and and saw what was going on (keep in mind I’m not trying to gross you out, but this is funny in the end), it seemed that out trash can sized dog swallowed a napkin or something, and it was trying to make it’s way back out. It was sad and gross, but at the same time a little funny because from the back he looked like a towel dispenser that you might see in a turnpike bathroom – the ones where you grab on the the end of a bunched up towel and pull, and when it comes out it tears so the towel is just sticking out enough for the next person to grab. Eventually I gave up and decided to help… and pulled a poo bag off the roll and went in there. (again, sorry) With the bag wrapped around my hand I grabbed on and started to gently tug on the napkin – which I realized was a paper towel because it kept coming, and coming. Then, after I had about a foot out, the most unexpected thing happened. Granted, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected when pulling things out of a dog’s butt, but this was a first. It tore. At the perforation. Seriously. So it turned out he swallowed two attached paper towels whole, and they lined themselves up on their way through, because when I pulled one out, just like a dispenser, the second one started to come out, and the first one tore off. So there I was standing in the middle of the road holding a paper towel and looking at the second one peeking out of my dog, and all I could think was “god, I hope there aren’t more than two in there”. It was like a dog version of a clown car… just when you think it’s over, there’s more in there…

Anyway, I tried to scrub that out of my head and moved on. Fast forward to Saturday… We spent the morning dashing around, soccer games, birthday parties, etc.. This has been a wicked allergy season for me and Saturday was miserable, so when I made my final drop off of the day and found myself alone in the car, I decided to drive around a bit and look for food before going home. I pointed the car west, because about ten miles away or so there is a little Mexican grocery store that carries Mexican Coke, as well as a few other tidbits I was out of, and on the way back I could stop at another favorite place of mine. It’s a tiny place, so when I got there I tossed a few things and some Mexican Cokes in my basket and checked out, and got in the car for stop number two – an even smaller Mexican grocery store.  This one is about the size of my living room and sells primarily two things, long distance calling cards and empanadas. Wait, let me rephrase – long distance calling cards and spectacular piping hot life changing empanadas.

When I walked in there were eight people sitting at a couple of card tables right next to the empanada warming cabinet, and the owner of the store got up, walked over to me and shook my hand. Since he was standing between me and the warming cabinet, I told him what I was there for and he grabbed the tongs for me and started tossing some empanadas in a white paper bag… then stopped and asked if I wanted one before I left. Now, if you could smell these things, you’d understand. He knew. He knew I would eat one in the parking lot. So I sat down next to the owner and his family, with my empanada and little grease stained paper plate, and started to dig in. Next thing I know, I felt a tugging on my pant leg. I looked down, and noticed a baby, about a year-ish or so, had crawled out from under the table and was tugging on my leg. The three women at the table were speaking in spanish and chuckling, and the one closest to me said “It looks like he wants you to pick him up”. “It does” I said, and tried to ignore the baby as I took another bite. “You can pick him up if you want” she said next – which completely caught me off guard. On one hand, I didn’t really want to say “no, I’m not really in the habit, or mood, to pick up random babies while I’m eating”, but on the other hand, the idea of stopping for a snack and ending up with a small Mexican child seemed seemed like a funnier option. So I wiped the grease off my hands, scooped the baby up, and placed him on my knee. As if all was right with the world, the women at the table went back to talking to each other, the baby sat perfectly still and content on my knee, and I finished the rest of my empanada and all of the sour green sauce on the table. When I was done, one of the women plucked the baby off of my lap, the owner shook my hand, and I hugged my greasy paper bag all the way to the car.

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