Sunday, November 11, 2007

You Think YOU'VE Got Problems?!

I love my dog. Seriously, he's like my miracle child. Practically came back from the dead to be this lively, healthy, happy, affectionate, but very dumb creature. LOVE my dog.

I don't like to give him people food because it usually ends up as a brown, cocoa-looking puddle somewhere on my floor half an hour later. He's never been discontent with his own dog food, so for the most part, i give him that and don't really think anything of it. That's not to say that he doesn't practically trip me and break my neck whenever i go into the kitchen to make a meal. He does. For some reason i'll never fathom, he always seems to think i'm going in there specifically to prepare something for him, as though any time i've ever cooked spaghetti, i've unfailingly put it directly into his bowl once i was finished. But hey, i guess you gotta have a dream, right?

The one thing i've discovered i can give him without upsetting his delicate stomach (and, inevitably, his delicate bowels), is bread. So whenever there's that heel at the end of the loaf that i know is going to sit on the countertop until it looks like a sheet of gray-green chalk dust someone decided to place in a bread bag, i like to give it to him. The first time i gave it to him, he leapt up all expectantly and when i gave it to him, he walked away with his head and tail proudly erect, and at a brisk trot signalling his victory to the entire household. He paraded with it hanging out of his mouth around the couch a few times and back over to the desk area and then back into the kitchen, just to remind me of his good fortune. It's good to be the Bean.

Once the heady sense of his own luck dissipated, he was left there with the bread, still hanging out of his mouth. I'm never sure what emotion he was experiencing at that point as he stared intently at me. There we were, staring at each other in the kitchen; me curiously at him, and him expectantly at me. And then he walked back into the living room with an entirely different gait. Slowly, almost listlessly. And once he got there he let out the biggest, gustiest, most wearisome sigh i've ever heard a dog express.

Well, that's not exactly what i was expecting. I walked out to see what was the matter and there he was: standing over his piece of bread looking at me with this 'YOU did this to me!!!' look on his face. I tried to maintain a look of seriousness as i asked, 'Whatsamatta, Beaner Weener?'. He stood there and looked at me, then looked at the bread, and then back at me. And then he started to whine.

Whine?! I took a step toward him, and he quickly scooped up the piece of bread and loped a little ways away from me and then stood there look at me, whining with this bread hanging out of his mouth. I just burst out laughing. It was the most ridiculous thing i'd seen him do in a long time. So i went back into the kitchen, and he followed me in there, bread in mouth, crying like it was three hours past mealtime. Then he paced around the whole house, slowly and whining the whole time. He'd drop back in periodically to look at me with his ears drooping and sighing, as though i'd placed the biggest burden on him. As though no dog in the history of the world had ever had such an impossible trial to face, and he wanted me to know that it was i, his loving momma, who inflicted this terrible task in the form of a piece of bread upon him. A veritable little brown and black Atlas with the weight of the world dangling from his mouth. I could see how his bottom jaw trembled with the effort of supporting it.

So, like any good martyr, he eventually walked into the living room, deposited his burden on the floor and slowly began to consume it, whining and protesting the whole time. And, like a good martyr, he refused to let go of the terrible thing that plagued him; instead, he bore it dramatically and publicly, so everyone could see how hard he's really got it.

He does this every single time i give him bread.