In my ongoing war with the animals, I’m currently under siege by the cutest, sleekest, dumbest dog you’ve ever met. Here’s her picture:
I would like to point out that I had nothing to do with her name. Her name is Shadow. Shadow IX or XIV or something. Why? Because the Algards have always had a black lab, and that lab is always named Shadow. I don’t know why they do this, but I suspect it’s smarter than trying to remember the name of the damn dog that you have, as, if my parents are any guide, remembering the name of your kids isn’t as easy as it would seem.
This particular Shadow is just a lovebug who wants to do nothing more than snuggle with you and perhaps help you to finish that rather large bit of food that you have in front of you and OH MY GOD PLEASE FOOD! I’ve never seen a bouncy lab before, aside from the one time I set the tables on fire in chemistry, but that’s a different type of lab and no one died. Honest.
This dog bounces. In fact, the back door is covered in nose marks where she’s bounced up and come down in the hopes that magically while bouncing the door has become ethereal and will let her pass. It’s quite funny to watch. It’s also slightly disturbing that she abuses her nose in this manner. It leads her from room to room, and seems to inform her every other move as well.
When I first started house-sitting, I was unused to the space, not ready for the odd noises of the house and how it reacts to the weather outside, and on and on. And I’m a nut for turning off lights. I don’t want extra lights on, and will walk through the dark to avoid turning them on if I’m unsure that at my destination there will be a switch for turning it off. This doesn’t square too well with the fact that I can freak myself out in full sunlight and have an overactive imagination that can summon zombies, wolfmen and high-school principals into any darkened room. To be clear, I’m not scared of the dark, I’m scared of what’s lurking inside it.
I was turning off the lights the first weekend I was in the house and had managed to darken my entire path, and, unbeknownst to me, I had a curious Shadow following close behind. Something made a sound I didn’t recognize, so I stopped, hoping to hear it again and identify it as nothing to worry about.
My Shadow didn’t stop. In fact, her very cold nose impacted with the back of my thigh, which then caused my vocal chords to contact a very high pitch while simultaneously my body elevated quickly to the point of nearly bouncing my head off the ceiling. Yes, I squealed and jumped. I’d say like a little girl, but I’m pretty sure that any little girl would have come off as more manly than I did at that particular moment.
Make no mistake, the dog remembers this, and has attempted to repeat the very entertaining “Levitating the Fat Man Who Squeals” event. She’s succeeded one night at 3 am when, as I was a bit warm and had exposed some of my tender flesh to the open night air, she snuck up and pressed her nose to my left butt-cheek. I jumped so far and fast that I was on the floor of the other side of the bed before I knew what was going on, and the dog just looked at me, as if she should have a lab coat and a clipboard while mumbling “Very interestink,” in a subtle German accent.
Today has been filled with this dog deciding to be all up in my business. Literally up in it. I was trying to have breakfast and she got underfoot and nearly caused me to cover the kitchen in cereal. When I returned home tonight, she wouldn’t spend more than 27 seconds away from me, which really made cooking a very tedious affair.
And then, I decided I needed a shower. So I started up the water, stripped down and was bouncing about as I had to do some laundry as well. The dog was following me, but not so close that it was a big deal. Or so I thought.
I stopped to check my teeth in the mirror before hopping in the shower, and, I swear, Shadow managed to sneak up behind me and pushed her icy cold, wet nose against my butt again.
I hope I get frequent flyer miles for all this time I’m spending in the air.