Sunday, March 10, 2013

Even in dog years, I am immature

My dog, in dog years, is my age now, which probably explains, on sunny days, his lying naked on the lawn.

I understand the impulse.

The dog and I, we do a lot of the same things now. We build our day around meals, we find butterflies more entrancing than television, and by eight o'clock our eyelids get heavier than the plot of a CSI episode.

Our eyesight, and memory, isn't so great. This week I took an old plastic pony my children had outgrown and put it out at the curb. The dog spied it out the front window, mistaking it for a dog brazenly marking his territory.

He growled and growled at the interloper, despite having, just two minutes before, been on the driveway when I carried the pony past him to the curb.

So I flung open the front door and he bolted out at top speed to confront the infidel. He bounced around for about two seconds like a boxer looking for an opening, and then went "Oh. It's plastic. I was just...uh...coming out to sniff the lawn here. Mmm. That's some fragrant grass, just as I suspected. I'll be going back in now."

When he is happiest, he goes in the back yard and rolls around in his own poop.

We differ in this respect.

But we share the same middle-aged expression, that gaze which says yeah, I've seen a few things, sniffed them too, but it takes a lot to impress me these days. A squirrel, for instance. Or a video of a squirrel.

Unlike me, Skipper still runs like the wind. He does not have that internal self-governor which warns "Careful, you'll rip your Achilles, your knees aren't what they used to be, is your heart really up to this?" No. Squirrel? Boom. Gone. See you after I've shown this varmint who's still got the stuff.

After a bath he races around the house like a dog afire, ripping through the rooms as if attempting to escape cleanliness itself. Like me, there is some puppy in him yet.

I make a unique tsk-tsk sound to alert Skipper to the presence of a squirrel. Even in the house, if I make this sound he will tense, look at me as if to ask "Really? Game on?" and then he will bolt out the doggie door.

I really shouldn't play tricks on a dog his age. But at my age, I get my entertainment where I can.

. . .

Skipper, vigilant for the next plastic interloper