Boys Will Be Boys


Have you met my dog Oscar yet? I don’t think so. Oscar is a male English pointer bred by my wife, who has been breeding champion dogs for years (she’s mostly retired now). Oscar’s a good boy. In fact, he’s an excellent boy. He’s about ten years old, and he’s quiet and reserved and generally good company.

Oscar has been somewhat corrupted by his recent close association with Ebby, the dog we inherited from my wife’s mother. As I have described elsewhere, Ebby is a greedy hog who will happily eat pretty much anything that fits in her mouth. She’s taught Oscar how much fun it is to rip open a trash bag to consume the noisome goodies inside, and in return Oscar has taught Ebby where to find the kitty litter box. It’s like one of those buddy movies.

Oscar and Toy

Oscar and friend.

But other than that, Oscar is pretty cool. He has learned to smile on command or when he wants something. He bares his teeth in a way which would be quite terrifying if one didn’t know better (or if one didn’t see his tail wagging wildly at the same time). And if you scratch his back at the base of his spine he hops from one foot to another in a truly gratifying manner, performing what we call the “Butt Dance.” At night Oscar likes to stand next to you while you’re in bed and stick his head under the covers, applying his shockingly cold and wet nose to any exposed skin he might find there. This is really quite entertaining when it happens to my wife.

Oscar has one weakness. And like so many great men throughout history, his weakness is the ladies. He’s putty in their hands. Once of our dogs has been in heat for a week now, and Oscar has gone insane. Whenever a female dog (or “bitch” if we are to be accurate) goes into season, Oscar loses his tiny little mind. He barks and howls all day and night. He rarely sleeps and he doesn’t eat much, either. He sings and whines and obsessively pees on every vertical surface in the back yard. He’s just like Mr. Spock in “Amok Time.” Also Tiger Woods, apparently.

This is not a new condition for Oscar: he’s always been a fool for love. Once several years ago he attempted to jump out of a second-story window to make the acquaintance of a young bitch in season in the yard down below – the window was closed at the time, by the way − and another time he all but hanged himself in a car, somehow ending upside-down in the front seat, his lead rope wrapped around the rear view mirror. We spent a few frantic minutes getting him untangled before he broke his stupid neck.

Fortunately for our sanity and his, Sally (the bitch in question), is pretty much over her season, and Oscar has begun to regain his senses. He’s stopped pacing obsessively in front of the door leading to the kennel, and he’s once again sticking his cold wet nose where it totally doesn’t belong and grinning like a maniac.

It’s good to have him back. We’ll take the occasional pillaged garbage bag over grossly excessive sexual energy any day. I bet Tiger’s wife would too.

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One Response to “Boys Will Be Boys”

  1. Lynn Says:

    Bonnie (his niece) does the exact same “Butt Dance”. I had no idea it was a hereditary trait!

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