Monday, February 25, 2008

Super Dog = Super Freak


Our almost-7-year-old yellow lab Super Dog was at her veterinarian's office this past weekend for boarding because Super Man, Super Boy and I went out of town. I picked Super Dog up this morning after taking Super Boy to school, and all was peaceful and serene, as usual. Of course, for some reason, now Super Dog has got THE stinkiest gas I've ever smelled coming from a dog's rear-end.

Not that I've smelled that much gas coming from dogs' rear-ends, but you get the drift.

Let me just say that Super Dog looooves to go to the kennel for boarding. As in the second she sees us touch a piece of luggage, her tail starts wagging at about 300 mph, knocking over anything in a four foot radius.

After the tail comes the prancing feet. She cannot sit still once she gets it in her doggy brain that she's going to the kennel, whether she's actually going or not. She couldn't sit still even if her life depended on it. Which it sometimes has, after she's pushed Super Man or me to the breaking point of patience...

When you get tired of saying, "Sit," over and over and you finally yell at her to go lay down, not only will she NOT go lay down, but she'll stand there in this bizarre pose where her massive head and neck are like somehow sunk back into her body a little, and she starts looking at you like a walleye (a fish for those of you who didn't grow up in the north woods on the Great Lakes), whilst continuing to wag her tail and prance like a maniac. It's like she KNOWS she's being naughty but she just... can't... help it. She looks like a complete idiot when she does that.

Oh, and the second you move (take a step away from the luggage, or go into a different room to grab something else to pack), Super Dog will BOLT down the stairs to the back door as though she expects you to be hot on her heels so you can GO! This usually leads to more yelling at Super Dog to, "GO LAY DOWN!"

When the moment has arrived and it's actually time to leave the house, Super Dog can't contain her excitement. She jumps up on you (which she knows darn well is absolutely forbidden), leaps like a bunny around your feet, and as soon as you open the door to the outside, she races like an idiot all over the back yard (which is especially fun when it's muddy), barely halts to pee, and then bolts like a jack-rabbit straight for the back of the minivan.

Once in the back of the minivan, she will audibly whine the entire 15 minute drive to the kennel, alternating between sitting and furiously wagging her tail and standing and furiously wagging her tail. She also likes to throw in a few rounds of slobbering all over my windows, or randomly but obsessively licking my leather seats. She will also break another rule by slinking her way up to me in the driver's seat and repeatedly nudging my elbow (rather hard) with her nose. Never mind that I'm trying to DRIVE and not get us all killed, Super Dog! Geez...

When we get to the kennel, she prances in her impatience to be let out of the van and drag me into the building. Yes, you read that correctly: She drags me in to the building. I've often seen other dogs cower in fear and dig in their heels or try to run away from the vet's office, but not my dog! Nope, she's the dope that cannot wait to get IN to the vet's office. And she's always like that - whether she's getting spayed, having her teeth cleaned, going through something else unpleasant, or just going for boarding, she is equally ecstatic to go there.

Despite her excitement to go in, however, I've learned that I must insist that we step over to the grassy area outside the building for just a moment because Super Dog sometimes has difficulty "controlling her bowels" when she's so worked up. We used to get charged an extra $10 "environmental clean-up fee" nearly every time we dropped her off because she'd poop mere seconds after we'd walk through the door. I'm sorry to say it took us an embarrassingly long time to figure out that we needed to make her go before we brought her into the building, but alas, we've finally learned our lesson.

With the pooping behind us (literally), I struggle to keep my feet under me while Super Dog drags me into the building. The staff at our vet's office knows Super Dog by name, both because she's there at least one weekend a month and because she's "so friendly," as they so kindly put it. Simply put, she's a maniac! She loves the people, she loves to "play with the puppies," she loves to leap up and give kisses to anyone or anything she passes, and she will often strain so hard against her leash that she'll make herself pass out while waiting to be taken back. The first time she did this, Super Man and I completely freaked and I was scared to death, but apparently that's her "thing." She never learns... Thank god the staff love her!

Always when I pick her up, Super Dog is freshly bathed and exhausted. She has no doubt played, barked and run herself ragged and gotten very little sleep because she's too busy trying to chat with the other dogs nearby. She comes to me as docile as a lamb at pick-up, goes out and pees in the grassy area, gracefully steps up into the back of the van, and sits there calmly looking out the window as though reflecting on her lovely weekend. She sleeps most of the day, eats her meals without much fuss and drinks plenty of water. And all is well.

Except tonight. It's like something very bad is nestled in her gut and letting off this horrible, putrid stench. She's all about the SBD farts ("silent but deadly"), so I can't even hear them coming. All of a sudden, I breathe in just like I did 3 seconds ago and suddenly my nose hairs are on fire from the stink. I make the requisite, "Good God, Super Dog!" noises and look in her direction with disgust and she just lays there looking back at me as if to say, "What? Like you never fart? Puh-lease."

But she's smart. I think she knows I'm writing about her because I keep looking in her direction (and laughing) and now she's started doing her annoying weirdo moans for attention. Yeah, that's right: My dog will moan at you. She won't howl or just get it over with and bark, but she'll make these very guttural and repeated moans that have a slight whine to them. Sometimes it means she has to go outside. Other times it just means that she wants you to gaze lovingly at her until she's had enough and wants you to look away. And still other times she just does it for something to do.

I just let her outside. I told her not to come back in until whatever crawled up her ass and died is OUT. Where I'll eventually have to scoop it up and dispose of it. Ugh....

Still, she's so pretty. I love her, even if she is a freak.

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