Tuesday, January 18, 2005

When the dog isn't busy sticking his nose into someone's crotch (because that's his job and all), he can usually be found gnawing on his favorite yellow, rubber ball and trying to catch your eye so you might be tempted to throw it to him. Unfortunately, his ball is just the perfect size to roll off and get stuck under the entertainment center.

There he is, lounging in the den, getting his gnaw on, when all of a sudden the thing gets away from him. With his head flat on the floor, he can see the ball. He scratches and paws as far as he can under the four-inch clearance, but can't reach it. He needs help. So he finds the nearest human. And stares. He stares until he captures the human's attention. Then he throws an urgent gaze over to the entertainment center. Back to the eye contact. Back to the ball. The eye. The ball. Throw in a whine and a little fidget for emphasis.

That's where Gertrude and I came in yesterday afternoon, in between episodes of Dragon Tales.

"What is it, Finn?" I asked. "You have to go potty?"


"You need some love?"

Haroo. Fidget.

"Timmy's stuck down the well?"

Earnest glance at the entertainment center.

Gert said, "I think lost his ball." She hopped off the couch and crouched down to look. Finnegan joined her, squeezing his nose as far as he could into the little space. Gert's entire arm disappeared. "I can't reach it!" she grunted.

With a sigh, I got off the couch (which I like to do as infrequently as possible) and crouched down behind Gert. "All right, let me see if I can get it."

"Okay!" WHAM.

That was the sound of Gert's head connecting squarely with my nose at point-blank range.

Gert started to wail. I waved off those little cartoon birds circling my head and felt my nose, which I half expected to come off in my hand. Finnegan whined and sniffed and stuck his nose in my face and then Gert's.

After Gert had calmed down and the dog's ball had been retrieved, I felt slightly cheated. No blood, no bruising. I should have at least gotten a black eye out of it. All we could do was eat Tootsie Rolls until we felt better.

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