For a rescue dog that didn’t cost us any money to acquire, not even a fee at the local animal shelter, Charlie has proven to be a monetary sinkhole in his pursuits of destruction. He is a southern boy, he speaks with deliberation, as Matthew McConoughy? McConnoughay? McConaughey? … Googling… McConaughey. Got it.
Murphy is a breeder-born, thoroughbred Golden Retriever from the Blue Ridge raised by a Tidewater Virginian. Murphy cost us $1,200 initially, but he’s proven himself to be an absolute gentleman, save for his zealous crotch torpedoing. Apparently that’s de rigeur for goldens. Murphy is mature, efficient and speaks sparingly, preferring to let what he doesn’t say say what he actually means.
Seeing as how Charlie is in the red now, he needs to get a job. Murphy with our cat Gandalf (the one with the other family across the street) take on the arduous task of interviewing Charlie. Below is a portion of the experience.
The meeting takes place on our deck. Murphy is lying on his side, sunning himself and Gandalf is on a railing, looking down on Charlie as he always does, and also keeping a safe distance because Charlie can’t control himself around Gandalf. He simply sees him as something to eat or maim or destroy; but in a fun, lighthearted way. I believe the Geneva Convention would define Charlie’s tactics as torture.
C: I brought my resume:
M: What is the type of job you feel is best suited toward your … natural talents and gifts?
C: I did that. All by myself. From inside my crate. Well, that’s not exactly true. It was outside my crate, but I pulled it through to inside the crate and then I did that.
C: I just said. Through the crate. Look, pretty boy, I have many skills. I prefer to think of myself as a diet counselor / deconstructionist / renovator / incidental gardener / toy acquirer / media specialist / innovative package opener / threat prognosticator / vermin exciter and conjurer of magic.
M: Come again? Conjurer of magic?
C: I see things that others can not. I bark at things that are not there. I can’t tell if that’s more ‘threat prognosticator’ or magic conjurer …
M: In the dog world, we consider this, asinine. The lady and the man don’t like it either. Do you know what ‘shut the hell up!’ means?
C: To shut up hell. That’s also what I do. In the back yard, I can smell sulfur, so I dig to hell and cover it up with other dirt or tree parts or tennis balls. See where it says, ‘incidental gardener’? Got that covered. Ha. No pun intended. Proceed.
M: This is truly dazzling. Gandalf, you’re quiet today. Anything to add?
G: Yes. Stop. Now. All of this. Charlie, you are
C: Amazing, I know. It is dazzling; that a puppy like me, who’s from the sticks and has who knows what –other than awesome!– running through his bloodlines can accomplish so much in so little time.
G: Yes. Let’s talk about how much you’ve accomplished. That incident with the carpet in the playroom… what’s going on here?
C: This? I smelled sulfur. I eradicated it. The family is safe. Next?
G: Diet counselor?
C: You like that crap they give you? I think it’s terrible, so I spare you from it. Plus, uh, you’re looking a little wonky on the chassis, G. What’s with the loose belly swing when you walk? It’s like you’ve got a chest of pirate’s booty in your gut.
G: I don’t have to take this. That photo is undignified.
C: Get over yourself. You weigh 17 pounds. That’s twice the size of that rodent dog next door. The neighbors have a nice warm spot for you if you need. I can chase you there if you want. Help you work up an appetite for all that sitting around you do…
M: This is no way to treat a co-worker. If you’re looking for a job, Charlie, you can’t be disrespectful like that.
C: I’m sorry. He’s gone. ‘Co-worker!?’ GO ON! TRAITOR! TURNCOAT! CAAAAAT!
GO COMPLAIN ABOUT US ALL IN THAT HOUSE WITH ALL ITS SHADE, AIR FRESHENERS and NO DOGS or KIDS … He comes back smelling like a Glade Plug-In after he’s been over there. Uch. He has no dignity. Plug him in, plug him in…
His sister… ay chihuahua. Now she’s feisty. She’s all hissy and growly and then jumps from a tube sock. She’s a klutz though.
M: It’s just that you’re spirited.
C: You mean, enthusiastic.
M: We’re off track. Tell me about your other skills.
C: I can alert the family to a vacuum in the room from my crate behind a closed door.
M: What do you mean? Vacuum in the room?
C: When there’s a vacuum in the room, and I’m alone and in my crate, I tell the family they forgot it. Or, when it’s running, and I’m having an imposed nap in my crate, behind a closed door and I hear the vacuum, then they clearly need to know about it. One time I decided to decommission a vacuum.
M: You mean when you chewed through the cord? That repair cost
C: I mean when I SAVED THE FAMILY. Vacuums are dangerous. So are lawnmowers, brooms and large garbage bins. And toddlers. Toddlers are always getting into trouble which means they are very dangerous. They are drunk, unstable walkers. That’s why I take away their chips — they could choke on them — and then I knock them down. They need to stay on their bottoms at all times where I can keep an eye on them. Chips are very sharp. And tasty. They don’t need that kind of food. They need apples and carrots and strawberries, which are also very tasty. Toddlers don’t need anything actually. They should just stay away.
M: Yes. I remember that. When that little boy was over this summer. You were very nice to him the first time.
C: I didn’t know what he was the first time. Of course I’m going to be all, “Hey, little … thing…? What’s in your pants? That smells like dinner…” Then he was all over the place. Chucking tennis balls into trees, and flinging frisbees into the dirt, and swinging around tree branches. I saved him. Those things can kill a kid. I had to put a stop to it. So now he cries whenever he sees me. I certainly don’t recall you not enjoying that bag of pretzels he knocked off the table.
M: Very good. Do you feel you’re misunderstood?
C: Why is this starting to sound like a therapy session?
M: I’m sorry. You’re right. What else would you like to highlight?
C: I can be very patient.
C: Well, like right now. You’re chewing on my nylabone and I am lying here by your elbow gently biting it.
M: The lady just found that nylabone this morning. Along with this:
M: Yes, here in this picture above, you’re chewing on a newfound old nylabone. Not the one I have now.
C: Yes. But I want the one you have now. Not the one in this picture, even though it’s right in front of me. I want what you have.
M: This is not cooperative.
C: I’m an independent contributor.
M: Let’s see… you also have listed: “I have an uncanny ability to come out of nowhere at top speeds and careen with a size 3 soccer ball between my teeth and leap small ottomans in a single bound.”
C: Size 3. That’s the best. Yeah.
M: Media specialist?
C: I like books, the classics and some new age…
M: This is a bummer, you know. LotF is a literary master —
C: Don’t talk to me about master anything. Listen, when it storms, this is what you do:
C: Really classy. For a so-called “gun dog,” this is an embarrassment to your lineage. On the Fourth of July this year, I was out with the sparklers, bored to TEARS while you were inside shivering in a corner.
M: I never said I was a hero. You can’t swim.
C: I suppose you’re right about that. I … didn’t list it on my résumé. I see you’re quite relaxed there. I am a dog of action.
C: Oops. Wrong pic.
C: Much better. This was taken right after they cut off my balls. I needed something, a bigger ball, to feel somewhat normal again.
M: I remember that leash.
C: Yeah. Tasted good too.
C & M: Ahhhaahahaaaa!
M: I hate leashes.
C: Not as much as you hate baths.
M: True. I do hate baths. Well, this ends our interview for today. Next time we will talk about grooming and not vomiting in the car. Do you think you can handle that? … Charlie…?
C: Later! Lady’s doing yoga. I need to help her.
This post is dedicated to my dear friends whose favorite things I write are the posts about the dogs. We love you! Go Notre Dame!