Furry Children, Part Two

I’ve been an adoptive parent for almost a month now.  It really wasn’t all that hard to slip back into the role after only three months of an empty house.  The first order of business was to make them “mine.”  And no dog of mine is going to be named Split.  Besides, he wouldn’t answer to that name anyway.  Anytime I said it, both of them would sit down.

So I sat on the floor and looked him in the eyes and asked him what he wanted to be called.  He looked back at me, with his big brown eyes and part of his upper lip tucked under his bottom fang, looking pretty empty-headed.  So I started blurting out names, none of which were very flattering and he didn’t hesitate to ignore all of them.  But then I hit upon one name that made his ear go crooked.  So I said it again, in an asking tone, because it really didn’t seem like a name someone would choose for themselves.  “Maynard?”  He licked my chin.  “Really?  Maynard?  Not one of the tougher ones?”  He licked my chin again and panted, his disgusting, hot, stinky breath all in my face.  “Ok.  Maynard it is.”

As we run out into the hallway to tell his sister the news, she’s running in to meet us and find out what all the excitement is about.  Did I mention I have hardwood floors?  I think I may have posted something years ago when we installed them.  Anyways, I have hardwood floors.  They’re relevant to the story, I promise.  So we’re running out to the den and she’s running in from the den and we meet somewhere in the middle, except I’m the only one (wearing shoes) who can stop.  So SMASH!  They knock heads so hard I can hear both of their jaws click shut.  I’m about to fall to my knees to make sure they’re okay, but they immediately begin trying to jump up to lick my face.  (Or maybe they’re trying to knock me over.)  I retreat back to the bedroom, and they advance, all the while Ashley’s powerful tail smashing all kinds of things off of tables and nightstands.  And so I decided to call her Smashley.  It wouldn’t be a far stretch for her to learn it, and I’d recently seen Whip It, so the name was floating around already.

And thus began our journey.  A few things that I’ve thought over the past month:

– Hardwood floors make for ceaseless entertainment when you have excitable animals.

– A cold nose or a warm lick to the armpit will wake you up faster than any annoying sounding alarm clock.

– Maynard behaves as though he’s been abused before.  If I move my hand too fast to pet him, he’ll duck.  If I pick up any object that is a “throwable” size, he’ll leave the room.  Throwable-sized objects include cellphones and cameras, so it’s next to impossible to get a picture of him without using a treat or standing 20 yards away.

-Neither dog will get on the bed (or any furniture) when I’m home.  But when I come home from work, it’s obvious that at least one of them has jumped up on the bed and rolled around on his back in it.  (Yes, I said his, because he’s the only one that rolls around on his back.)

-Upon their first visit to the vet. the lady came out and said, “How is it that you bring in the most well-behaved dogs?” which I thought was awesome.  Then she asked, “How are Taj and Chewie?  Taj is due for his yearly.”  Boy, was that awkward.  I just shrugged and said, “I lost those kids in the divorce.  They were hers to start with.  So these are mine.”

-They don’t know how to exist peacefully outside.  And what I mean by this is that they will bark incessantly at the stray cats who live in the storm drain.  There were only two of these strays a few years ago, until the neighbor across the street started feeding them.  And now there are a bunch.  I would never poison an animal…  but I certainly won’t cry if they all wandered out in front of the schoolbus one morning.  I don’t know how to deal with this barking thing, though.  I’d like to leave them outside for a bit, just so they can run around and burn off energy, and get spoiled by the neighbors who will throw treats to them.  But that barking is going to piss someone off.  A bark collar seems like an inhumane solution.

– Maynard’s farts are so bad that he will get up and leave the room right after he releases one.

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