Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You know what really Grinds my Gears? by Jeffrey J. Thivierge

You know what really grinds my gears….?

My dog that revealed her multiple personalities the other day…. to the animal control officer.

After experiencing the long, ridiculous winter that we did, it’s been nice to have an extended period of time in which the self-professed weather “nerd” Keith Carson on WCSH-6 is bored because there are no weather patterns to report. We’ve just got beautiful, open skies in which to enjoy outside activities.

So I decided to bring my two mutts, Drake and Indigo, up to the Mountain Division Trail for a good walk and maybe even a quick dip in the Presumpscot River. Shortly before pulling in, my cell phone rang and it was my ex-wife, calling to discuss our daughter’s progress in school. My dogs know when we pull onto Gambo Rd. that we’re about to go for a good walk, so they started to whine incessantly, which required a quick hushing from their dad. After I parked, I saw our local animal control officer pull in and park his vehicle on the other side of the lot. No big deal, as I’m a law abiding, retired Army guy…. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women who enforce the laws. I wanted to stay in my truck, however, because it’s tough to finagle two dogs on leashes and a cell phone. The dogs, however, wanted to begin their walk.

Dogs: One. Owner: Zero.

We exited the truck, as awkwardly as could be. Almost immediately upon exiting, a friendly young man called over to me, “Excuse me, sir. Can I bother you for a minute?” Our local, friendly animal control officer was executing his duly appointed duty and checking to make sure that my dogs were properly registered.
Figuring this would take a matter of seconds, I asked my ex-wife to hang on the line for a second.

Now, let me explain that Indigo is a labradoodle and she loves people. She will bark at strangers, but she is a complete love-bug. She is completely submissive to children, and absolutely adores little girls. She isn’t aggressive, just noisy.

Drake is arthritic and wants food.

When the officer approached Indigo to check her tag, she snarled at him like I had never seen her snarl and bark at a person before. (Please, don’t offer advice on how to “fix” my dog. This was completely out of character. Really.) I was shocked at her behavior and put her at a “sit” which she complied with. Again, he went for her collar and she had the same reaction. Again, I put her at a “sit” and apologized. I showed him her tag as Indigo apologetically cuddled up to my leg, as if to say, “I’m sorry, dad. I just don’t like cops.” (She was lying, because her “Uncle” Chuck is a police officer and she loves him.)

Next came Drake. As he reached for Drake’s collar, Drake took it as an invitation for a bum-scratching, and promptly put himself in position between the officer’s legs for him to scratch Drake’s posterior. Meanwhile, Indigo wrapped her leash around my legs, ensuring that I couldn’t escape.

I apologized for Indigo’s insolence once more the officer thanked me for my time and walked away. Then I turned to leave and promptly crumbled to the ground, not realizing that my bipolar labradoodle had wrapped her leash around me in such a way that Harry Houdini would have struggled to escape from.
Then, in stereo sound, both the animal control officer and my ex-wife said, “Are you alright?” at exactly the same time.

I’m fine.

Only my pride was hurt.

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