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Sunday, December 15, 2013

More Life with Ike

You may have noticed certain vocations and pastimes have their own vocabulary.
In the real estate trade, when a realtor describes a structure as having “great bones” typically this means the foundation and frame are reasonably sound. The plumbing, electrical, heating, walls, flooring and roof, however, will have to be replaced.
When you see “Chef’s Creation” on a menu, it does not necessarily mean Chef Francoise has whipped up a delight especially por vous.  More often than not, it means Hank, the short order cook, messed up the chicken Marsala. In an attempt to salvage something of the disaster, he dumped in too much Tabasco sauce.
I could go on and on about specialized terminology. A “reliable used car” means you can rely upon it to break down at the most inopportune times.
When the owner of a fishing resort says “They have been biting like crazy!”, it translates to a couple of guys caught a total of five fish last Saturday.
So it is with dog breeders.
On Monday, the 15th, Ike will be 8 months of age.  The cute, adorable, 11 pound animated Beanie-baby I first met in my Lovely Bride’s arms is now a gregarious, 50 pound and growing, perpetual motion machine.
The breeder from whom we obtained Ike would frequently say “He is the life of the party.” We would smile, nod our heads, and rejoice to be getting such a bright, happy, little guy.
Little did we know “life of the party” means:”Put on your runnin’ shoes, ‘cause you ain’t gonna be sittin’ around much.”
See, he is a very happy, healthy, inquisitive little guy. And, like the life of any party, he brings it with him. If there isn’t anything going on when he arrives someplace, he makes certain things are hopping soon. He could win Mr. Congeniality at any dog show, if there were such a thing. Sometimes I think he is part Golden, “Hi. Hi, Wanna be friends? Oh, HI! Wanna be my friend? Huh? Do ya? Do ya?”
And the things he has been learning!
Just recently he made the monumental, life-changing discovery that he can pee while standing on three feet! How he came to this realization, I don’t know. It was demonstrated to me one evening while taking him for a walk. He stopped by the bushes in front of our house, gave a tentative sniff, and proceeded to lift his leg on the string of lights I had just hung that very afternoon! He was so pleased with himself; he shared this skill by hiking his leg on a tree.
Any male readers, or the parents of a male child, will be able to relate with his delight at the absolute joy of being able to stand while relieving one’s self.  I recall christening things with wild abandon as a lad. The side of the barn, fence posts, rocks, trees; all were fair game. Even the neighbor boy when he had thoroughly….well… caused me to be rather upset with him.  The reason we do this is not so much a matter of needing to pee. It was (alright it is) more philosophical: I stand, I pee, and therefore I shall stand and pee.
I do want to clarify one small misconception that females have. I have heard it said males claim the whole world to be our toilet. Nothing can be further from the truth. Such an assertion is patently absurd, and an unearned stereotype. We do NOT think of the whole world as our toilet. That is ridiculous, and extremely gross. We do, however, think of the world as our urinal. Big difference, there, Sister. BIG difference.
Obviously, the basics of male hormones are trans-species. Ike has been so enthralled with his new found ability that a walk outdoors now takes approximately 40 minutes. He dashes about, little eyes aglow with glee, from tree to shrub to little wooden snowman decoration to a dormant thistle stalk extending above the snow to just about anything greater than three inches in height.  At times, I have been concerned he may collapse from dehydration.  I don’t think a camel prior to setting off across the desert carries as much water as he does.
Ike also discovered when he goes in the bathroom, and grabs that piece of paper hanging there in mid-air; he can soon have the entire room filled with paper. The more he pulls, the more it just seemingly descends from the heavens. He also discovered that dashing about the kitchen trailing the stuff in his wake is a really good way to get a rise out of LB.
For centuries, a common lament of dogs has been the lack of opposable thumbs which renders some tasks impossible. For example, they can’t twist the cap off a jar of pickles. They cannot hold a pen and make out a check to themselves. The biggest complaint has been the inability to open doors. Well….Ike, the Wonder Dog, has cracked that conundrum 
See, the other Saturday it was a very busy day. I can’t recall what the nature of the busy-ness was. Suffice it to say my Lovely Bride and I found ourselves going opposite directions at the same time. While preparing to leave, one of us closed the door to the pantry. However, it didn’t latch completely. This resulted in the door being ajar approximately an eighth of an inch.
Ike discovered the principle that a nearly closed door is as good as a wide opened door. By whatever means he had (nose, paws, pry-bar) he succeeded in opening the door all the way. What to his wondering eyes should appear, but a whisk broom made out of corn.
For the life of me, I don’t know what the attraction to the broom was; perhaps just because it was there. Upon my return home, the floor resembled that of a stable; covered in about an inch of straw. I soon found Ike, seated in his doggie bed, the stub of the broom in his teeth, surveying with satisfaction all which he had wrought.
Mimi just sat upon the couch, blinking in wonder at the scene.
He has learned to empty the contents of his toy bowl all over the floor. We have a large, stainless steel mixing bowl now employed as a repository for his bones, squeaky toys, chew toys, balls, and so on. Just the other day, while enjoying my predawn bowl of Cheerios, I kept hearing him rustling around in the toy bowl. This is not all that odd, except, he did not stop. Finally, after a prolonged period of silence, I looked up.  There was Ike, sitting amidst his treasure trove of toys spread around him. I merely shook my head, and continued to get ready for work.
Yes, he is a little bundle of love, a challenge and a joy.
Not much different from a two-legged child.

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