Today, as our really quite bad 29th president Warren G Harding (although his stock may rise by one spot in roughly 4 years) said in the run up to his 1920 presidential campaign: it is time for a return to normalcy. Although he was speaking of the country, I believe this can also apply to a humorous dog blog. Historical records are murky regarding President Harding's love of dogs and/or access to the Internet, but I think we can safely assume he would have enjoyed reading the Home Treat Home Doggy blog in between massive scandals. What this means for today's entry is this: no long narrative about a black lab working as a soothsayer in New Orleans or a sordid tale of two Irish gangster terriers running their block, just a regular story about two bouncing balls of bulldog. Note: we'll get back to the weird stuff soon, but the fact that it's been raining for 3 days straight in Chicago has this blogwriter in the creative doldrums.
That point notwithstanding, this post is a bit of a long time coming. I dogsat for these two international dogs of mystery about a month ago, and the memory is just as fresh and buoyant as it was those many days ago. Some brief introductions: the English bulldog is, perfectly, named Angus; the wee Frenchie puppy is, somehow also perfectly, Lola.
They might seem like a bit of an odd couple, but I assure you they fit together like two canine puzzle pieces. Two puzzle pieces of completely different sizes. And colors. And temperament. And drool reservoirs. But somehow, it works. The basic relationship dynamic seems to be Angus as protector/big brother/role model and Lola as precocious tween/ball of energy/small boneless furry blob. Here's an example of a day in the life of dogsitting Angus and Lola, in tried and true Home Treat Home bulleted list fashion (we're currently trying to patent the dogcentric bulleted list, bear with us):
- I enter the domicile.
- Angus bulldozes down the stairs (he was always upstairs when I arrived, GOD KNOWS what he was doing up there) and begins droolin' and shakin' all over my lower half.
- I attempt to get Angus in his harness and leash, which is like trying to put a diaper on a greased bowling ball while someone is trying to bowl with it.
- I feed Angus and triumphantly walk him to where Lola is waiting in her crate.
- Angus, outraged by the imprisonment of his teeny French ward, begins droolin' and shakin' all over my lower half.
- I spring Lola from her oubliette and attempt to feed her. This is only possible by filling her food dish and then immediately looking away, as if the mere thought of her sucking up those mahogany pellets disgusts me. I fear this may be a burgeoning eating disorder for Lola, but then I remember that I've seen dogs eat leaves/garbage/cat excrement and relax.
- I attempt to corral Lola long enough to attach her Byzantine harness and leash, which always has varying levels of success. It felt like the orientation of the harness/leash changed every day, as if enchanted by the malevolent ghost of a disgruntled PetSmart employee.
- I eventually solve the Gordian knot of Lola's leash, and we exit the domicile.
- Angus weighs, roughly, 100 Lolas. However, Lola has the energy of 100 Angii (Anguses?). This causes my left shoulder to PULL FORWARD with the weight of Angus's stout frame while my right shoulder begins to rotate like a Shimano fishing reel with the manic energy of Lola the puppy.
- This continues for the 30-40 minutes of our walk. We weave in and out of trees, fire hydrants, fences, and basically every other impediment we can find to the point where it sorta feels like I'm on a very specific episode of Ninja Warrior.
- We wander back to their house and Angus bounds up the steps as I holster Lola like a furry lil pistol and carry her up to the door. I loose both dogs from their chains and release them into their chambers. They ramble around for a bit and then I massage an unwilling Lola back into her crate. Angus, seeing everything is up to snuff, somersaults back up the stairs into his dimension.
A few bits of flavor text that didn't fit in those bullets: Angus likes to set the pace and direction of our walks and in super cute Frenchie puppy fashion, Lola clearly imitates him and follows his lead. She literally makes the same movements as he does. If I had ovaries, I'm sure they would be glowing with radiant motherly energy. Lola ain't no follower though. As you can see in the first picture in this entry, Lola LOVES to grab Angus's leash in her mouth and essentially walk him around. I don't have the heart to tell her that if he wanted to, given the laws of physics, Angus could slingshot her into the troposphere if he wished. Let the wee Frenchie dream. Lastly, Angus had to have a pill thrice daily, which was administered by me with a healthy dose of peanut butter. I know dogs and panut butter have a healthily reported history, but I wish something made me as HAPPY as peanut butter makes Angus. Well...to be honest, I guess peanut butter makes me as happy as peanut butter makes Angus happy. Those with low standards can NEVER be disappointed! All hail George Washington Carver and his edible happiness salve!
Woah, almost went back into that weird territory. Glad to know I still have that gear available. Anyways, I had a wonderful time with these two kooks. If you see them out, give them a stoic head nod from me. And maybe some peanut butter. In fact, if you see me, give me the same.