Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bumpus Hounds

The Bumpus Hounds live at my house. 

You know - those dogs that rush into Ralphie's kitchen in The Christmas Story. While "Turkey in the Straw" is playing? And they make off with the Christmas turkey that the dad has been salivating over all day? 

They are not fictional characters in a movie. No, they actually exist. In MY house. And I am sure that the fact that they are exuberantly poorly - behaved is all my fault. 

I took Maggie and Bart, the mini schnauzers, into PetSmart the other day. There is no way that I can handle all three of the Bumpeses in the store at once, so I opted to take the two smallest ones. Maggie loves going into that store to sniff the other dogs, and look at the ferrets and gerbils and birds. She enjoys getting petted by other pet owners and socializing in general. I think that she knows that when we go into that store, we always leave with treats. 

Bart, on the other hand, views other animals and people as serious invaders of his personal space. He really hates those visits into PetSmart. But I keep taking him because I cling to the idea that with repeated contact with other people and dogs, someday he will morph into this sweet and outgoing pooch. Think I'm naive? John does too. 

We were making our way through the aisles, when a lovely spaniel and her owner strolled by. Bart immediately lunged, Maggie went into hysterics because Bart was acting stupid, and the spaniel cowered behind her owner. 

The owner glared accusingly at me and asked me to control my dog. 

I cannot believe that I looked straight into the eyes of this lady and told a big bad whopper of a lie. I said:

" Gosh, I'm so sorry. You see, this is a rescue dog........"

I let my voice trail softly away, and looked pityingly at Bart, who by now had calmed down and was playing the part of pathetic waif dog perfectly. The spaniel owner was immediately contrite.

"Oh, really? Awww, poor little fella." She inched closer to Bart and gingerly patted his head. He sighed and leaned against her leg. What a ham. 

She beamed at me and told me what a good thing I was doing for the doggie world. 

I knew that if I kept up this charade, the ground would swallow me up and spit me out in Hades. And I would deserve it. 

I gave the beautifully behaved spaniel a pat and we made our escape from the store. 

It's Sunday. My conscience has been bugging me all week. 

I feel better now. 

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