Sunday, November 27, 2005

Mrs. Wigglebottom Saves the Day

There's no need to do chores when Mrs. Wigglebottom is more than happy to go on a walk. And so, instead of doing the dishes, we went out to see what was going on in the neighborhood. Nothing much. We have a peppering of birds in the sky and someone is being lifeflighted to Vanderbilt, judging from the helicopter. When we do our usual walk, we make a giant P, with us living at the foot of said P. When we got back to the point we turned right at, Mrs. Wigglebottom and I wasted a good half hour playing three of our favorite games. Mrs. Wigglebottom's favorite game: Stick (or Ball). She finds a stick she thinks must be irresistible to me. I pretend to want it and she delights in keeping it from me. I'm sure Mrs. Wigglebottom would enjoy more traditional games like "Fetch," if only she could understand the concept of letting go, but it's safe to say, Mrs. Wigglebottom lets go of nothing.* My favorite game: Jump (which may be combined with Stick, if one can get the stick from her). I find a stick I think must be irresistible to her and I hold it up at about shoulder height and she flings herself into the air and tries to get it. The other game we both like: Smack your bottom. In this game, you just say "Smack your bottom! Smack your bottom!" while hitting the dog on the butt repeatedly. Fuck if I know why she likes this, but she does. Of all the games we play, this is the one I most hope no one notices. I also caught myself singing while we were walking. It's weird, because I was thinking how much I like Audioslave, but I was singing "Worked all the summer, worked all the fall, had to take Christmas in my overalls. But now she's gone and I don't worry. I'm sitting on top of the world," which has to be the saddest happy song I know**. I mean, my god, if your heart doesn't break for a man who works so hard that he's even working on Christmas (and what a nice phrase "take Christmas"), it must break when you realize that, once his woman left, he was all out of things to fret about. If you aren't a fretter, you might not understand just how low it is to have nothing left to worry about, but, let me tell you, it's pretty far down. You'd think there'd be more blues songs written about dogs, but I don't know of any off the top of my head. Here, though, is a bit of dog blues written millennia ago by Homer***:
While he spoke an old hound, lying near, pricked up his ears and lifted up his muzzle. This was Argos, trained as a puppy by Odysseus, but never taken on a hunt before his master sailed for Troy. The young men, afterward, hunted wild goats with him, and hare, and deer, but he had grown old in his master's absence. Treated as rubbish now, he lay at last upon a mass of dung before the gates-- manure of mules and cows, piled there until fieldhands could spread it on the king's estate. Abandoned there, and half destroyed with flies, Old Argos lay. But when he knew he heard Odysseus' voice nearby, he did his best to wag his tail, nose down, with flattened ears, having no strength to move nearer his master. And the man looked away, wiping a salt tear from his cheek
Shoot, if old dying, loyal Argos doesn't bring a salt tear to your eye, you're just lacking a heart. Ugh. Let's not leave this post on such a sad note. Homer, give us something we can dwell on this evening:
That was the scar the old nurse recognized; she traced it under her spread hands, then let go, and into the basin fell the lower leg making the bronze clang, sloshing water out. Then joy and anguish seized her heart; her eyes filled up with tears; her throat closed, and she whispered, with hand held out to touch his chin: "Oh, yes! You are Odysseus! Ah, dear child! I could not see you until now--not till I knew my master's very body with my hands!"
Tee hee. *Those of you who want to make smart-ass comments about the ways I resemble my dog may do so at this point. **As opposed to the happiest sad song ever--"You are My Sunshine." ***Fitzgerald's translation.


Blogger Exador said...

Good luck getting your pitbull to let go.

11/27/2005 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Yeah, we've got her trained to let go in emergency situations (usually when she's trying to eat something she shouldn't) and so I'm kind of loathe to try to teach her to let go in play situations.

"Drop." has to be an order she'll follow, no matter what, and I don't want her to associate it with fun times; I want her to continue to associate it with a command she cannot disobey.

So, she'll never play "fetch." There are worse fates. And she plays a mean game of tug of war, so that makes up for it.

11/27/2005 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

Yeah, my two are retrievers, for God's sake, and they don't retrieve very well. I never bothered to really train them to do it. It's bred into them pretty well already, but they always drop the stick before they get back to me, usually two feet off shore.
The best part is that, when I throw the stick out, they both get it. Usually, they are pointed in opposite directions and nearly drown each other trying to swim back to shore, but sometimes they swim side by side, both holding the same stick. I must get a picture of that.

11/27/2005 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Holy cow, yes, you must. I bet that's cute as hell.

Mrs. Wigglebottom loves the water, but she's so dense that she sinks if she gets in too deep, so we have to keep her tied to someone when we're at the lake so that we can fish her out if she gets in over her head.

11/27/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

So, if Argos was a pup when Odysseus left, he would be at least twenty years old. That is one old fucking dog.

Ex-Mrs. Sarcastro has our dog from when we moved into our first rental house. She is fourteen and blind in one eye. When I went over to the ex's house last week, she wouldn't leave my side, despite my five year absence.

11/28/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Well, I think that's why the dog up and died like twenty lines after the part I quoted.

And, thanks, hearing about your old, sad dog has broken my heart.

11/28/2005 08:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Songs about Dogs (if these don't break your heart, what will? This is payback for emailing me knowing that I can't properly respond):

Mr. Bojangles, Jerry Jeff Walker:
He spoke with tears of fifteen years how his dog and him
Had traveled about
His dog up and died, he up and died, after twenty years he still grieves

Feed Jake, Pirates of the Mississippi:
Now I lay me down to sleep...
I pray the Lord my soul to keep...
If I die before I wake... feed Jake...
He's been a good dog...
My best friend right through it all...
If I die before I wake...feed Jake..

Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine, Tom T. Hall:

11/28/2005 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Those first two songs I can't even listen to. They come on and I have to change the channel; they just tear my heart right out. The third one, happily, is cloying enough that I can deal with it.

You know, young people tend to be more computer literate than old people. I think you should either let me come and look at it, or, perhaps, ask the Boy Scout to come up and fix it.

11/28/2005 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

I thought I fixed it a second ago. It just laughed at me. I want to smash it.

Yahoo's little helpful hints are less than helpful. Whatever the polar opposite of helpful is, that is what I'm dealing with, here.

I noticed that with all the T'giving epic hubbub, I failed to mention my canine life-partner throughout any of it. She will get her own post forthcoming.

11/28/2005 10:11:00 AM  

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