A dog who could do many things. Among those were...
|We got Joe, a Newfoundland puppy, from the pound. They said his mother was pedigreed. His father… Well, that was up to speculation. His mother must have been one of those with gusto, run-romp-and-play-around-daily dogs. From mama, Joe was must have inherited ecstasy because he always danced, whirling round and round, wagging his entire body, and sniffing the tail ends of his visiting pals. He was so open with his feelings!
In those days in our neighborhood, we believed that our children and our dogs should run free. Let me tell you something. That certain belief got me into a lot of trouble later in life. After twenty years, my children are still running amok. But that’s another story.
Joe learned to always get what he wanted. From my children, of course! In this matter, I’m as sinless as an angel, the fallen one. To tell you the truth, Joe really got under my skin with his talk. Yes, the dog could talk. I swear! Writer’s Honor!
This took me by surprise one day when he suddenly nuzzled up to me and said, “You have to stop the garbage men from stealing our stuff.”
I said, “What?” Children at school, husband at work, only Joe and I alone in the house, who’d that be? “Who’s playing a trick on me?” I yelled at an empty house.
“Hush, you’re hurting my ears,” he said. “You keep yakking at me from morning till night, and I am not supposed to talk back?”
At that point, I seriously considered calling a priest for an exorcism.
“Relax, Ma! It’ll be our secret. So nobody will be in trouble. I shall not speak in front of others. Now about the garbage men…”
“Joe, they are doing us a favor by taking the garbage off our hands. Don’t worry about it,” I mumbled, doubting my sanity at the moment.
From then on Joe talked to me almost non-stop, sometimes even in front of others but he made it so that only I could hear it.
One thing Joe hated the most was getting washed. Oh, he didn’t mind jumping into the puddles or gallivanting under the rain with Brandy, his girlfriend who was our neighbor’s English setter, but getting a gentlemanly –or should I say gentledogly?- wash! No way!
Since he kept pulling off and breaking the spigot off the shower stall continuously, we decided that Joe should go to the pet salon for grooming regularly. Easier and less expensive, or so we thought.
During one of those days, our neighbor’s daughter told us that on the weekend on the high school lawn, the teens were going to hold a pet wash for the benefit of the school band. We could try it, I thought, but I didn’t mention it in front of the family because I didn’t want Joe to hear it. I had had enough troubles dragging him to the vet.
By that time, I had told my children about Joe talking to me. Lo and behold! They both had believed me. They had even gone to their father with that exciting story. My husband said, “I can see that you want to get them to behave using the dog but isn’t it better to be open with them?”
“Were you open with them when you made them think you were the Santa Claus?” I answered his question with a question. He had to shut up. A good husband always admits defeat and shuts up. That’s one of the reasons I love him.
Coming back to Joe, for the show, my children gathered up their treats, a case of popcorn balls, gummy bears, cookies and some doggy treats, not for Joe but themselves since they insisted they should share everything with the dog. Joe also stuck his head in the refrigerator and wanted his treats. I bribed him with some cold cuts and he agreed to take a bite from the doggy biscuits to make the children happy. Joe even ran with joy to greet the postman and the garbage man that Saturday morning. He was so happy that he would finally be attending school.
As soon as we got off the car, Joe quickly determined that one of the mothers who had come there to watch the football team practice was afraid of dogs. He said, “Let the fun begin!” and leaped playfully on her. The poor woman just sat down on the grass with a catatonic stare as Joe kept licking her face and growling with exaggerated concern. The kids and I pulled him off and brought him to the front lawn where the real fun commenced with Joe and three other dogs, as Joe attacked the water hoses as if they were Attila’s hordes. The other dogs followed his example. The kids had put the snack bag on the grass. Joe rushed to it, inviting his friends. Before anyone could grab this bunch of slippery wet dogs, they all got covered with popcorn balls and gummy bears. Suddenly a stray cat fled to the football field where the boys were playing. The dogs took after the cat. But Joe knew better. He had watched football on TV. The other dogs ran after the cat. Joe got the ball and ran all the way to a touchdown.
Joe enjoyed school immensely. With the passage of years, he matured and turned into a computer geek. Although it was way too hard to type with paws and he came down with the carpal paw syndrome, he kept on barking each time he heard, “You’ve Got Mail!”
And if you don’t believe me, check it on the web. Joe has his own website, put in by his admirers, as “The Dog that Scored a Touchdown”.
A pet wash...an unusual pet...fund-raising teens...a case of popcorn balls...a broken spigot...your story is a comedy, and I want to laugh real hard!