Thursday, 20 June 2013

The hounds of Elmvale, the gates of hell


One day, not long ago, my son Nicholas posed this question: "Do you ever wonder why, after you had two of the nicest dogs ever, you ended up with these two?"
He was speaking about the black bastard Finnigan and his faithful pug sidesick, Sophie.
The first iteration of dogs -- Hannah, the golden, and Ming, the pug -- were amazing, quiet and sweet as apple pie.
We couldn't have found two more terrific dogs.
Finn and Sophie, on the other hand, are punishments from God.
Take yesterday.
My friends Roger and Jennette arrived for our weekly gabfest on the deck. Roger is frail having nearly died a couple years back. Jennette is a little less frail, but weighs about 100 pounds soaking wet.
It's never easy to accept guests into our abode.
The Levetts have always been good sports, but even they find the new group of dogs challenging.
A successful visit usually involves my refrigerator-sized, former linebacker husband holding
Finnigan while I put Sophie in the house.
But Scott wasn't here yesterday, so it was up to me to ensure that Finnigan didn't topple Jennette and
Sophie didn't rip Roger, who is a bleeder, a new vein in his arm.
This particular visit was doomed from the get-go.
First, Roger took a header walking over the step.
Finn bolted from my grasp to rush to Roger's side. Presumably to kill him.
Then Sophie attacked Jennette, who was trying to get Roger off the ground. It looked like a scene from A Clockwork Orange, with Finnigan trying to lie on Roger while Sophie tore at Jennette's perfectly pressed jeans.
Roger was gushing blood so I rushed into the house in search of bandages. All I could find were paper towels and a beer. (Don't you hate when, in an emergency, you cannot find the First Aid kit?)
By the time I got back outside Finnigan was racing around the backyard, Roger was still on the ground and Sophie was hopping from chair to chair. It was absolute mayhem.
It took about ten long minutes to get Roger sorted but the dogs were still in full flight.
In an effort to calm them, I decided to feed them.
Feeding this group -- along with the elderly pug Gordon -- isn't easy. It requires expert timing to ensure no dog fights take place.
For his part, Gordie usually spends feeding time under my desk.
But hey! We had company, so the ritual was broken.
I put Finn and Sophie into the house, while I brought Gordie onto the deck for his own protection.
As I opened the door, I felt a rush on either side as Finn and Sophie fled the house in their Batman and Robin-like quest to double team Gordie and ruin his dinner.
Gordie, God bless 'im, managed to hold his own for a few minutes but not before Finnigan bowled him over. All Gordie could do was growl, bark and right himself.
And shit himself.
In front of the company.
And then Finnigan ate it.
Oh, mudder of God, kill me now before I die of embarrassment.
Eventually, the dogs settled down. Sort of. Gordie fell asleep on Roger's foot. Finnigan began to trim the tree, leaping eight feet off the ground. And Sophie bounced from knee to knee, panting and slurping.
Our hopes for a quiet visit were shattered. The company politely fled the scene.
This is all to say that my plans for a big birthday bash for myself have been put on hold.
Until I am 70 and all the dogs are dead.

 

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