Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old Dog, New Trick

I'm sure everyone has heard that old saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.  Well, I would like to challenge that theory.  Or if the statement is true, then what about the old dog teaching itself a new trick. I'm pretty sure that has to be allowed by the rules.

So, my wife was making me watch New Moon.  I'm sorry.  That REALLY didn't come out right.  Let me try that again.  It had been a while since my wife and I had watched a movie.  So I, being the WONDERFUL husband that I am, decided we would watch a movie my wife wanted to watch.  (And yes I know we are way behind on our movies.  We are poor and we have kids.  Movie watching in the theater is a luxury saved for RICH people.)

It was riveting tale of a woman (Bella) who has an affliction that only allows her one emotion, one facial expression and one tone.  (My heart immediately went out to her.) And if her struggle to live a normal life with these multiple disabilities weren't enough to make you reach for the Kleenex (with aloe), she's also in love with a guy who has led a hard life was well.  Not only does he (President and member of the Team Edward fan club) suffer from an even worse case of the very same disorders as she (staggering odds of that), he also has a skin disease that makes him light up like a Christmas tree whenever he is in direct sunlight.  You throw in all of this and add a Vitamin D deficiency, a dental disaster, a thirst for o negative and a side order of commitment issues and you can see where the woman's life is perfect for this glorious piece of non-fiction bliss.  (It MUST be true.  You can't make this crap up.)

THEN... she has another guy who follows her around like a lap dog. (Get it?!?)  He sees through her obvious drama (understatement) and loves her anyway.  He (Team Jacob or the Artist Formerly Known as Sharkboy) finds emotion in her that no one else sees.  He can smell the goodness in her heart from miles away.  He's just an all-around good guy.  So what does she do in this case?  She leads him on and then dumps him for Sir Sparks-A-Lot and the Cullen Posse.  (With their latest single - Baby Got Drac (A few of you will get it.  Even less will think it's actually funny.))

Quick interjection: I haven't seen the latest movie.  Nor have I read any of the books.  So PLEASE don't comment any spoilers about what happens in the latest film.  If I'm going to have to watch that movie too, I at least want the story to unfold in front of me.  I would hate to have to sit through the next movie already knowing what's going to happen.  Thanks.

Now, back to the real story.  We were watching this movie when MY dog starts to try to pick a fight with my WIFE'S dog.  For those who haven't read my earlier posts about my dog (also this one)... He is a 10 pound Shih Tzu.  He is also getting old (almost 12 in human years).  He's a very passive dog and only barks when he is left in a room that he doesn't want to be in.  He is never afraid of a bigger dog (including trying to hold his own against the St. Bernard a few years ago at the groomers) but he doesn't try to start fights with them either.

That last statement is very true except on those rare occasions when he gets a wild hair up his butt (another Southern term for my wife's Southern Terms list) and tries to fight my wife's dog.  My dog stutter jumps at my wife's dog and tries to play that flinching game.  He does this to really get my wife's dog agitated.  He goes around my wife's dog and follow him everywhere until my wife's dog attacks back.  Then my dog will jump up on furniture and try to gain the tactical advantage of higher ground against a bigger, faster and stronger opponent.  It seldom work out in his favor but he has been doing this for years.  This is always fun to watch.  And this night wasn't any different.  Or so I thought...

My dog finally took the advantage in this fight and I was cheering him on like he had finally turned the tides in this life-long mission to squash my wife's dog.  I was yelling and showing my support for my little champion.  My heart was racing a little and I found my excitement to crown the new champ of the dog world when I noticed something out of the ordinary.  Apparently, MY dog found this new advantage a little bit... uh... exciting as well.

"Hmmm... Honey... I think my dog just learned a new trick."

My dog started goin' to town (Southern Urban term.  If you don't know, ask.  If you are afraid to ask, look it up.) on my wife's dog.  And I was frozen.  I didn't know what to say or do.  I always wondered what my dog would do if he ever got the upper hand and I got my answer.  This was his big shining moment (so to speak)!  All of these years, I thought my dog with getting feisty during these times but he was really just being "frisky".

Finally, I came to my senses after laughing harder than I have laughed in a long time.  We stopped the whole ordeal before we had to get the water hose.  All was fine after that but I can't say I wasn't left with a few mental scars.  I will never look at those "wild" times the same.  And though I will continue to cheer my dog on to victory, I will also continue to stop him short of winning the war.  That's just not something you surprise your friends with (even if they ARE another dog).  Especially when you have to live with them afterwards. (That was some free advice folks. Take it or leave it.)

I figure he learned this new trick because we were watching a Twilight movie.  I can't wait to see what he learns when I have him watch a REAL vampire/werewolf story like Underworld. But that is another post for another day.
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