I am sure that it is not just chance that the only toy that has ever stood up to the jaws of our bulldog, Wonderbutt, also happens to be the most annoying toy on the face of this planet.
My daughter and husband have plotted to make Squeaky Toy disappear. Permanently. So far, I’ve held them back. Wonderbutt is just so darn happy when he plays with it, and it’s not very often we get to see the pudgy little guy actually smile. (I told my husband the other day that we should have named him Bob Newhart.) See, look how gleeful he is when he plays with it?
Oh, right. I forgot. I have no pictures of him playing with it. As soon as I pull the camera out, Wonderbutt, races to me so he can shove Squeaky Toy in my face. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as having a stinky plush toy smashed into your nose.
The main problem with Squeaky Toy is that Wonderbutt refuses to allow me to schedule the playdates. Instead, Wonderbutt chooses the time and place that Squeaky Toy is invited to make an appearance – and those times are not what the rest of us would call ideal.
Yesterday, our elderly friend, MILlie, came for dinner. To keep Wonderbutt from leaping on her, I tried to distract him with Squeaky Toy. Wonderbutt sat next to MILlie, and stared at me like I was insane as I danced around squeezing Squeaky Toy enticingly. He finally sighed, and returned to the more pressing job of figuring out how to hump our guest.
An hour later, we sat down to dinner. Five minutes after we started to eat our spaghetti, Wonderbutt came racing into the room, merrily chomping down on Squeaky Toy. He pranced around the dining room table, and dashed through the curtains behind us, back and forth, now completely devoted to playing with Squeaky Toy, his long lost friend who had been annoyingly silent for entirely too long.
Short squeaky bursts, and long high-pitched wails emitted from the toy as Wonderbutt eyed us peripherally for our reactions. Then, he walked too close to my husband’s chair. Squeaky Toy hit a leg of the chair, and popped out of Wonderbutt’s mouth. With quick reflexes, Cap’n Firepants kicked Squeaky Toy under a low side table.
Wonderbutt realized that his attempts to remove Squeaky Toy from the table dungeon were only making things worse. So, Wonderbutt began to whine.
Which is worse – the joyous, ear-splitting shrieks of a Squeaky Toy being chomped on by a happy bulldog, or the less-deafening but amazingly depressing sound of a canine parted from his very best friend in the whole wide world?
We pulled out Squeaky Toy.
Wonderbutt, the Destructive Bulldog, has been very uncooperative lately. Which means that he has been very well-behaved. Which is very disappointing when you have pledged to write a blog post every day and you have run out of anything remotely interesting to say.
The other day, I had forgotten that I had granted Wonderbutt limited access to the Forbidden Section. I realized while I was typing on my computer that he was not in his usual spot sprawled out next to me. My heart sunk, realizing that I had left my favorite pair of shoes on the closet floor, and probably the door was open.
I ran into the bedroom, and Wonderbutt looked up in surprise from his prey – a chew toy. Meant for dogs. To chew on. I’m afraid the poor guy is losing his edge.
The entire family was certain that we would have a great story to tell after the night of July 4th. Considering that Mrs. P.I.B., our Golden Oldie, is even more afraid of firecrackers than she is of thunder, we all figured that it was inevitable that she would break out of the Kitchen Corral while we were gone searching for a free firework show. Wonderbutt was in the Corral with her, so we all pictured Mrs. P.I.B. making a break for it out of panic, and Wonderbutt following behind in glee, eager to destroy.
Once we were out of the house, I realized that I had not even remembered to put a baby gate in the hall to close off the Forbidden Section – meaning that Wonderbutt would have free reign if Mrs. P.I.B. succeeded in her jailbreak. I mentioned this to the family, and we all agreed that it had been awhile since Wonderbutt had wreaked havoc, and maybe I would have some good pictures of the destruction to post. Cap’n Firepants did mumble something about “how much money this will cost us,” but I think that even he recognized that our
boring streak has gone on for far too long. Plus, the more I have to write about Wonderbutt, the less Cap’n Firepants gets featured on this blog.
Alas, we arrived home and both dogs were still firmly esconced in the Kitchen Corral. I vaguely entertained the idea of throwing something into the Corral for Wonderbutt to chew up. But, so far, I have resisted making our household into a scripted reality show.
In summary, Wonderbutt has become disappointingly disinterested in decimating our domicile. Now I know how San Antonio weather reporters feel.
I am trying to type this with a sixty-five pound bulldog in my lap. A snoring bulldog. Who does not make a very good iPad stand. If it weren’t for my perpetually vigilant autocorrect, these sentences would be gibberish. In fact, I was going to turn the autocorrect off so you could see what kind of handicap I’m working under, but I can’t find it, and I’m having trouble focusing because of the gas cloud that just wafted up to my nose.
I’m pretty sure if this continues, I am going to either have to stop blogging, get surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, or succumb to the fumes altogether one night.
Aforementioned bulldog has recently developed an intense sense of entitlement, and I am apparently the chosen Entitler.
After my day is supposedly done, demands of students and family all met, I blog. It usually happens around 9:00 at night when I finally set my butt into the desk chair hoping to get an extended period of time absent of questions or pleas for attention.
Lately, that time hasn’t been too extended.
Wonderbutt, with the keen perception of pretty much everyone else in my life, knows that I am trying to fit in some alone time. Naturally, he believes if I am not busy with anyone else, it must be time for me to spend time with him. So, he waits by the gate to the Forbidden Section of the house, hoping I will cross over any moment.
This is what I imagine he is thinking:
Any moment. Any moment…
O.K. I’ve waited long enough (a whole five minutes). Time to notify the Lady of the House I am expecting her presence. Now.
And so, Wonderbutt makes a few, well-spaced plaintive comments about how long I am making him wait. Afraid he will wake up Dimples or aggravate Cap’n Firepants, landing me back on square one in the Family Needs Met department, I make a mental note of my blog topic, grab my iPad, and hop over the gate. Sometimes I fall over the gate. I’m not very nimble any more. Well, ever.
Wonderbutt cheerfully follows me to the living room, sits expectantly by the couch, and watches me sit. When my leg placement finally meets his approval, he hops up, curls himself into a semicircle, plops his paw on my knee and his head on my leg, and goes to sleep.
I am well aware that I am coddling him, creating a monster, etc…
But I like it. I can’t figure out why. If one more human being needed me today, I would probably scream. But I find Wonderbutt’s need comforting for some reason I can’t explain.
I am trying to relearn how to type with one finger. I haven’t done that since I was in elementary school. Typical of Wonderbutt to make me regress.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you have been finding my most recent posts to be somewhat lacking in quality, I would like to blame Wonderbutt for forcing me to work in less than ideal working conditions.
And if you haven’t noticed any difference, well just carry on and pretend you never saw this.
A year ago, I was yearning for a bulldog and dropping “hints” to my husband, Cap’n Firepants every few minutes. I expected that the hours I spent drooling over puppy pictures on the internet and watching live camera feeds of litters of bulldogs in addition to me asking, “How would you feel about getting a bulldog?” every other day would result in the cliche dog in a box with a bow on top on Christmas morning.
When, by the end of Christmas day, I realized no such surprise was forthcoming, I sighed at Cap’n Firepants’ inadequate communication skills, and resigned myself to waiting until someone literally dropped a bulldog puppy on our doorstep.
The day after Christmas, we took Dimples to the pet store to get her a promised Betta fish. And, there was Wonderbutt.
Little did any of us know that such a cuddly clown could be quite so destructive.
So, we have approached our holiday decorating less zealously this year. According to Dimples, Wonderbutt “is ruining Christmas” because of the accommodations that have been made. She obviously does not remember the numerous adjustments made in her honor when she was going through her terrible two’s – and three’s… and four’s.
We tentatively hung up some stockings first. When we realized that dangling them from the mantle was just tempting Wonderbutt to conk himself on the head with the metal stocking holders, the Cap’n wisely moved them to higher ledges on the bookshelves.
Next, we ventured to hang up a real Christmas wreath we had received as a gift. The evergreen smell was so scrumptious that we hung it inside. Wonderbutt showed no interest. Until a week went by, and he had a few upset stomachs. Apparently, the wreath was dropping juniper berries, which our canine vacuum cleaner immediately ingested. Outside went the wreath.
Finally, we took deep breaths, crossed our fingers, and put up our tree. It is mostly Wonderbutt-proof with the help of some furniture movement and a couple of baby gates. (We are starting to run out of baby gates in our house. It’s amazing we possess as many as we do – seeing as how Dimples is now nine years old and the only baby we ever had.)
I let the Festive Force Field down long enough for Wonderbutt to investigate the holiday area. He went straight for the ornaments, of course. Amazingly, he broke nothing. So far, the only person who has broken any ornaments is me – after I warned Dimples that she needed to be really careful since we have no carpeting on the floor right now. Fortunately, the breakable ornaments are cheap ones from Target. Our most precious ornaments are more sentimentally valuable rather than materially expensive. Papa Firepants (the Cap’n’s Pop, who passed away a few years ago) made many of the ornaments. Woe to Wonderbutt if he decides to chomp on one of those; they are full of straight pins that would be slightly more painful than the carpet padding and cushions he usually favors. The sequins might make his poop really pretty, though.
Giddy with the semi-success of our partial holiday decorating, I attempted to get some Christmas pics of Wonderbutt and Mrs. Pain in the Butt. That was predictably unsuccessful.
I decided that it might be helpful if Wonderbutt were to be slightly sleepy, so I waited until he was snoring loudly on the couch, and popped the antlers on.
Slightly less unsuccessful.
It didn’t really work with Mrs. P.I.B., either. She’s usually a pretty good sport, but I think she is getting a little more cranky in her golden years.
“Max doesn’t act this way when the Grinch puts antlers on him,” I grumbled, but that did not seem to convince either dog to be more obliging.
Cap’n Firepants suggested I do some of my Photoshop magic, but I’d rather stick with the genuine pics.
With stockings hung from our bookshelves, a house smelling like juniper berry vomit, and a Harry Potter nativity scene, it’s not like we can pretend we have a conventional Christmas anyway.
Incident Type – Damage to Property
Incident Date – 9/29/11
Address – Somewhere in the middle of San Antonio, TX
Victim(s) – Female, age 8 and Female, age It’s-None-of-Your-Business
Details – The two females entered their home at approximately 4:30 PM, and discovered the following destruction:
The two suspects, AKA Wonderbutt and Mrs. Pain in the Butt, have past criminal histories of Destruction of Property (particularly when the tall, blonde one senses the approach of a thunderstorm). It is believed that Mrs. P.I.B. actually does the breaking and entering, while the short over-weight one with an underbite does the destroying. Both suspects should be considered toothed and dangerous. Detectives are also investigating the whereabouts of the possible Mastermind behind these nefarious acts – a suspect also known as Big Mean Kitty.
Anyone with information that will lead to the termination of these activities should contact The Wonderbutt Hotline at 555-0000.
Released 09/30/2011 at 5:00 PM