I always wanted a Starbucks dog.
You know the type. The owner sits at sidewalk table sipping her coffee while the dog calmly snoozes on the ground behind her chair. His tail wags every once in awhile as other people approach and ask leave to pet him. The owner smiles and nods, and everyone comments on the laid-back canine’s sophistication and fine manners.
It was pretty clear nearly from the outset that Wonderbutt would not be a Starbucks dog.
An animal who Poops as He Walks (and farts to the beat of the Texas Two-Step when he is still) is generally not welcomed by patrons of eating establishments or coffee shops.
Nevertheless, after nearly 3 years of holding out hope that Wonderbutt would one day develop some social graces, I decided to stop waiting for
San Antonio Hell to freeze over and just take him to Starbucks anyway.
When I informed my husband (the long suffering Cap’n Firepants) of this plan, he gave me the why-don’t-you-just-check-yourself-into- a-mental-hospital-and-save-us-all-a-lot-of-trouble look that he has been giving me more and more often lately.
But he has learned that I must make my own mistakes because, like Wonderbutt, I will scratch my butt when I have an itch – even if it means that I am going to fall over backwards and bonk my head on the concrete floor.
I was grimly certain that this was going to turn into some kind of Marley and Me fiasco, with the not too remote chance of being banned from every Starbucks in the universe after an episode of Wonderbutt humping a few customers, wrapping his leash around a table, and dragging it into the adjacent Trader Joe’s parking lot.
But I figured, “At least I make sure he poops before we leave the house.”
I used my new trick of letting him into the part of the yard where he is never allowed to poop which, of course, makes it inevitable that he will indeed defecate right on the walking path. I sealed the deal by dramatically declaring, “Oh, no! Please don’t poop there!” And, of course, that is exactly what he did.
Then, we hopped in the car to take Dimples to swim practice, and continued on to Starbucks with my backpack full of plastic bags for the rest of the poop that I knew would follow as soon as Wonderbutt realized that his “movements” were restricted.
Cap’n Firepants met me at Starbucks, and sat outside with Wonderbutt as I picked up our order. Then, the three of us hung out under the shade – waiting.
I was waiting for Wonderbutt to invent a new way to embarrass me, but it seems that I was doomed to be disappointed. Although he was certainly not the laid-back Starbucks dog of my dreams, he was surprisingly well-behaved. There were two other groups of people on the patio – who completely ignored him. Other than approaching every new person that entered the area in the hope of licking them, Wonderbutt remained by us – alert, but somewhat disappointed by the lack of attention he was receiving. He didn’t seem to understand the point of this new activity, but was not completely adverse to sacrificing the boredom of the lonely kitchen for this exciting change of scenery.
Overall, to the surprise of all parties involved, the experiment was a success. Wonderbutt lasted two hours at Starbucks without getting us kicked out or threatened with a lawsuit. I guess, if I want blog fodder, I will have to become a bit more adventurous.
Stay tuned for the next installment: Wonderbutt Goes to Church and Burps During the Homily.
Don’t worry. I’ll still bring the plastic bags – just in case.
You’re not supposed to play tug-of-war with your dog. Don’t ask me why. I heard someone say it once – probably the Dog Whisperer. Or maybe it was a nun. They tend to give frequent mandates on avoiding any type of fun.
Other than snoring and farting, tug-of-war is the only thing Wonderbutt loves to do for an extended period of time. Since he needs to lose 1/3 of his body weight just to be considered “slightly rotund,” I feel like the least we can do is let him spend twenty minutes a day on his favorite form of exercise.
Lately, Wonderbutt has begun to confuse my exercise time with his exercise time. Now, as soon as I am five minutes into doing Tae Bo, Wonderbutt wakes up from a heavy snore, and races into the bedroom, completely ready to exercise too. His way of communicating that he is eager for action is to try to hump my leg as soon as I fling it out for a Tae Bo side-kick. When I finally shake him off, he looks momentarily confused, then leaps onto his rope toy and pitches it into my face just in case I have any doubts as to his intentions. (Which I kind of do, since he was just trying to hump me.)
Wonderbutt is not a fetch dog. He wants to be chased, and if you don’t feel like playing that game, then he wants nothing to do with you; he will forlornly drag his rope toy back to his bed, and put his head on his paws, sighing in disappointment at your laziness. Or, you can get down on the floor and start growling at him. Then he is more than happy to prance over to you with his toy, dangling it in your face, leaping backwards every time you reach for the rope, and growling viciously. So, by now, you’ve broken about 100 Dog Whisperer rules, including putting yourself on the same level as the dog, sticking your face in his, and encouraging him to growl at you.
But the dog is exercising.
For the most part.
The only part of Wonderbutt’s body that never gets fatigued is his jaw. After about three minutes of tug-of-war, the rest of his body gives out. Then, he clamps down on that rope for dear life while I drag him throughout the house, which is a bit rough on the carpeting, but works quite well on the concrete floors in the living room. (I am seriously considering attaching Swiffer Dusters to his sides.)
After being dragged for a couple of minutes, Wonderbutt gets his second wind (after releasing four or five of his own), and leaps back to his feet to resume play.
I started to complain about Wonderbutt regularly interrupting my Tae Bo – until I realized that I couldn’t catch my breath the last time I played tug-of-war with him.
I thought I was doing him a favor, but wouldn’t it be funny if he thinks he’s the one helping me out?
He is Not Satiated – And May Soon (Well, Maybe One Day) Be Emaciated – Meaning I Have Definitely Not Ingratiated Myself to Wonderbutt
Wonderbutt is not pleased with me right now. It’s quite possible our leather furniture, which has lasted over a year according to our countdown widget, may be in jeopardy.
We recently took him to the vet, and he weighed a whopping 77 pounds. Technically, he is supposed to be around 50 pounds. So, he is now on new food that is, ironically, called, “Satiety.” And he DOES. NOT. LIKE. IT.
My first clue was when I woke up this morning, and he was waiting forlornly in the hall for me. Cap’n Firepants gets up long before me on the weekends, and was already out and about. I went into the kitchen to get some breakfast, and Wonderbutt tagged along. He walked straight to his food dish, and nosed around it.
I heard food moving, and looked at the dish. If the Cap’n had already fed him, then the food should have been long gone. Wonderbutt never leaves food in his dish.
He looked up at me, as if to say, “Look what that idiot fed me this morning. Can you give me some real food now?”
I tried mixing some of his old food in with the new.
Nothing doing. Of course, there are other things I could add to the food to make it more palatable, but that would kind of defeat the calorie reduction purpose of this whole enterprise.
The Cap’n seems to think Wonderbutt can stand a couple of days without eating, and that he will eat the food when he gets hungry.
I am absolutely certain Wonderbutt will eat when he gets hungry. The problem is – I don’t think it will be the food.
It’s pretty bad when a dog who has no problem eating a carpet padding, books, hair barrettes, dead geckoes, and the foam of several sofa cushions refuses to eat his kibble.
Well, I’m not sure what I could possibly say at this point to get back the 7 readers who visited my blog today. I think I actually had more readers the very first day I posted than have visited today. I can only deduce that I offended all of the men in the universe with my “complisult” post, and burned off the eyeballs of pretty much everyone else with my “twerking” post. I would like to blame it on the Labor Day weekend, but even though I am a self-centered American, I am pretty sure that we are the only country celebrating that right now – so that doesn’t explain why my 2 Bolivian fans or the guy in Martinique who religiously reads every post have suddenly deserted me. A big shout out to Singapore, though! Way to prove your loyalty! Thanks for not ditching me – or for at least convincing two people to visit my blog every day.
It’s clear that I’ve been a bit too self-involved, lately, and that is obviously turning away readers. So, I hope I can coax at least the males back by sharing a new invention that I discovered recently. By “discovered”, I do not mean that I invented it. I mean that I was wandering the internet, looking for more diseases to pin on my Pathophobic Pinterest Board, and came across this post which I bookmarked under “Things that I May Want to Blog About in the Future Because They Are a Bit Unusual.” And, though this does not directly effect human males, any couple who has decided to get their dog neutered knows that there is always one person, usually the one with the most testosterone, who argues against the necessity of this “barbaric” surgery as he subconsciously protects his own groin area.
Ladies and Gentlemen – mostly gentlemen – I give you the Stud Stopper. You’re welcome.
Okay, I guess I might as well confess, even though most of you have probably figured this out.
When I’ve had a really busy day, or my writing synapses suddenly stop firing, I bombard you with Wonderbutt pictures. School started today – so I had my first day, Dimples started middle school (and piano lessons), and Wonderbutt was suddenly abandoned after a summer of constant companionship. It was stressful on all of us 😦
There’s nothing like trying to get your car loaded and looking up to see a 60 pound bulldog missile headed straight for you. That is what you get for not making sure the storm door was completely latched.
No one will blame you for leaping 10 feet straight into the air to avoid being “bulled” over.
However, you might be considered culpable for leaving an animal in the car when it’s 540 degrees outside. And there do not seem to be any legal loopholes for stubborn pets named Wonderbutt who refuse to believe you when you tell them that you have no intention of driving anywhere in the next 20 minutes. Nor do there seem to be allowances for bullish dogs who will likely give you a hernia if you try to forcibly drag them out of the hot oven they insist on occupying because they have no intention of allowing you to leave them behind to miss all of the fun you surely have when they are cruelly abandoned in the air-conditioned house while you go on your exciting adventures to the grocery store and the gas station.
So, you must sigh, completely rearrange your plans, crank up the a/c in the car, and assign your 10 year old daughter to sit beside the resolute runaway as you quickly finish your preparations, grab your purse, and lock up the house.
And you chauffeur your smug canine to the destination to which you were not so eager to arrive in the first place.
The Boarding Kennel.