Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Life: The Zoo

Big Blue, Pork Chop and NoBuddyDown
You see before you three dogs. Left to right they are: Big Blue, a two year old Great Dane raised by Shotgun Bob and (to a very small extent) by The Girl; Rudy, AKA Rudolfo, AKA Pork Chop, an American Bulldog who was brought into the house by The Girl when he was a tiny little Bulldog with sharp little puppy teeth and who was raised by Big Blue and Shotgun Bob; and Buddy, AKA Nobuddydown, AKA Nobuddysit, the Golden Retriever who is about four years old and a cancer survivor. They are all best friends and will share food, play time and toys.

Buddy really and truly likes everything and everyone. Buddy greets strangers like the source for food and attention that they are - imagine a Marco's pizza delivery man arriving with a stack of pizzas at an afternoon pool party full of hungry teenagers. Big Blue can be a bit standoffish, and will bark with authority at strangers until they have been proven friendly, after which time he's happy to be petted and played with. Due to his size (XXXL) he has a tendency to knock people over, but that just makes them easier to reach with the old tongue. Pork Chop always follows Big Blue's lead, having been raised by Big Blue you see. So, if Big Blue barks, Pork Chop will sound off as well. Like, for instance, at 2:30 in the morning when some stupid critter walks around the pool area causing Big Blue to offer a standard "Halt! Who goes there?" and Pork Chop to sound the call to general quarters, thus setting of a chain reaction involving Buddy and culminating in Shotgun Bob trying to get Big Blue and Pork Chop to stand down without leaving the confines of his bed. The Girl slept through the whole thing. I did not.

Shotgun Bob and The Girl have decided that they want to be foster parents. I don't know why they want to do this, but it's a laudable thing to do and Lord knows that there are more children than good homes. Hell, there are more children than mediocre homes. After filling out countless forms and passing extensive background checks, they are cleared for take off. Then I showed up. Since I'm living in the guest suite of Chez Shotgun I must pass a background check as well. The Welfare Lady will arrive this evening with the paperwork for said check and Shotgun Bob cautions me not to make jokes about drug use, DUI violations and halfway houses. I assure him I will refrain. Shotgun Bob informs me that this is the Welfare Lady's second visit to their happy home and the first visit did not go as smoothly as everyone would have liked.


Shotgun Bob's house is an open air design. The master bedroom suite is on the West side and a second master suite is on the East, along with three other bedrooms. The center of the house is a living room, informal dining room and a very informal auxiliary area. The auxiliary area is large, and is separated from the living area by an ornate three foot fence and gate which prevents dog intrusion into the living room and dining area. Both master bedroom suites have a door connecting them to the auxiliary area, as well as a second door to connect them to the rest of the house. So far, this arrangement has worked well, mainly because Big Blue can't jump over barriers. He can climb, but he can't jump. I imagine that Pork Chop hasn't learned how to jump the fence and Buddy doesn't because his master doesn't want him to.

It is a little known fact (it's a skeleton that's been walled up in the closet if you want the truth) that Big Blue is a somewhat sensitive creature, and for one reason or another Big Blue does not like or trust people of color. Okay... bluntly? Big Blue hates black people. That's it. Period. And if Big Blue were an eight pound pocket rat, this would be cute. He isn't. He's well over 150 pounds and seven feet tall standing on his hind feet.

Shotgun Bob wasn't home when the Welfare Lady showed up for an inspection tour last week, but Big Blue and the boys were. That left The Girl to manage the entire tour by herself. The Girl is pretty good with people and only fair with animals. Like dogs, for instance. So The Girl confined the three dogs to the auxiliary area before the Welfare Lady came in the front door, which is really what saved the bacon.

Cutting right to the chase, the Welfare Lady is black and is afraid of dogs. I may have mentioned that Big Blue does not react well to black people. That day was no exception. Big Blue saw the Welfare Lady as an intruder and a danger to hearth, home and family and he was not going to take this kind of thing lying down. Big Blue went off and started trying to climb over the fence, barking threats and (for all I know) insults in dog language. Since Big Blue identified this as a threat, Pork Chop decided to assert himself as well. He was an eighty pound Bulldog and he meant business. Buddy saw the Welfare Lady as a friend he wasn't close enough to, and so he started trying to climb the fence too, barking a welcome message. The Welfare Lady bravely stood her ground.

Now Big Blue is big, but he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. So he continued to bark and try his best to get over the wall, but Pork Chop had other ideas. Pork Chop had deduced that the door to the West master bedroom suite led to another door which led to the house - and to the Welfare Lady. Pork Chop applied his nose to the door and got it open, and in a trice was on the good side of the fence where he could fulfill his honor bound doggy duty of protecting the house and The Girl. The Girl snatched him up by his collar in the nick of time.

I gather that the Welfare Lady didn't stay much longer, but she did return for her second appointment. She was late, but she showed. The dogs were confined to the back yard.

1 comment:

Stephanie Lorée said...

I grew up around Great Danes. My mother got involved in Dane Rescue and at our height, we had 6 roaming our country house and yard. As a child, the Danes were bigger than me. I was never afraid. They "adopted" me, and Kaiser, our largest male, would often sleep in my bed... taking up more space than my 8 year old self. He hogged the pillows.

Big Blue is a beautiful Dane.