I get that a lot.....
Hey there! Damn, its been a long time. Here we are a good part of the way through July and my last post was in June. I'm ashamed and sorry. I sincerely appreciate those of you who are followers that have stuck with me or joined since I dropped off the grid. If you're not a follower yet, I'd suggest you click the button to make yourself one because, as I said in post #1, this blog may be neglected for various lengths of time and irregular intervals and I'd hate for you to miss any of this solid gold. Anyway, I'm back and I'm going to take a break from the tabletop gaming stuff for one post and write about what I was going to write about before my house was robbed and I got thoroughly wrapped up in replacing all my stuff, dealing with the police, insurance and alarm companies and generally trying to get my life back in order.
This post was originally going to be titled "The Smiling Chihuahua" but since I was gone for so long, I thought the "Escape from New York" reference was more appropriate. Anyway, here's the thing about the Chihuahua:
My girlfriend has a dog that she loves a whole lot and he loves her a whole lot in return. Its not a weird, old lady who loves her dog in the place of her dead husband kind of love, its just a really cool owner/pet relationship. I have known my girlfriend for over 2 years now and she has owned Paco(that's the Chihuahua's name for my slower readers) for the whole time I've known her. We worked together and became friends long before we were in a romantic relationship so we had the chance to learn a lot about each other during our budding friendship. I talked about my kids and she talked about Paco. She always told me how awesome Paco was, how everyone loved him and how he was always the object of affection and admiration no matter where she took him. Being a proud parent myself, I couldn't help but think that she was seeing Paco through the rose colored glasses that a parent sees their child with even if the child is a worthless Hellspawn to everyone but their parents. It turns out that Paco is very cool, very well liked by everyone who meets him and very smart(smarter than me, I'm pretty sure).
The first time I met Paco I was getting the tour of Sylwia's house(yes, that is a "w" in her name, yes its supposed to be there and the correct pronunciation is Sylvia but that's a story for another day so get over it for now). I was standing behind the couch and Paco came out of another room barking and growling like I was someone that really, really needed to be chased away from his home and his owner. While he only weighs six pounds....I'm sorry, Paco, six and a HALF pounds, he puts on a pretty good show with the growling and the barking and the ears held in a very purposeful "I'm about to kick your ass" kind of way. I was unintimidated because his owner was there to protect me from his fury and I put my hand out for him to smell and maybe let me pet him. He sniffed my hand and immediately began to chew on it. Not biting in a way that would indicate to a bystander that he was trying to hurt me but chewing on me in a way that said "I'm going to hurt you but make it look like I'm just playing so you look like a total asshole and a wimp when you complain about it". Paco is a master at his craft. As the tears stung my eyes and I did my best to disengage his steel trap jaws and needle-like teeth from my flesh without hurting him or indicating that I was indeed an asshole and a wimp Sylwia said "He does that all the time. The vet said he loves the salt in your skin.". I smiled a little smile and did my best not to hold my arm straight out and scream "Get it off! Get it off!" while I thought he seems to love the blood and bones in my skin more than the salt. Finally, she picked him up and he stopped chewing on me. While she held him and talked to me, paco was curled on her chest with his chin resting on her shoulder. It was a really cute picture and I could see they were close. I thought that perhaps I had judged Paco a little harshly and maybe the chewing on my hand thing was just him getting to know me and enjoying the salt in my skin. Then he smiled at me. Sylwia was talking to me, I was doing my best to make eye contact while I listened to her tell me about her house and the work being done on it and Paco lifted his head off her shoulder and smiled at me. Smiled at me to let me know that the chewing on me was done with malice, he had gotten away with it and that is the way things would be as long as he and I were both in Sylwia's life.
That's crazy, you say. I'm exaggerating, you say. Making something out of nothing, right? Allow me to present further evidence for the prosecution.
Fast forward to when Sylwia and I became romantically involved and Paco and I had learned to peacefully coexist in her life....mostly. Sylwia and I were sitting on the couch watcing TV with Paco between us. By the way, there is always one Chihuahua width of distance between us. When we walk, when we sit on the couch, when we sleep, unless he is locked out of the room there is always one Chihuahua width of distance between us. Paco maintains that as religiously as the Catholic school Nuns enforce the "One Bible Width Between Dancers" rule at the Co-Ed mixers. It, apparently, is one of his primary functions and he is genetically programmed to perform that function without fail. Where was I? Oh yes, Sylwia and I were sitting on the couch watching TV with Paco between us and I was petting him. I touched his foot, just barely, and he screamed a horrible, pitiful, yelping scream that should be reserved for things like being hit by cars or shot with arrows. I barely touched him and he screamed like I was ripping his leg off. Of course I yanked my hand back like I had touched something hot and Sylwia jumped and looked at me with the "What did you DO?" look that immediately made me flush and look as guilty as Hell even though I had done nothing to her dog. Nothing! As she scooped Paco up to inspect him for the horrible injuries I must have inflicted, he curled on her chest and put his head on her shoulder as he likes to do. Then he looked at me.....and smiled. That was the end of my snuggle time in front of the TV for the night as Paco had just received top priority and I was in trouble. I told Sylwia my side of the story and she said she believed me but I know in the back of her mind she was thinking that Paco would never have made such a horrible noise unless he had been injured in some unspeakable way.
Still don't believe me? How about the time we were getting ready to take Paco for a walk and she asked me to put his leash on. So I chased the little guy down and got a hold of him. As I approached the ring on his collar with the clasp on the leash he let out that horrible scream and scared me so badly that he was able to get away and run to her in the other room. A few seconds later she came into the room and I was still kneeling on the floor in the "about to put the leash on the Chihuahua" pose once again looking flush and guilty as Hell. "Did you pinch him?" she asked. "I didn't do ANYTHING to him." I whined. "Well why would he scream if you hadn't hurt him?" she asked with a look on her face that spoke volumes about her dillemma of being in love with a habitual Chihuahua torturer and owning a Chihuahua who obviously did not enjoy being tortured. I gave up and simply handed her the leash. As I watched her attach the leash to his collar Paco looked at me with his little Chihuahua face and, you guessed it, smiled.
Paco and I have become friends. I take him for rides in the car with me, play ball and throw his monkey for him. I have, on occassion, been known to provide the ultimate in Chihuahua spoilage and held his rawhide bone so he could chew on it without holding it himself. When its just the two of us Paco and I get along just fine, he listens to me and doesn't try to run away when I have him out in the yard without a leash. I really thought Paco and I had reached the point in our relationship where I understood that he would always be number one but he would occassionally allow me to think, at least for a minute or two, that it was my moment to shine and I would be first in line for Sylwia's affection and attention.
I really thought we were there. A few weeks ago, though, Paco was laying on the couch and had rolled onto his back when he saw me coming and demanded his belly rub. Did I tell you that Paco is a belly rub addict? Well, he is. He has no shame and expects belly rubs on demand regardless of what else is going on at the moment. Its really hard to function with a Chihuahua repeatedly flopping onto his back in front of you until you rub his belly so he'll leave you alone. Anyway, Paco was on his back with his feet in the air, my kids were on the couch with him, Sylwia was in the other room and I was rubbing Paco's belly just like I do every other time. Paco suddenly screams the scream reserved for being hit by cars or shot by arrows and I again yanked my hand back like had I touched something hot and stood there wondering what could have possibly gone so horribly wrong with a belly rub to make a noise like that come out of him. My kids looked at me like I was a monster, Sylwia ran from the other room wanting to know what happened and I just stood there, red faced and looking guilty while Paco smiled at me.
Game, set and match, my canine friend. Game, set and match.
Thanks for reading and for waiting so long for this post. To pay you for your patience and your time, here's that little nugget of awesomeness that I promised you back in post #1:
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog its too dark to read. - Groucho Marx