Monday, May 14, 2012

Table Napping Not Allowed

Red Dogs Favorite hiding and sleeping place.  Don't ask me why it's behind the bed room curtains???

I have told you this before but there was much debate on whether Red Dog was going to live outside or inside when he moved in.  The definition of "much debate" in the Howard House is my wife explaining to me how we are going to do something over and over again.  And as you have also read before, Red Dog won a landslide vote to live indoors but as we found out you can't always change outdoor habits.  
The other day Debbie was busy cleaning in my man room and then she was working on her flower garden in the back yard when she came in to cool off and get a drink of water.  As she walked through the dining room,she sees Red Dog stretched out lying on his stomach staring out the back door.  The only problem Debbie had with what he was doing was the location in which Red Dog chose to lie down.  To Red Dogs surprise, indoor living has rules that he was unaware of.  You just don't go and lie down where ever it suits you and the place that suited Red Dog was on top of Debbie's dining room table.  She couldn't believe what she was seeing.  An 85 pound lion hunter camping out on top of her 10 place table as though he was actually supposed to be there.  Well Red Dog got a taste of his own medicine.  In stead of the SONIC WOOF we get to hear from Red Dog all the time, Red Dog got to hear the  SONIC YELL "GET DOWN, GET DOWN, GET DOWN" from the my lovely five foot four inch wife.  Red Dog doesn't have a thing on Debbie when she decides to make herself heard.  Red Dog did what any male would do when the woman of the house starts yelling at them (Note to readers:  For the record my loving, sweet, kind hearted, merciful, forgiving, beautiful wife has never yelled at me like that so I am just assuming I know how Red Dog was feeling during this moment).  He ran for his life.  When Debbie told me what he did it got me wondering what posessed him to do that.  My imagination starting running wild and here is the answer I came up with.
Red Dog, although kind and lovable, is bred to hunt lions on the African Savannah.  So being a good hunter, he took the high ground in order to search for possible large game.  I can see him patiently sitting high atop a hill or small rock formation scanning the landscape for the rogue lion that has created chaos in the local village. I think that is really cool.  But unfortunately for Red Dog there aren't many lions in Seymour Texas.  I'm sure while living on the ranch that he came from, he spent many days lying in high places scanning the rolling plains of North Texas in search of something to hunt.  My wife went to Namibia Africa last year and she said that the Namibian landscape looked a lot like Texas so I think that it would be an easy thing for Red Dog to imagine.  But when it comes to indoor living those types of habits are considered bad manners, especially when you are turned into a city slicker.  So I don't blame Red Dog for wanting to relive a few moments of his outdoor life.  There are days I catch myself walking across the yard whirling my right arm in the air as I imagine myself  roping cattle in the pasture.  I guess guys just need to escape into the deep recesses of our minds once in a while to relive our younger days of adventure.  
Well after the "SONIC YELLING" was over things returned back into a peaceful day.  Debbie headed back to her flower garden and Red Dog got his hearing back.  I'm sure Debbie thought she had made her point "VERY CLEARLY" that dreaming on her dining room table will NOT be tolerated.  But like many of us guys, Red Dog had a short memory.  About an hour later Debbie walked in the same door into the same dining room for the same cool drink to find the same Red Dog lying on top of the same dining room table probably daydreaming of the same adventure...Again...Now I'm not sure if there are words that can indicate something louder than SONIC BOOM but it was obvious that the words ATOMIC BLAST could describe Debbie's reaction when she found Red Dog back on the table.  Red Dog once again started running for his life but this time it would be of no use.  There was no way Debbie was letting him off the hook for a second offense.  She used every ounce of her Cherokee/Creek heritage to track down Red Dog to his favorite hiding place.  Now I'm pretty sure that most Indians did not yell "GET DOWN GET DOWN GET DOWN" as the tracked buffalo across the Plains but it was the tactic Debbie used as she tracked down poor ole Red Dog.  Growing up in the 1970's, when I hear the words "GET DOWN GET DOWN GET DOWN" all I hear is K.C. and the Sun Shine Band rock'in out in my head but that wasn't any help to Red Dog.  Debbie broke out her "ANGRY MAMMA" voice and the tail chewing was on.  At one point Red Dog looked at me with those big sad yellow/brown eyes and all I could do was shrug my shoulders.  There was no way I was getting in the way of that angry Indian with all of those fireworks going off.  I have learned a thing or two after 30 years of marriage.  Well Red Dog took his tail chewing like a man (as most of you husbands can understand) and life around the Howard house quieted down once again. 

Red Dogs new dreaming location.  The foot of our bed.

Sometimes it's hard to break old habits but sometimes it's nice to relive the old days in your mind as well.  There is no doubt that ole Red Dog is still dreaming of days on the African Savannah or his life protecting the North Texas ranch house because he barks and growls in his sleeps but now he does it at the foot of our bed and not on top of the dining room table.  Red Dog is still the best dog ever, even though he is still adjusting to indoor living.  Until the next adventure, God bless you all.        

Friday, May 11, 2012

DMZ (Debra Mini Zoo)

Mr. Buttons

Welcome to the Debra Mini Zoo or the DMZ as I like to call it.  We invite you and your  family to come visit us for a day full of fun and laughter.  Come feed the chickens, doves, parakeets, finches, goats, dog, cats, and Me as part of the activities .  We also have plenty of wildlife here at DMZ which includes skunks, possums, raccoons, mice, armadillos, hogs, deer, bobcats, coyotes, snakes, and an assortment of birds that will capture your imagination as they wander around.  You can pet any critter that you can catch as long as your health insurance is up to date.  We do not offer tetanus and rabies vaccinations for visitors but pet away at your own risk.  Free admission.  So come join us at the DMZ.  

No, we don't have a public zoo at our house but it's starting to look like it.  This was my feeble attempt at sarcasm since my wife has taken in another new pet.  If she keeps taking in critters I will have to start charging admission just to feed them all.  So I guess now is a good time to introduce the newest member of the DMZ family, "Oscar" the cockatiel. Oscar was a long time pet of our dear friend Karla.  She kept him down at her flower shop for many years entertaining customers by flying throughout the shop.  Many times he would sit on Karla's shoulder while she put together floral arrangements.  He is quite the character.  He is living with us for reasons I'm still not clear about but after thirty years of marriage I have learned to just say yes when my wife tells me she wants to do something.  So Oscar was added to our little zoo.  He has been living in a large cage that covers half of our dining room table for the past few weeks until Debbie puts him in the aviary with the rest of the birds which could be never.  The one good thing about living in the dining room is that it can be closed off from the rest of the house so Oscar can stretch his wings and fly around for a while.  

The other day that's what Oscar was doing when Debbie noticed him circling the room without landing.  She looked around and saw Red Dog standing there watching Oscar intently.  Wherever ole Oscar flew there was Red Dog staring in amazement.  She could easily see a disaster in the making but it wasn't going to be Red Dog's fault as you will soon see.  Oscar finally landed on the floor near Red Dog.  Debbie stood there and watched as Red Dog walked over to sniff on him.  Oscar just stood there without flying away.  So Red Dog kept on sniffing ole Oscar up and down.  All of a sudden Red Dog's tongue lunged out of his mouth and Debbie thought it was certain death for Oscar but no, all Red Dog wanted to do was lick on Oscar a few times and that was it.  Oscar must have thought he had flown into a giant Red Dog bathing station or something because he just stood there for a quick cleaning.  Who would have thought that was going to happen.  Certainly not Debbie.   She stood there stunned over what she had just witnessed unaware that Mr. Buttons had quietly slipped into the room.  Suddenly Debbie heard this low subtle baritone like growl coming from under the chairs and that's when she spotted Mr. Buttons slowly stalking his way toward Oscar.  Mr. Button's eyes were fixed on the target like a laser tracking system.  Debbie yells at Mr. Buttons and for a few milliseconds everything went into slow motion as M.B. started his attack run.  Oscar must have seen Mr. Buttons about the same time Debbie did because that slow motion thing quickly erupted into complete utter chaos.  Oscar takes flight in a panic, squawking at the top of his lungs warning others that there is danger here.  Debbie grabs a butterfly net she brought in as a back up in case she couldn't catch Oscar by hand and was waving it frantically in the air trying to capture him before M.B. had himself a mid day snack.  Red Dog just stood there as to say "I wasn't done giving him a bath, where is he going".   The yelling, squawking, and sheer madness continued for several minutes.  Finally Debbie caught Oscar in the net and everyone's world returned to normal.  I would have given anything to have caught this on camera because words can not describe the vision that is stuck in my head of a 48 year old out of shape house wife frantically jumping up and down swinging a netted stick with a fussy overweight house cat running around the room smacking his lips like a crazed killer and a squawking white cockatiel frantically flapping his wings above it all as his life flashed before his eyes.  It's "Priceless" as the T.V. commercial says.  I'm still snickering when I think about it.  I'm considering placing cameras throughout the house to capture the next round of chaos so it can be replayed over and over again on the  big screen for my own personal entertainment.  I have wondered what the neighbors would think if they saw all of this going on through the window.  One thing is for sure, it's not as boring in our neighborhood as people might think.  I think even Red Dog was entertained by all of this.   

So my sarcasm about having Mini Zoo may have more truth to it than what I originally thought.  So come on out to our house and visit the DMZ while admission is still free.  You can load up your lawn chair, grab a jug of ice tea and come hang out with me to see what will happen next.  And since I made mention of my wife being out of shape, you just might get to see her jump all over me while your are here.  Until the next adventure, God bless you all.