Friday, June 22, 2012

Who Has The ASD

I really don't know how to safely tell this story without the end result being me living in the dog house.  But here I go.  Many people I know have a family tradition or heirlooms they pass down through the years as a way of remembering a family matriarch or to carry forward an important piece of family history.  Some families do it through handing down a wedding ring, hand made quilt, old shot gun, pocket watch, china hutch, eyeglasses or even the family Bible.  I know of one family who has a complete set of sterling silverware hand made by Paul Revere, yes the historic "The British Are Coming" Paul Revere, that is still being passed from generation to generation as a way of keeping alive the memory of their family members who helped defeat the British for the independence of our country.  Even my wife and I have a tradition of eating fast food tacos on our wedding anniversary for the past 30 years just because we were too broke the first 3 anniversaries to afford a nice meal.  We look at it as something fun we now love to tell people about and are happy we kept the tradition alive all of these years.  So as you can see traditions or legacies can be things of great monetary value such as sterling silver or as whimsical as cheap tacos.  For my wife's family, they have a special gift they have passed down for at least 2 generations that is for a lack of a better word "Amazing".  During our first Christmas as husband and wife Debbie and I were trying to figure out how to blend all of our family's Christmas celebrations into 3 short days.  So we did the only reasonable thing a young married couple could do, we drove roughly 500 round trip miles and made four different Christmas celebrations of both families finally ending up at my wife's grandmother's house.  While there I got the blessing of sleeping in the same small bedroom with my father in law and it was there that I was introduced to this wonderful family legacy.  I want everyone to understand that I love my father in law greatly but "OH MY GOODNESS" this man can snore the shingles off of your house.  I have never heard something that loud come out of a sleeping human being in all of my life.  He must get Christmas cards each year from the U.S Geological Survey with a snore that loud because it causes the ground to shake.  I am pretty sure that the largest earth quake ever recorded in the North Texas Panhandle had an epicenter right under his house.  You may want to Google that just to be sure.  I bet by now you are wondering how this is a family tradition?  Well after a few years of marriage I found out that my father in law has passed this amazing talent to my dear sweet wife.  Thus a legacy is born.  You now understand my concern about being in deep trouble if I tell this story.  Now that you know this much lets see how deep of a hole I can dig myself into.  Not that I am happy or bragging on my father in law but he did an outstanding job of passing down that snoring gene to his daughter.  I consider him the "Yoda" of the snoring world and you can call my wife "Luke" because the FORCE is without a doubt with her.  Now I bet you are wondering how Red Dog fits into this story.  Well, I'm not sure how Red Dog acquired the snoring gene but he has it loud and clear.  I work many late hours in our local hospital so it's not unusual for me to come home late at night  to the dynamic duo of Red Dog and Debbie sawing some very loud logs and I'm sure it sets off earthquake sensors all over North Texas.  Wow those two make quite a team but about ten months ago Debbie found the antidote to her "LITTLE" night time problem and now Red Dog is snoring solo.  The solution came in the form of a forty dollar blue rubber molded anti snoring mouth piece.  Lets just call it a ASD (anti snoring device) so I don't have to use the s-word and Debbie's name in the same sentence so I don't dig that hole too fast.  The ASD came from of all places QVC and it actually worked to my joyful surprise because QVC is nothing more than a non-stop Sham Wow like infomercial.  But after 30 years of midnight earth quakes,  I for whatever would work in order to get some sleep.  Now all I have to do to get a peaceful nights sleep is run Red Dog out of the bedroom.  
A few weeks ago Debbie called my clinic to ask me if I had seen her ASD that morning before leaving for work.  My heart sunk as I began to maticulously retraced my morning steps trying to remember if I had seen it but came up with a total blank.  She told me she had turned the house upside down looking for it without any success.  After a few minutes on the phone it hit me that Red Dog was lying in the floor on her side of the bed that morning and realized that I didn't hear Red Dog snore at all that night.  I told her to immediately pry his mouth open and see if he had a blue rubber smile.  Well no blue smile for Red Dog.  Debbie has continued to look everywhere for weeks and still no luck.  The weird thing is that Red Dog hasn't snored once since Debbie lost the ASD.  I don't think the inventor ever meant for it to be used by dogs but we may be on to something new here.  If the ASD can't fit around dog teeth maybe Red Dog chewed it up and it's now fitting somewhere near his south end. Hmmm?  And maybe what I thought was snoring from Red Dog all of this time was a south wind blowing out from under his tail.  The ASD could be working more like a muffler as "SOMETHING" escapes from the tail pipe?  This could be the beginning of a whole new line of pet products and I could name it the "Butt Muffler".  If nothing else it would make for an interesting pet commercial. lol.  But I'm guessing that Red Dog probably chewed up Debbie's ASD in the night and it's now resting somewhere in his colon.  I suggested she accompany Red Dog outside each day so she could recover the ASD but she passed on that idea and didn't see the humor in my statement.  With me being such a cheapskate, I may just have to escort ole Red Dog outside myself.  But if I do and you hear that I got Debbie a new ASD don't any of you tell her where I got it.  I am banking on you the reader to keep my secret.  
Before I leave you today I would like to introduce to you my new web address where I will be writing all future Texas Red Dog Adventures now that you know about the O'Neal family legacy.  Please go to (not really lol).  Until the next adventure, God bless you all.           

Acting Alike

A little exercise.
And more rest!!!

I'm sure you have heard the stories about a mans dog looking or acting like his master.  Well, I think that's the case with Red Dog except I don't drink out of the toilet.   As I have said in the past, Red Dog has become quite fond of  indoor life which I can totally relate to.  We both enjoy lying around under the air conditioner and we eat all the food Debbie puts on our plates.  We both seem to take plenty of naps and talk/growl in our sleep.  Just last night Debbie hollered from the bedroom that something was wrong with Red Dog.  I went in to check on him and he was lying peacefully at the foot of the bed fast asleep making these gurgling/grunting sounds.  I don't know what he was dreaming about but he didn't appear to be in any distress.  When I called out his name he just layed there looking up at me like what did you do that for.  He was perfectly fine and didn't appear to be very happy about being woke up.  A few months ago Debbie was gone to Africa so Red Dog and I got to "bach" it for a while.  We ate, drank, napped, snored, scratched, and tooted when ever we wanted and no one was around to tell us to stop.  We sat around the house doing guy things every day.  It was like testosterone heaven.  We even created a live man/dogmade water feature in Debbie's pond one evening (the guys will know what I'm talking about) but don't tell her I told you that.  It was all short lived as Debbie returned home a few weeks later (don't get me wrong, her coming home was a good thing) and we had to start behaving again.  I got tickled at Red Dog the other day when Debbie, Red Dog and I went for a ride in the truck.  On nice evenings we all load up and go cruising through town until it gets dark.  Red Dog loves riding in the back and it only took him a few times to figure out he could jump into the pick up bed on his own.  That was one thing I was really happy about because the first few times I had to lift him up in there and it was an ugly sight lifting 85 pounds of scared kicking dog into the pickup bed.  But now he's got the loading thing down pat.  We would hit the road with his face to the wind and those big ears flapping like Dumbo the Circus elephant.  We returned home the other evening from one our rides and Debbie and I went straight into the house after parking the pickup in the garage.  About thirty minutes later it suddenly hit me I didn't let the tailgate down so Red Dog could get out.  I hurried back to the pickup to find him sitting there patiently waiting on someone to let him out.  He looked like he could have stayed there all night without any problem.  I was a little irritated at myself for forgetting about him but he was just happy to see me.  He's a good Red Dog.  But the one thing that has caught my attention lately about Red Dog is that he and I are on the same page when it comes to exercise.  If I want to go check on something around our place I drive the golfcart and when Red Dog comes with me he doesn't want to run along side like most dogs, he jumps in the seat beside me and off we go.  I think he figures he never knows when he might come across a lion and needs to save his strength to defend me.  So we cruise down to the tank like a couple of lazy bums that know what we are doing.  Lately Red Dog likes for me to go outside and play with him in the back yard.  This little thing got started when Reed (our twenty year old son) would come home to visit and they would go chase each other in the back yard.  Red Dog would run around the yard at top speed darting back and forth as quickly as he could with Reed right behind him.  Funny thing is it doesn't last but a minute or so and Red Dog has had enough.  He will suddenly stop and go lay down as to say "that's all in need for one day".  Luckily I don't have to put out that much effort when it's my turn to play with Red Dog.  When I ask him if he wants to go outside that tree branch like tail of his starts spinning like an airplane propeller so off we go.  The minute Red Dog's feet hit the grass he takes off like a lightening bolt and the game begins.  I jump down into a defensive basketball stance and Red Dog does the same. He then suddenly takes off at full speed running around the yard.  He will stop and pause for a few seconds and as soon as I jump back into that stances, he takes off again.  We repeat this over and over (which usually equals about three times) and we are done.  The good news is that it doesn't take Red Dog and I long to miss the A/C so we quickly head inside.  I fall into my chair and Red Dog lies down close to the A/C air vent and our recovery time begins and lasts the rest of the day.  I was sitting there after one of our rigorous workouts thinking that Red Dog was getting as soft and out of shape as I am.  Here is a dog that's bred to hunt down lions on the African plains and now all he wants to do is hang out with me under the air conditioner.  Not a bad idea considering the drought we have been in for the past two summers but it got me wondering if I have picked up any of Red Dogs habits?  
Like I said earlier, I've never drank from the toilet and I've never pooped on the carpet.  I'm pretty sure I've never cold nosed the Schwann man when he comes to the house, although I do get a little excited seeing  him carrying boxes of food to me.  I don't think I have ever licked the neighbors on the hand when they have come over to visit.  I don't chase Debbie's cats but it sure puts a smile on my face to watch Red Dog do that (please, no one tell Debbie).  I don't lick myself but I have licked BBQ rib juice off of my fingers and we all know how much Red Dog like ribs.  I've never scooted my bobo across the floor when it itched but Debbie keeps yelling at me to quit scratching myself when walking across the room.  We both like to go tinkle out in the back yard but mine is usually under the cloak of darkness.  I've never been sprayed by a skunk and have never chased a car unless I left it in drive when I got out of it.  I don't eat dog food from a silver bowl but I do like peanut butter Captain Crunch in a breakfast bowl and it looks a little like Red Dogs food.  We both let toots and snore but I did that long before Red Dog moved in.  We both whine to Debbie when we want something to eat.  I've never been smacked with a news paper for having an accident....Oops, no need to go there because I am over fifty.  Needless to say we do act alike at times and I guess that theory about the dog acting like his master could have some truth to it. So if you come knocking at our door one of these days and Red Dog answers and offers to shake your hand with me standing behind him barking my head off with multiple  "Sonic Woof" don't get worried.  It just means Red Dog and I have been spending a lot of time together.  LOL.  Until the next adventure, God bless you all.                     

Friday, June 1, 2012

Look Who's Getting Trained

Red Dog is patiently waiting to see if he has trained me to open the back door correctly.

I have noticed that Red Dog is getting more and more accustomed to his indoor lifestyle.  I can't really blame him for liking central air and heat, I am rather fond of it myself.  But I never imagined that Red Dog, the lion hunter, would adapt so quickly.  This is a dog who was bred to chase down the king of the jungle and who spent the first year of his life guarding livestock from packs of wild coyotes, but now he sleeps on  carpeted floors and drinks cool filtered water out of a silver bowl (well sometimes he drinks out of the white porcelain water bowl in the bathroom).  The contrast of lifestyles are so different I find myself singing the theme song to the "Beverly Hillbillies" as I am writing.  I see Red Dog as the Jed Clampett of the dog world when it come to adapting to new surroundings.  Still a hillbilly at heart but wise enough to know that indoor plumbing is a much better deal.  So let me tell you how spoiled this guy has gotten lately.  
When Red Dog first got here he wanted to stay outside and run the neighborhood.  He was even chewing the wood pickets off of the backyard gate just so he could roam freely and check out his new town. I'm sure that after growing up on the ranch our little 3 acre placed seemed quite confining. The dog was so strong that once he chewed a hole big enough to fit his nose through he plowed the rest of his 85 pound body through the opening with the ease of an army tank destroying the gate one body width at a time. So I would jump in the pick up and go find where Red Dog was hanging out after each escape.  After a few days he finally figured out that he now lived at the all you can eat dog food house and never escaped from the backyard ever again.  I like a guy who makes decisions based on the available food supply.  
So after Red Dog decided that the groceries were plentiful and a temperature controlled environment suited him nicely, it was time for him to turn his attention to his other bodily needs.  Red Dog is a pretty sharp hombre, it didn't take him long to figure out that when he whines at the door he gets to go outside. Given the fact that he lives  year around with a temperature of 70 degrees in his home; he only goes outside when nature calls nowadays.  Red Dog is out then right back in.  This guy has turned into an Olympic speed pooper at this point.  Debbie is just hoping Red Dog never learns about indoor plumbing so he won't leave the bathroom in a mess.  I figure that's my job around here anyway so he better not get any ideas.  For the first few months each time he whined, we would rush to the door in hopes of preventing a major accident in the house (Debbie came across his first and only 3 car pile up in the dining room a few Sundays ago which caused her to miss church.  She had to transform herself into a one woman HazMat team for the clean up.  Glad I missed out on that one). For months we have had this system where Red Dog whines, I open the door, and he goes out.  I thought it was working pretty well.  I don't have to clean up a doggie disaster and nether one of us gets barked at by Debbie.  After a while I realized that not all of Red Dogs whining was a warning call of impending disaster.  
Lately Red Dog has started whining at three o'clock in the morning and waking me up.  It's like he's on some kind of a schedule.  He whines so I jump out of bed, dash for the back door praying I'm not too late and that I don't step into a early morning surprise.  After doing this jumping out of bed thing for several weeks this routine started feeling very familiar to me and during one of my earlier morning sprints it hit me why this was so.  
When we were first married Debbie was a bit of a night owl so I usually went to bed before she did.  The house rule was that the last one to bed turned out all of the lights which usually was her.  I would be half asleep when she finally got to bed.  There I would be snuggled down in those toasty covers just drifting off into dreamland when I would feel her climb into bed.  She would almost always forget to turn off a light or to turn on the ceiling fan after she got covered up.  So after a few moments of silence I would hear this sweet voice lovingly say "Honey, would you turn off the light" or "Honey, would you turn on the fan" and I would drag myself across the room to do what she asked.  I couldn't say no to the woman of my dreams (and for the record I always did it with a joyful heart and a smile on my face).  Well after several years of doing this I finally asked her one night while stumbling toward the light switch, why she couldn't do this once in a while and here was her answer. "Why should I when I have you trained to do it" then she giggled.  I said," WHA WHA WHA WHAT!!!"  That's all I could get out was a bunch of WHA WHA's.  I stood there in disbelief as she continued to giggle.  She took advantage of my loyal devotion and suckered (i.e. trained) me into being the permanent light switch operator.  I felt like the Andy Griffith character Will Stockdale in the old movie "No Time For Sergeants" when he was tricked into being the PLO (Permanent Latrine Officer) because no one else wanted to clean the bathrooms.  So I guess that made me the DPTM (Debbie's Permanently Trained Monkey) around our place.  Apparently Debbie is pretty good at training me because after thirty years I'm still doing it.  And the other night I realized that Red Dog, my most favorite dog ever, is using a similar tactic on me as well.  I found myself standing in the dark, in disbelief, and saying "WHA WHA WHAT" all over again.  Now I can be known as Red Dog's Trained Monkey around here also.  I think it's safe to say that Red Dog has made the transition to indoor living quite easily.  He has also proven that his owner isn't the sharpest pencil in the box as well.  I'm not sure what all Debbie and Red Dog are doing together while I am at work but I have a feeling she's been telling him light switch stories because this early morning door dash business feels exactly like the bed time shuffle my wife tricked me into doing years ago.  My new claim to fame will be that I'm the guy who can be easily trained by both woman and beast.  So if your dog needs some training tips I'm sure Red Dog or my wife will be willing to share so come on by but I won't come to your house to show off my skills.  Until the next adventure, God bless you all.