I think my dog is trying to kill me

the view from my desk

Dali, the big dog that James found wandering the streets eight years ago, is a lady of contradictions. She can be the sweetest pup in the world one minute and then bare her teeth, snapping at the air, the next. That shift stays much more on the sweet side the older she gets, but the nasty side is still there and, likely, will always be. We think she has a couple of wires crossed and don’t take it personally. I do think she might be trying to kill me though. Or at least irritate me to death.

As noted in the above photo, which was taken a few minutes ago, Dali likes to occasionally block thresholds with her 70-pound frame. (true story: she once weighed in at the vet at 66.6 pounds) This wouldn’t be that big an issue, except for two things. I move fast, and sometimes when I’m moving fast I have an armload of folded laundry. Which means I can’t see the 70-pound dog that’s sprawled across the threshold until I’m right up on her. This situation requires quick thinking feet, which I don’t possess. (true story: I’m not what you’d call agile) I haven’t hit the ground yet, but I know it’s just a matter of time. The dog knows it, too. So she waits.

Sometimes at night she likes to get off her fluffy, comfy dog bed in the corner and settle on the hardwood floor near the foot of the bed on my side. So when I do my old-lady-needs-to-pee trip to the bathroom in the dark of night, I don’t know she’s there. This recently resulted in me sticking my big toe in/on her asshole, so now I shine the flashlight before I get out of bed. (true story: when you think you’ve touched your toe–or any body part, really–to a dog’s asshole, no matter how tired you are you will still take a moment to rinse said body part off before returning to bed and what is sure to be a night of fitful sleep)

Another thing she likes to do is get in front of me and then walk…very…slowly. I walk with speed and purpose everywhere I go. Even just to the kitchen for a glass of water. When I get trapped behind slow walker and she’s turned the trip between the couch and coffee table into an excursion instead of a quick three or four steps, I can feel my blood pressure rise. I swear she turns around and smiles at me before returning to her laborious gait.

Either she’s trying to get me to slow down a little, or she’s trying to break my neck. Six of one.

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6 responses to “I think my dog is trying to kill me”

  1. And the whole time, SHE’S thinking, “Why is my human always running around so damn fast, I mean, WHAT could be so damn important?”

  2. Mine’s wearing the cone of shame lately, and he manages to jab me in the leg constantly with the sharp edge. Plus he also moves off his bed to lie in my night-time flight path to the bathroom.

  3. Guarding the portal. Doorways are transitional areas and it is quite normal for creatures to linger between two rooms or two different areas. Humans do it; as do lions, tigers and beers. Bears. Christopher Alexander had much to say on the subject in his “Pattern Language” books. I spent the latter half of my questionable career primarily installing doors and it was the norm to have to shoo away some loafer from whatever opening I was working on.

    Last night we discovered that one of the tenants at the Park had transited the portal her ownself. It happens about once a year here at the Whispering Pines, for it is a place where those on the way out seem to linger and wait. Her twenty year old autistic daughter (long confined to one side of a door) could not understand, I think. After two days we looked in and now I am typing poorly and drinking heavily and pondering this deplorable thing called the human condition as the various government agencies and trucks and cops pull away and my deranged buddy (the landlord Miss Jo) fights off the vultures.

    We are all just dogs in the doorway no matter how much we may think otherwise. Your photo was only half a story; if photographed from the other side of the door there perhaps would have been a doggy smile or that bottomless look of sincerity and hunger and hope that these varmints are so good at projecting. I know this to be true and it is what keeps me going.

    Plus I turned 57 three days ago and what with one thing and another and recent events my mind has been on transitions, lately; lately I find myself thinking about doorways.

    I am remembering kindergarten at the Catholic School which was a constant danger; the Penguins where filled with gentle menace and there were bullies there and it was a stressful environment that I constantly sought to escape. By one of those broad strokes that the Cosmos makes when in the mood to meddle with human affairs there was a reading area off to the side of the main classroom. This was a kind of welfare-kid school and the class had mostly boys from pre-school to seven years old. But if you were capable of reading a bit, as I was even at five years old, you were given a gold painted keychain to wear around your neck and thus be granted access to the reading area and asylum from The Challenged. I did it and I read hard and a lot so I wouldn’t have to go back to the General Population.

    Then one day (probably after looking at Tenniel drawings) I noticed an oddly shaped doorway just beyond the big stacks of books. It was a portal, really, and when I cautiously peered inside (after taking great precautions to make sure no Sister was watching) I pushed through the spring-loaded panels and found myself in a long tube. It was a fire escape of a big sliding-in-a-tunnel type, a 1960 precursor to what has become a common child’s slide. I pulled the chain from around my neck, took one last look at the stacks of books that had been my refuge, tossed the chain back into the room and slid away to freedom and the future.

    Your dog is guarding the portal and contemplating her own journey, no doubt. As am I.

    Sorry for the long comment. I have yet to learn to tweet.


    • Lots to say in response, TJ, which will come later. Just spent the day with the family celebrating my niece’s second birthday. She’s off on her journey, too.

      Good people were born this week.

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