Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
I remember the first day of Fourth Grade like it was yesterday. The teacher walked into the classroom and said, “Can anyone tell me who was buried in Grant’s Tomb?” WHAT? I sat there in a panic, praying and thinking, “Please don’t call on me! Please don’t call on me.” I mean, how was I supposed to know who was buried in Grant’s Tomb on the first day of school. Did we have a summer assignment that I didn’t know about? Finally, I calmed myself down and figured if I had the misfortune to be called upon, I was going to answer, “Abraham Lincoln or George Washington,” and hope for the best. Luckily, some little know-it-all knew the answer and I thought to myself, “I am in a class with geniuses!” Sometimes, this is how I feel when I am dealing with Fudge.
Jarka’s recent post about adding a second dog really got me thinking about how I sometimes compare my two dogs. I have often said if I could combine the best of both my dogs, I would have the perfect dog for our family. Do any of you remember The Mary Tyler Moore Show where she walked into Lou Grant’s office on the first day at her new job and he said to her, “You have spunk,” and she answered back that yes, she does have spunk, only to have him respond, “I hate spunk!” Well, once at the beach with my youngest niece, after I am sure she outsmarted me, I told her she was one smart kid and as soon as she answered in the affirmative, I added, “I hate smart kids.” From then on, this has become a running joke between the two of us and sometimes she finishes the punch line for me. If dogs could talk, I am sure Fudge would be able to add, “I hate smart dogs,” to the same joke. I think it is clear that I don’t hate dogs or kids, but those really smart ones often like to test the limits and keep you on your toes and sometimes when Fudge is double checking my I.Q., I do find myself saying, “why can’t Fudge be more like Vern.”
This doesn’t mean I love Fudge less than Vern, because I am absolutely in love with her, it just means I usually can predict what Vern is going to do or what he is thinking and the same isn’t always true of Fudge. When we are on the pontoon boat, Vern sits and takes in the scenery, but Fudge hunts and scouts for anything that moves and then likes to point it out to Vern when she finds something, so he can join in with the announcement to the other boaters that there is a goose in the water or a dog on shore. Once we dock the boat to swim, if we are close to land, Vern never ventures out of sight and can be trusted off leash. Meanwhile, Fudge, who is connected to the boat on a thirty-foot lead, moves the boat in every direction trying to pull her way to land. I told my daughter that one of these days we will all be in the water and watch our boat disappear into the shrubbery pulled along by Fudge. I can just see the flyers now, “Dog Missing. Answers to Fudge. Wearing a 20 foot Pontoon Boat.” So, I really don’t think anyone can fault me when I think to myself at times like this, “why can’t Fudge be more like Vern?”
When I am training Fudge or calling her to come or telling her to stop doing something, I feel like she is thinking, “who died and made you boss, lady,” and sizing me up to see if I am a worthy opponent, worth listening to, and after deciding I am lacking in the smarts department, proceeds to try and test me. It is the same feeling I get from my oldest daughter, Dr. I Know More than You Do, who was home this weekend from Oregon. It took exactly one hour before she and I, Mrs. You Wish You Were Smarter Than Your Mother, got into a disagreement, which ended with her saying her opinions are based on her educational experiences and she is not just regurgitating up information that she read somewhere. Even though she didn’t point right at me, I know a slam to my intelligence when I hear one, so of course, I stopped the argument right there and said in my best hillbilly voice, “I know I don’t have me no learnin’, but I ain’t never heard of a feller puking up reading books.” Well, I could tell I impressed her by the way she started laughing and said, “It is like trying to have an argument with Vern.” At that point, I was thinking, “why can’t you be more like your sister?”
I like to sit out in the yard some days with my dogs and Vern is content to lie down on the driveway and watch the world go by. Meanwhile, my little Mensa person in a chocolate dog costume is busy scouring the yard for intruders and when that gets old and she wants my attention, she likes to saucily prance by me with a stick in her mouth. I hate when my dogs chew sticks because I am always afraid they will choke, and sure enough, just like a puppet on a string being operated by the puppeteer, I end up dropping (hey, I know the drop command, too) what I was doing and giving her my undivided attention as I tell her to “drop it.” She always drops the stick and then goes and finds another stick and repeats the walk bys. It is like deja vu all over again with my oldest daughter, who used to love calling her sister names and the more shocking, the better reaction she would get from her sister and mom. I once had to tell her she was not allowed to call her sister a penis and sometime later, the maligned sister was asking me what a one eyed snake was and I was pretty sure I knew the source that had just fed her this information. I could just see my oldest up in her bedroom with an inappropriate Thesaurus looking up the word penis and telling herself, “mom only said I couldn’t call her a penis.” Just like Fudge was probably thinking that day, “You only told me to drop the one stick. You didn’t say you meant all sticks.” Yep, those two are real sticklers on the details and always love finding any loophole they can.
Yet, you know what? Two of anything the same could get boring real fast and sometimes, they surprise you in the sweetest ways. I joined a gym and did my first workout with a trainer (blog to follow…LOL) on Monday and by Tuesday could barely walk. Tuesday night I got up to go to the bathroom and honestly thought I was going to have to call 911 to help me get seated. Despite my moans and cries for help the only one who rushed to my aid was Fudge. She jumped off the bed and came and sat beside me and kept looking at me to make sure I was all right. My husband was one room away and never even asked if I was ok or needed any help. He said later, after I brought this to his attention, that he was very concerned about my well being, which is why I am sure he continued to stay in bed reading his Kindle. If it weren’t for Fudge’s concern and my strong desire to assure her I would live, I would probably have been sitting there until morning when John would have had to move me to get into the shower.
Fudge is also my dog who wants to cuddle in the morning and comes back to bed with me when John goes to work. Vern sometimes stands in the doorway looking in like you see the family members looking into their mother's house on the show Hoarders and praying they won't be asked to enter. Usually he turns like the room is contaminated and then decides he would be more comfortable anywhere but next to me. For all of her energy outside, inside she rarely barks and would just be happy taking a nap. Vern only takes cat naps and barks at nothing periodically throughout the day. I even say to Fudge, “Just ignore the barking, it is only Vern! Why can’t he be more like you?” The truth is it is easy to compare one to the other and I do it all the time, but then, like I said, something surprises me and I realize I really wouldn’t want them to be the same after all.