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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Neighbor's Dog

My next door neighbors have a Collie (hereinafter referred to solely for purposes of this blog entry as the “Dog”). Hey I am a lawyer and we talk that way even in everyday life: “To Wit”, “Party of the First Part”, “notwithstanding anything else contained herein to the contrary” etc. If you are bothered by my use of such language, (i) please provide me with thirty days written notice of your opposition to the use of legalese in this blog, (ii)  in such notice describe with specificity the exact language you object to, (iii) fully explain why you object to such language, (iv) describe in detail what adverse effects such language has on you and your life, and  (v) finally explain in detail the specific damages or remedies you seek for my use of such language. If you cannot or will not take such action, then please shut the hell up.

OK back on point. The Dog is an outdoor dog and is, on most days and at most times, confined to the neighbor’s backyard. Over the last several years, the Dog and I have become good friends. We talk about current events, sports, women, the healthcare crisis, fire hydrants and other interesting stuff. Sometimes when he is in his front yard and I am in my front yard, we chase cars together. I can't tell how funny it was when we got a neighbor's Buick.   One day last summer we both bit the mailman. Neither the Dog nor I are currently receiving mail.

Although we have a lot in common there are some things I do that he doesn’t do and there are some things he does that I don’t do. For example, he doesn’t have backyard parties, he doesn’t play golf, he doesn’t mow the lawn and he is not bossed around by the Lovely Sharon. As for me, I normally don’t hump legs, pee in the back yard or drag my butt on the ground to scratch an itch. Ok, usually I don’t drag my butt  on the ground but sometimes you just need to scratch that lower body itch and the butt dragging technique is fairly effective.

The neighbors, who are very nice neighbors and lovely people, don’t seem to have a lot of interaction with the Dog. I kind of feel sad for him as he always looks lonely. Maybe it is just my imagination, but it seems like he is in solitary confinement. He looks at me with such sad eyes until I walk over to talk to him. A couple of years ago I started buying doggie treats to give to the Dog. Every time I go out in the back yard or the back deck I give him two treats. He loves it. When he hears my door open or sees me in the yard, he will walk over to our dividing fence and stare at me until I walk over and pet his head and give him his two treats. For a year or so I gave him these little pork chops treats. He loved them.

One day I was at the grocery store looking for a new variety of treats. I spent about 20 minutes analyzing the various choices, different shapes, tastes, sizes, textures; a wide variety of choices that frankly were too many for me. I tensed up making the choice. I finally went with “Beggin Strips”. Curly strips that looked like bacon, tasted like bacon and smelled like bacon. The cartoon dog on the cover of the package looked like he loved em. He was smiling and had his arms wrapped around his tummy. I absolutely knew the Dog would love these treats. I bought two large packages. I was set for a couple of months. When I got home I opened the Beggin Strips and walked out to my patio. The Dog heard me and strolled over to the fence. With pride and excitement, I approached the Dog. He looked at me, I looked at him. He smiled at me, I smiled at him. The moment of truth arrived. I took one of the Beggin Strips out of my pocked and held it out. The Dog looked at it cautiously, smelled it and finally took it in his mouth. He bit the Beggin Strip once, stopped, let it linger on his tongue and then opened his mouth and let the Beggin Strip fall to the ground. It fell into the dirt. He didn’t look down at it, he looked at me with a “What the hell” kind of look. I pulled at the second Beggin Strip and presented to him. He sniffed it, looked at it and then turned his back on me and then walked away. My hand was still outstretched with the offending treat in my palm as he walked away.  Totally rejected by the Dog and feeling dejected, I walked back to my house.

The next day I went back to the grocery store and spent another 20 minutes before I settled on the mini hotdogs treats. I bought two bags and headed back home. With trepidation, I approached the Dog with two mini hotdog treats in hand. I must admit I was nervous. I felt like Bill Clinton telling Hillary about Monica or former Republican Idaho Senator Larry Craig telling his wife he was just wide spreader. I expected the worst. We did the dance again. I looked at the Dog, he looked at me with an “Ok , this better be good look” on his face. I held out my hand with the mini hotdog. He looked, smelled and finally let the mini hotdog slide into his mouth. At first there was no chewing. He just left it on his tongue. But then, drool started dripping out of his mouth in long strings. His eyes smiled, his tail wagged and finally he started chewing. Quickly, hungrily he snarfed down the mini hotdog. He looked up and silently asked me for the second hotdog that he knew I had in my pocket. He got it, he ate it, he loved it and all things were now right in the universe.

Two weeks ago, I ran out of the mini hotdogs. I have checked five times for the mini hotdogs but sadly, I now realize my grocery store no longer carries them. Finally I spent about 45 minutes looking for alternatives. I got the chills when I saw the bags of Beggin Strips. I didn’t even touch them. I avoided looking at them. I bought a package of turkey and apple flavored wholesome bits (I am not certain what makes them wholesome).  The Dog doesn’t love them but he tolerates them. So I am covered for a few weeks.

During the last couple of years, the Lovely Sharon has criticized me, made fun of me, and generally disowned me for going to the store to buy dog treats for the neighbor’s Dog. She keeps asking "You are buying dog treats and we don't even have a dog"? She has seemingly considered my dog treat buying actions and my angst arising out of the question of what treats to buy, as totally bizarre and over the edge behavior. I cannot say she is wrong. Like an alcoholic sneaking a drink or a dieter sneaking a doughnut, I found myself sneaking my dog treat purchases so that the Lovely Sharon didn't know what I was doing.

When I arrived home after work tonight, the Lovely Sharon had just got home from the grocery store. She had removed all her purchases from the plastic (not paper) store bags. As I observed the items she had bought, I could only smile when I saw that she had purchased two bags of doggie treats. I said nothing. I held my breath and walked down into the Bud Cave. When I sat in my leather Bud chair, I very quietly said “YESSSS!!!” She is now part of the Dog Treat Brigade.

I hope the Dog likes her selection.


  1. HILARIOUS Bud! Now I know who to give my dogs to if they need a home.

  2. I love that you give your neighbor's dog treats!! I am too a dog person as you know and I adore your kindness towards canines!! Let me know if you ever need a "treat-giver" if you go out of town! :)

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