You know sometimes having a dog is really helpful. He cleans up the scraps quite well. He is like a snorting food censor. He sniffs it out and zeroes in on it. 'BEEP! BEEP!BEEP!' But in Stanley's case its 'SNORT,SNORT,SNORT!' He loves it when Jake eats. He just knows that this little rugrat will throw food all over the place, a little afternoon food sprinkle, if you may. So when Jake plops into the highchair in all his thunder thigh glory, Stanley mans himself at the base.
Having Stanley around is also very fun for the children. He is their dog. A member of our family. He keeps them warm at night, whomever he chooses to snuggle with and snore all over. And you know, he plays some pretty sweet catch. He sometimes runs around the house at top speed, tail straight out, bottom almost to the ground enabling him to propel himself forward at an even greater speed. Which is quite entertaining to watch. He is a good companion, and always seeks us out. Always happy to see us return home. Always worried about us as he sits perched in Kendall's window sill barking incessantly at us as we play outside, the anxiety over us perhaps putting ourselves in danger is too much for him to bear.
We live in a neighborhood where your dog must be leashed while outside. And this is handy. I mean who wants dogs just running the sidewalks? However, Stanley and my children didn't get this memo from the association, and they find it necessary to open the door to a world of free play. I will readily admit there are times that I don't even chase after Stanley. I just leave the front door open and call his name like 764 times when I think of him. Because I cannot leave a house full of children unattended. Its the dog or the kids. A decision must be made quickly, I mean after all, its my job. However, he is getting better. Most especially if I threaten to send him to a country where dogs are a delicacy. And sometimes he goes and checks on his homies and comes home after he gets them all agitated and pawing at their crates, windows, or doors.
Stanley is also obsessed with our neighbor Beck. Its just really annoying is what it is when it comes down to it. Beck has thought that it might be a fabulous idea to give Stanley treats on the regular which has now in turn, trained Stanley to expect this. I don't know, maybe he felt as though Stan was being neglected in a house crawling with needy children and a fat cat. I mean, Stanley always has some dog biscuits readily available. But perhaps Beck is a snob about his dog biscuits, and our dog biscuits weren't as good as his dog treats. Whatever the case may be, Stanley now recognizes Beck's vehicle. And when Beck arrives home from a really long day at work, because he seriously is the hardest working man I know, Stanley seriously cries like a 5 month old whimpering puppy. He lays it on real thick...'all day Beck, all day, they smeared snot all over me, yelled at me for eating the diaper again, chased me around, dressed me up, please come take me home to your house.' Because I will tell you that Beck and his wife have some serious malfunctioning attachments to their dogs. If I were to let him, Beck would seriously talk about his dogs all day long. I don't even talk about my kids on a day that they mastered pooping on the toilet as much as he talks about his dogs on just a regular day. I know, it is a little disturbing.
And before meeting them, I knew that there were people out there who have this attachment to their dogs. You know where you actually think of the dogs while you are away from home all day and miss them, and want to bring them home something special because they are just so good to be in their crates all day patiently waiting for you? So you go to the specialty pet store and you spend an unreasonable amount of money on a treat that tastes just like a filet mignon. When really they would have been just as happy licking their crotches, which cannot be done in a tight space like a crate to its greatest potential. I'm just sayin. But Beck and his wife are the first of this special population that we are friends with. And I love me an animal, I love having pets...but you know what I mean.
And then they wonder why their dogs are high maintenance. Beck and his lady love do not have kids yet. And you know they say that once people who are obsessed with their dogs in this matter have children, the dogs take the back burner. I can tell you whole heartedly, that this will not be the case with them. And that they will read books on transitioning the baby home to make it easier on your dogs. People write these books, and they write them for Beck, who will have anxiety over this matter. He won't think they are too cute when they eat the baby's crappy diaper.
And you know Beck, this is all written as a special thank you for getting my dog all rawled up with your presence and in turn waking up my napping baby.
Oh but today was one of those days, where having a dog is no laughing matter, and as Stanley cowers in the corner, I still send him daggers from my eyes. I mean this was worse them him being on top of the Thanksgiving table searching for leftovers. Yup, just walking right across it like he was asked to lick the plates.
So today, I decided that we needed to go to Target to pick up a few household items. It was me and the boys since Kendall was at school. Stanley had decided to come with us in typical fashion and he is typically a very good listener. So la, la, la. I am getting the boys out and Ethan is trying to decide which 3 Super Heroes he should take into the store like not choosing Elektro or Robin might really hurt their feelings and put them in such a deep sadness that they cannot save the world today. So I say to him, 'Come on, let's go,' and as it is coming out of my mouth I realize as you did too, if you follow Stanley stories, that I have just given him a command. And it is all in slow motion now, like some action movie and I am Jackie Chan and spin around and shout in that monster slow mo voice, 'NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO STTTTTTTTTTTAANNNNLLLLLLEEEEEEY STTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
I, in complete Mommy Super Hero, action press the remote to shut and lock the doors and as I am doing it I am yelling to Ethan that this is an emergency, and I am throwing my stow away in case of emergency and I need to entertain boys quickly, balls and superheroes from my purse and into the closing doors. 'Play with these Ethan, and don't move from this vehicle and watch your brother.' That's right. I am saying this to a four year old. Where is my five year old when I need her? There was no time to grab a cart, secure the boys and get to Stanley before he was smashed on the parking lot asphalt or worse...
Oh we have been here before. But in a place where pets were welcome. But today he ran towards the bullseye like there was a whole pound of ground beef in the center for him. I turn quickly and one of Kendall's friends mom is right next to me. I swear she was sent right down from heaven. And we turn and laugh at each other, and then she says, ' I will stay with Jake and E.' As I am rounding the corner, I see the automatic doors to the store open, and no person going in, and my gaze furthers to see Stanley slip sliding all over the linoleum floors at top speed.
I run in, and it was like a movie, people darting, dashing, and diving, ok maybe not diving, after Stanley. An employee turns to me, and I say, 'that's my dog,' and she actually says to me, 'we don't allow animals in the store.' And I just about stop and smack her. Really? Are you sure that Target doesn't allow dogs without leashes just roam the store? I mean what if I had sent him in to pick out his dog food while I waited for him in the van, but he forgot his wallet and that is why I am running after him.
I say, 'Uh yeah, I know that.' Deciding that today would not be the day for assault charges, most especially not at Target since I would be banned from it, and I love that store.
And she goes on her merry way. Could I live in that brain for 5 minutes?
So then another lady says to me, as I am racing after Stanley through the women's department, 'I am really good with dogs,' and I tell her, 'uh, not with this dog.' Now Stanley knows he has really done it and is avoiding me at all costs because he knows I am irate. Ever made your master irate? It's not pretty. And then as Stanley is racing in the other direction, the woman crouches down, and I kid you not, throws herself on top of Stanley. It was one of those moments where I wish that my phone took videos because the entire thing would have went viral in 10 seconds. She is lying now, on top of Stanley, petting him, and whispering to him, 'good boy Stanley, good boy.' I turn my head a little to the side, you know, the position you take when you are trying to see things a little more clearly, to make sure what you are seeing is really happening? Yeah, she is comforting my dog. I grab Stanley, and thank her profusely, and she says, 'oh I love dogs, I have 4, so anything to help a doggy who is lost in a store and frightened.'
Apparently she and Beck have a lot in common.