“Nice leather sofa you got there…would be a shame if something happened to it.” Their eyes carry the intensity of a protection racket courier picking up the weekly envelope of cash.
We have rituals at our house. The day starts with the making of the oatmeal, which includes adding blueberries to the mix. Frozen blueberries kept in the freezer. There is the morning canine entourage that escorts me to the kitchen for observation of this ritual, which includes the sacred dispensation of the blueberries. This, we have found, is similar to any tax or percentage off the top, with each dog focused on their cut of the frozen bounty.
Scout, the female German wirehaired pointer, is the first to receive the blueberry payola. Next in line is Rafe, the Clumber spaniel. Once he consumes his cut, it is Drake’s, the yellow lab’s, turn. Drake is the least fanatical about the blueberry procurement and, in truth, I think he only joins the line because the others do. He knows, however, that after the blueberries comes the outside check of the perimeter and he is anxious to get this over with so he can be out there running. The allotment, however, continues again to Scout the wirehair. With three dogs in the house she represents the entire female canine population. While the males each get a single cut, she requires a second portion in order to balance out any potential gender inequities. If I try omitting the second round of payola for Scout, her eyes become daggers and she blocks my exit from the kitchen.
I have been impressed by the intimidation tactics employed by the hounds in our household, and was eager to give it a try for myself. Nicole and I went to a Mexican restaurant we are know to frequent. The meal always begins with the server bringing glasses of water and a bowl of chips with salsa. As we had quickly gone through all the chips prior to our meal arriving, I thought I would try to procure a refill. I slid the empty bowl out to the edge of the table and I impersonated the laser stare our dogs use to pummel me into submission. I focused my eyes on the empty bowl. In my peripheral vision, I caught the blurry motions of servers moving about the room. All of the restaurant personnel, however, continued to be oblivious to the dire state of our chip supply. I gave it a couple more minutes to no avail. Nicole watched my shenanigans and offered a critique of my performance, telling me I needed to observe Drake more closely. She offered that if I could produce the same impressive line of drool running out of the corner of my mouth and down into the bowl I might improve our chances for more chips…either that or be thrown out of the restaurant.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Our canines are superior to myself in the procurement department. I will have to observe, study and practice more effectively.
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