Old Dog Teaches New Tricks

Dingo Girl and I are at Mom’s this week. There are a lot of things on the agenda like showing her how to use her ATM card (we accomplished the internet and Gmail on my last trip), updating her cell phone plan, and most importantly, getting her to have some fun. I’m trying to jump start her new persona as the slutty divorcée, but she’s resisting. In between her volunteer work with her church youth group and caring for homebound and elderly church members, she doesn’t have much time to shop for fire-engine red teddy’s and six-inch stilettos. I’m working on it though. Of course, this is coming from someone whose idea of lounge wear shuns silk and ribbons for cotton tanks and boxers. Oh yes, Mr. Dingo got hizself a practical girl!

Purr-fect! When I explained that I’m prepping her for life as a cougar, Mom looked puzzled at first. After I described exactly what a cougar is, she looked at me like I had whipped a vibrator out of my purse and told her, “Here! Try it!” Okay, maybe she’s not quite ready to look beyond southern belle right now. I guess we’ll have to wait for the Match.com lesson until next time.

Dingo Girl loves it when we visit Mom. There’s a backyard and trees that she doesn’t have to share with any other dog! She likes to sit on the front porch and I join her with a glass of iced tea and a book. It’s usually peaceful. Usually.

Today, the odd boy playing basketball in his driveway (in 90 degree heat!) across the street took an interest in us. Every single time Dingo Girl and I stepped onto the front porch, Odd Boy came over. First, he’d stop shooting hoops and just stare. Then, he’d wander over to the curb and wait a few seconds before sloooowly meandering across the street. After taking time to smell the rose bushes lining Mom’s driveway, he would eventually make it to the porch. He did this every. Single. Time. And every single time he’d ask me, “Is that your dog?” The first time it was funny in that, “No, I’m just doing some animal testing for my radiation therapy class. You can have what’s left of her when I’m done,” sorta way. But after the third time it was creepy and I thought he just might have been hired by evil scientists to secure subjects for animal testing for a radiation therapy class. And I wasn’t too sure that I wasn’t on the one on his list!

The usual social cues were not working, “Well, it was nice meeting you,” or “Have a good day,” or even, “Get out of here weirdo,” were not having any effect. The last one was particularly ineffective, probably because I said it inside my head. But I said it very loudly in my head. Anyway, Dingo Girl and I left him standing on the porch.

About thirty minutes later, Dingo Girl wanted to go out. I grabbed her ball and we headed out the front door. Odd Boy was still on the porch. He was sitting on the bench I had vacated thirty minutes earlier because he wouldn’t leave. He looked at me, “Is that –?” “Yes, we’re going to play fetch,” I said, cutting him off. So, I threw the ball and Dingo Girl laid down in the grass. I told her to go get it and she rolled around in the grass. This is how we play fetch. It’s a spectator sport for her. I throw the ball and she waits for me to go fetch it. It’s a whole lot of fun.

Odd Boy wandered over to where we were in the front lawn. “Does she know how to play fetch?” Is this kid fucking with me? Did he not just see the finely tuned team of Dingo and Dingo Girl at work? “Does she know any other tricks?” Yes, Odd Boy, she does know other tricks. She can take up all the room on the bed, she can eat her own food and still have room for mine, and best of all, she sheds like a mofo yet always has a full head of shiny blonde hair. Don’t try that one at home, kids.

Again, I said all that in my head. What I said out loud was, “No.” But the question I was answering was, “I’m definitely cuter and more charming than that creepy little kid from The Grudge, right?”

Where were Odd Boy’s parents? They just let their kids roam the neighborhood? Don’t they know that’s just asking for Junior to be used for animal testing? Well, now that I think about it, maybe they do….

Odd Boy then proceeded to tell me how to teach Dingo Girl to play dead. Ready for it? I need to bring in an older dog to show her how. Yep, that’s it folks. I need to bring in an older dog to teach Dingo Girl the fine art of playing dead. And you know how? I’ll tell you. Apparently, the older dog goes up to the younger dog and demonstrates how it is done. I’ll give you a minute to let that soak in. Old Dog. New Dog. Live demonstration.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or to look for the camera. I just knew I was being Punk’d. Alas, I was not, but I was saved by the southern belle when Mom pulled into the driveway. Odd Boy looked thrilled at expanding his listening audience and turned to greet her with a sentence that started with, “Is this — ?”

I didn’t hear the rest because I took that moment to dash back inside. Fetch this, ya’ll. I’m outta here. Mom and Dingo Girl had to fend for themselves.