de Vos: Making things better
December 17, 2015
My wife and I co-host a couple of rescue mutts. Our most recent homewrecker is a rare find, a purebred Bolivian Wind Breaker. It's not a recognized breed, but it could be someday, and it bolsters her esteem issues.
She didn't come with a name so we called her Surely. She got that name when Mountain Pet Rescue pulled her out of a crate. Startled, we said together, "Surely that's not our dog!"
Our basset hound, Freeta Goodhome, got all a-dither over top dog status, sharing Donald Trump's views on immigrants, but after a bunch of adjustments, everybody got along. The other night Freeta was upstairs while we had dinner downstairs. I slipped Surely a bit of broccoli when my wife wasn't looking. Okay, truthfully, I gave her every speck of it. Broccoli just doesn't taste as good to me as some other healthy vegetables like prime rib or Key Lime pie.
Surely grew up behind a dumpster at an Albuquerque Home Depot on an erratic diet of sunbaked leftovers from the hot dog cart. She's not too particular and will wolf down anything that can't outrun her and she's fast.
Nonetheless, Surely's gut-reaction to broccoli was a lot like my own. A few moments after gobbling the misbegotten pile that my wife had pointedly heaped on my plate, she blew our secret in the middle of the living room, along with extravagant florets of gooey green barf in a startling fountain of impressive arc and distance.
My wife began roaring, much like the MGM lion hot on the trail of bwana Jon. Surely, who had finally run out of broccoli, was still a bit shaky but had the presence to high-tail it through the dog door to fresh air and safety. I backed away several feet myself and waited for the lioness to come up for air. During the lull, I said, "What?"
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She tried several calming breaths before declaring through clenched teeth, "You fed all your broccoli to Surely, didn't you?" She glared at me like Judge Roy Bean handing out scaffold numbers.
"Well," I said slowly, mentally counting the steps to the stairway and trying to keep my voice even, "Turns out there was way too much broccoli on my plate. Piled high, it was, and accidentally tumbled onto the floor, you know, some did."
"Yeah, I know you're lying when you start talking like Yoda," she said grabbing a roll of paper towels, "Why would you feed my good broccoli to the dog?"
"Wow!" I said, "That was your good broccoli? I'd hate to see . . ." The words barely passed my lips before realizing a smarter spouse would've kept quiet.
So I ran upstairs to find Freeta sprawled all over my side of the bed and staring at me with a toothy grin, "What's the smile about, Missy?" I asked.
The grin widened by a couple more teeth and she barked, "My arch-rival Surely is outside shivering in the snow, you're the one in the doghouse, and I'm up here nestled comfy my own Sleep Number bed." She pawed the remote for emphasis.
I stared in disbelief, "You change my setting during the day? You mean my side isn't leaking after all?"
She grinned and wagged before emitting a fetid belch, "Say, since there seems to be no downstairs for you right now, how 'bout a belly rub?"
"Sure," I said resignedly, "why not?"
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