April 8, 2009

Mom vs. Dog

It's spring and the grass is growing fast in the yard at the back of my office. In quiet moments of the morning I sit and have a cup of tea before I get started for the day and gaze out the window at nothing in particular.

In the distance I see something moving through the grass, something low and black, an animal. As it gets closer I see it's a small dachsund bobbing up and down through the greenery. In some spots all I can see is his head. It's really time to mow, I realize.

My mom comes into the room, stops and looks at me for a moment. As a self-proclaimed "woman of action" she finds it nearly unbearable that I'm sitting there holding a cup of tea and staring out the window. In fact, most everyone in my family cannot understand at all why I look out the window and invariably assume I'm having either a petit mal seizure or some kind of depressive incident. They give me way too much credit since mostly what's going on in my mind is something like, "Grass... green... pretty. Tea... good."

But back to Mom who fills the room with her silence. She follows the line of my gaze out the window where she spies the little dog plowing happily through the grass. My reverie is interrupted when she exclaims, "THAT'S THAT DOG! THE DOG! THE BLACK ONE THAT ALWAYS POOPS ALL OVER THE PARKING LOT!"

I glance over and say, "Huh." I'm passive-aggressively non-committal.

Suddenly she races across my office and out the other door, through the conference room, through the kitchen. The side door flies open and I hear her screaming at the dog to get out of the yard and stop pooping around here.

Simultaneously I'm still watching through the window. The dog's ears go up and he looks alarmed. He turns and races as fast as his 2-inch legs will carry him back through the tall grass toward his house. Halfway across the yard he turns around and puffs his chest out and barks at her several times as if to say, "Oh yeah? Look at me standing in your yard, barking at you."

He then senses what we all sense about her -- that she is dangerous and it's best to not push our luck. Before she can respond he turns and runs again to the fence, the boundary of our property. He turns again and barks, half-heartedly but determined to keep some dignity. "Here I am again, barking at you!"

The side door slams and Mom comes back in and looks out the window to be certain he's gone. She seems satisfied.

"You sure showed him," I said.

"Well, he ought notta be pooping in this yard."

"He told you a thing or two before he left. Did you see?"

"Yeah, whenever I go by his house he barks at me like he's gonna come and tear my face off."

I smiled and sipped some more tea. I'm not sure which of them won. I think I'm actually the winner watching that amusing showdown.

I set down my tea and get to work.

[photo credit: valerie miller]


  1. Another Mighty weiner warrior! They always win. There will be poop in your yard tomorrow. Probably spelling out, "Neener, neener, neener!" They're also very smart dogs *LOL*

  2. "Oh yeah? Look at me standing in your yard, barking at you." LOL!!

    How strange to just let your wiener dog run wild and free into other people's yards.

  3. That is such a great story. Your poor mother won't win that battle . . .that little feller will just seek revenge in a poopy way later :)

  4. Wendy I just LOVE reading your writing. You write beautifully and poetically with such witty sentence structure and imagery.

    Poor little cute dachsund...lol. I think he was saying: "oh yeah? wanna test me? come on, lady.. come on (please don't please don't oh please oh please)"

    does your mom live with you?

    thanks for making me chuckle and sharing your articulation of a calm and beautiful morning moment... I know what you mean (except my version is with coffee)

  5. I love this story because it makes me smile! I love the image of the dog with the 2 inch legs running away and then turns around and barks at the property line.

  6. Can your mom come help me when I get accosted by birds on restaurant patios? She sounds very effective.

  7. "In quiet moments of the morning I sit and have a cup of tea before I get started for the day and gaze out the window at nothing in particular."

    Oh, I so get that... and so miss it.

  8. Do people say 'ought notta'? That's way cool. Way to sip that tea passive aggressively anyway.

  9. Neen: I think you might be a little biased. :)

    Shawn: It's like the wild west here, only southern.

    Ginny: Poop happens.

    Funnyrunner: Thanks. You're a sweety. Regarding my mom, no, she doesn't live with me. We have a family business and she's "semi-retired" which means she works when she wants to and declines work whenever she feels like it (which is frequently when I ask her to do something).

    Margo: It was way funnier in person. I wish you could have seen it.

    Lawyer mom: She is available for rent. In the past she has been loaned out to friends who are less fortunate. (Or more fortunate depending on the day.)

    MJ: The upside is the gazing. The downside is no steady paycheck. :)

    Honeypie: They do say that. Among other things. I have an old article on southern-speak that I should reprint. I will queue it up just for you!

  10. I'm leaving this here, too, in case you check comments more often, but you won the gecko bobble head and neck pillow. If you could send me your info at justbloggled@yahoo.com or the email address in the email I sent (I think my other email came up by default), I can forward it onto the guy at Sinuate and he can send you your Gecko goodies. Thanks for playing, and congrats.

  11. Hey Wendy, I published you post in my blog! http://hsowt.blogspot.com/2009/04/mom-vs-dog.html
    Thanks for being a guest blogger for me!

  12. This is funny ... my dog escapes at times and I picture this happening to someone else down the road from me -- although, my dog is a whippit and a wimp so maybe not quite the same scenario lol

    oh and I should also mention, i'm a responsible dog owner citizen and always trace her path to make sure I pick up any poo!

  13. Staci: Thanks for letting me know! :) Whee!

    HumaneSociety: Hey, how fun being a guest poster. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Fiona: I'm glad you are so responsible. We have a really big yard and I think because part of our yard looks like it might be an empty lot we have people who walk their dogs on the edge and let them poop there! (Plus the obvious problem at our office.) We live in the country and people don't really take responsibility for their animals here like they should.


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