Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We've had a house guest for the past several days, he of the big eyes, big teeth variety. No, not the big bad wolf. It's little bad Simon, my son's Boston Terrier. Greg and his wife Lindsay were on a road trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a short vacation.

And I'm kidding when I call Simon bad. He has mellowed much from his delinquent youth when he attacked and killed a rabbit in our backyard, dragging its carcass inside our house and traumatizing our pampered poodle who witnessed it all. No longer does Simon go out into the backyard with the attitude, "Hmmmm, what can I kill today?"

Now he's content to lie outside, sunning himself. Of course, he'd rather you be out there with him, working in the yard. Then, if you're clipping or pruning, Simon might acquire his most cherished toy, a stick. "Get the stick" is his favorite game.

It's a variation of "fetch." Except that once Simon retrieves the stick, he doesn't give it back. So the game becomes "Get the stick back." He'll come over and lie down tantalizing close to you, tempting you to reach for the stick. If you do, then he pulls away, trots a few steps in another direction, then lies down again to chew on the stick some more. If you try again to get his stick, he casually gets up, trots off, and lies down again, just out of reach. It's a dog thing.

Sometimes with a flash of sleight-of-hand, I can grab the stick. But I have to be careful because sometimes Simon's bite is just as quick. Ouch!. It's an accident, I know, but our old dog Doogie was a lot more sympathetic when he accidentally bit me while we were playing. He'd be like, "Omigod, I don't believe I did that to you. I am so, so sorry" while giving me please-forgive-me doggie kisses.

If Simon accidentally nips me, he gives me this deadpan expression as if to say, "What do you expect when you put your fingers so close to my mouth."

For indoors, we bought Simon another of his favorites, your garden variety squeaky plush animal. They don't last long usually. It's like a Simon version of a Sidoku puzzle with the goal being to rip the squeaker out of the toy. Then the fuzzy animal becomes as unwanted as last year's Christmas toy.

Wendy gave Simon one of these plush toys when he first arrived early Thursday morning. By the time I got out of the shower and downstairs, the squeaker was out, with the $5 plaything ripped almost to shreds. So I bought him a squeaky rubber ball. He loved it. Wanted dearly to destroy it. But I would let him play with it only a few minutes at a time, then I'd take it away and put it up.

Simon was distraught he couldn't have his toy. He lay for long stretches on the carpet next to the piano where I'd put his ball. He'd cry. When he wasn't looking I took it in the other room and hit it behind my back while I sat in the recliner. If I'd put a pinch, the ball would squeak. Simon hurried over, staring at me, checking behind my chair, jumping into my lap, looking for his ball.

I would also set it up where he could see it, but couldn't get it. Can't get the ball, eh. Just like I couldn't get your stick, eh Simon! How do you like it, huh? You know what they say about paybacks, Simon?

Heh, heh.


Blogger Jan said...

I would be careful if I were you. Simon can sniff out your shoes and he knows what to do in them.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

You're just a big meanie! Look at that face!! And the drool running down his chin!! Get him a hard rubber ball. And I mean really h.a.r.d. Of course, it won't squeak, disallowing the torture, but it will last. I bought two made of fire hose material, and Lola hasn't managed to shred them yet. Or keep the stick; it's cheap!

6:09 PM  
Anonymous betty said...

Oh, that poor, tortured dog! I'm glad you're giving him a good lesson in karma. I totally understand the issue of the squeaky rubber ball. My Chihuahua-esque dog Bowser has a squeaky hamburger which is both his reason for living and the bane of my existence. Most of the time the hamburger is well hidden, until I need to use it to move the dog into another part of the house. I think Bowser and Simon would get along well with each other, given their squeaking and odd fetching preferences.


7:38 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

He's great practice for your upcoming grandchild Dave. They misbehave and look adorable doing all of it too.

He's so cute!

8:14 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

JAN--We were worried about leaving Simon alone with our shoes based on his history. He did move them while we were gone, but they were undamaged (and unsoiled).

LYNILU--He hasn't showed much interest in ball toys UNLESS they have a squeaker in him. For him, squeaker toys are 'da bomb.'

BETTY--I know what you mean, bane of my existence. Simon would sit and stare at me for long periods of time, waiting for me to retrieve that ball for him. Sometimes he'd jump on my lap to make his point. And, as you can see, he's not a lap dog.

CARINE--Like in those commercials I've been seeing lately, the ones where the kids are running rampant but chewing Trident gum. When challenged, they say, "We're fighting cavities." Cute.

3:49 AM  
Blogger TechnoBabe said...

This is so funny. I wonder who is training who? Ha.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

OK, they make hard rubber balls with bells in them. Maybe that?

8:08 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I just wonder what would happen if a rabbit just happened to run across your yard while Simon was out there?? Hummmm...... I remember the Simon of old... Yes, I remember those stories...lol. How does he do with cats?

4:38 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Simon should almost be able to reach his beloved ball from the table. I think you two are trying to work out who is the boss. Good luck with that.
Glad you liked my flowers and jokes.
I like petunias, but it isn't fun watering when it is so hot.
I have seen gypsies years and years ago, but not here in Shepparton. It is a fair sized city. Looking forward to seeing Peter and Warren early next week.
Take care, my friend, Regards,

4:02 AM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

Simon is so cute. And it's just wonderful that he has learned not to bring dead bunny rabbits into your house. I don't know how old he is, but he may even calm down a bit more.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

I thought I responded to these comments already. Simon must have eaten them while I was up north and out of cybertouch.

TECHNOBABE--He seems to get his way more than I get mine, if that helps.

LYNILU--I think that would make a great Christmas gift, though I believe he likes the squeaky toy we got because it sounds like an animal in distress.

LUCY--Yes, we do check the back yard for bunnies after we let him out, just so we don't find out. And he hates cats too.

MERLE--I hope you have a nice time with your brother. Hope you have good weather there. It turned hot here again.

CASSIE--It's good that he doesn't try to bring those sticks in the house too. That's all we'd need are splinters in the carpet.

5:27 PM  

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