We're All Damaged

Monday, October 24, 2011

That’s Not a Cookie

This weekend, my brother-in-law and his wife were in town for a visit.  As they often do, they brought their dog with them, a Cocker Spaniel-Poodle mix named Snood. 

As a dog lover, my feelings for Snood are complicated. Superficially speaking, he’s very cute.  He’s small, maybe fifteen pounds or so, and he’s got these crazy Yoda ears that jet out from his tiny head like satellite dishes.  Dig a little deeper though, and you find that Snood has some quirks.  He’s weirdly possessive.  He’s prone to unprovoked flashes of violence. He tries to hump my dog Grady constantly. And, he responds to even the slightest perceived mistreatment by revenge-crapping in random spots in the house.

Around 10 a.m. this morning, my daughter told me that she needed to have her diaper changed.  She did this the way she always does, by grabbing the crotch of her pants and shouting gibberish at me with a distressed look on her face. 

When it comes to diaper changing, my daughter tends to be all business.  She usually runs ahead to her changing table, allows herself to be picked up and placed in position, and then she lays there bored while my wife or I tend to her. This morning though, when we got to her bedroom, she broke protocol and ran to the center of the room.  “It’s a cookie!” she yelled.


Confused, I watched as my daughter picked up what looked like a shriveled brownie from the carpet.  She held it out to me, the way you might if you were walking down the street with a friend and you found a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk.  “Cookie, cookie!  It’s a cookie!”

“Oh, God,” I said.  It had taken me a full five seconds to figure out what was happening.  “Baby, no.  Drop that.  Drop it right now!”

As I moved quickly toward her, her expression changed to one that I've seen on other people's faces before, but never hers. It was an older-person's look, a mature, beaten-down expression that I can only describe as slow, grim realization.   

Before dropping the small brown wad onto the floor, she said, simply, “It’s poop, Daddy.  It’s poop.”

I sometimes imagine what it would be like if Snood could talk.  I do this with almost all dogs.  I'm certain he'd have a high-pitched, slightly effeminate voice.  “She picked it up?” he’d say. "You're kidding.  With her bare hands?  Well, maybe next time you'll think twice before yelling at me for jumping onto your kitchen table while you're eating breakfast and licking your pancakes.  I’m just saying.”


1 comment:

  1. You are one Funny Dude, MN! I haven't belly-laughed like that in ages. Your delivery has a certain finesse to it. Thanks for that.