Training is in Session
It was 1:30 am. I had taken up residence in my daughters room sheltered behind an extraordinary work of engineering- the diaper pail. Its one foot wide by two foot high presence not only blocked most of my body from view of my daughters crib, but it provided a tremendous odor dampening effect I was hoping to use against my dogs sniffing expertise.
My feet were beginning to cramp along with my hip flexors from sitting in a caveman like crouch behind the white temple of diapers. You may be wondering why I was in this position. I think I was too for most of the time, but it should be evidently clear...I was trying to find out how my 7 month old daughter could talk to dogs.
As I basked in the infra red glow of the highest night vision technology I could afford, a Dora the Explorer nightlight, I heard the beginning of a psychological wonder. My little girl, all 16 lbs began cooing. I could tell it was a sophisticated form of psycho babel, well beyond my comprehension. It started in fits and small coughs. She slowly began weaving a magic spell above her head with her arms and bringing her feet straight up and down in a rhythm only a 4 foot tall naked bushman from a remote island could appreciate.
I knew it called out into the ether for my wife to come in and feed her but I forewarned her to stay in bed no matter how much her nipples began to leak. I wanted to see something. The coughs gave way to a gentle cry and sure enough I heard my wifes breast pump spring to life. I waited another ten minutes. Mostly because at this point I had lost all feeling to my legs and would need to be craned out.
And then it happened.
Through the inkiness of the hallway a form emerged. Cloaked in the darkness of a thick black coat and a white crest beaming on the front of his chest our 130 pound Bernese mountain dog waddled into the room like a black bear looking for honey. He looked like he was having a good sleep too before this small creature woke him from his slumber. His fur was pushed up on one side of his face from his lower neck to the top of his head. He clearly fell asleep while drooling all over the floor, himself, and was then attacked by the midnight-80's-punk-hairstyle-ninjas. I too woke up often in the morning sporting one of their evil midnight makeovers.
Sully, the bear dog, moved with effort and came to rest in a sitting position, his head eye level with my daughters through the crib bars. The small drama queen made two more thumps with her legs and ended the ceremony by turning her head to look at her furry friend. Her cry slid away from her lungs and she fell silent. She stared sideways into the placid eyes of a dog that would most definitely outweigh her for her whole life.
She extended a small hand towards his nose. I may have been mistaken by the lack of blood not reaching my head from my trapped legs but I heard their meeting of the minds.
Sully: "if I help you again will you remember to push more food onto the floor?"
Daughter: "I pushed as much as I could today. Believe me you don't want the green mushy stuff either"
Sully: "true. Even I couldn't lick that up"
Daughter: "what happened to your fur?"
Sully: "I was practicing my best in show look"
Daughter: "I’ll cut to the chase, can you help me? Mom and dad have put me on the QCBYDYS program"
Sully: "ah yes. I heard them talking about the Quit Crying Because You Dropped Your Soother program. You do need to quit."
Daughter: "I'm giving it my best. I only have so many cognitive functions still."
Sully: "Okay. Last time I enable you though."
And with that Sully bent his head down and back up and gingerly placed the soother that had fallen out of her mouth and onto the floor back into her outstretch fingers.
With a pop and a suck it was back in my daughters mouth and she let out a happy sigh of addict riddled contentment and fell right back to sleep.
I automatically uttered “Good boy” and set the whole room on alert.
The diaper pail hideout must have worked. Sully turned to me at the sound of my voice, his eyes wide with a small trace of panic. His huge feathered tail started whipping back and forth across the crib rails. My Morse code was rusty but I think his tail beat a warning out for my daughter. “Parent Police in the room. Act natural”.
With the message sent, he happily dropped his head in play mode and wagged his whole body over to where I was in riggamortis. He licked my face and stepped on the foot pedal opening the temple of pampers door right into my forehead. The smell wafted out immediately almost causing me to gag.
Our daughter sent a warning cry out and my wife was quick to react covering the space between our bedroom and the nursery in three strides. I received the usual “what did you do this time” look as she passed by to pick the dog whisperer up.
With help from some heavy equipment, our dog, I was pulled from my hiding space and lay prone on the floor. The blood started rushing back into my legs with a vengeance and I knew better than to attempt walking. I would have looked like a drunk toddler after you spin them around for awhile. I rolled onto my back and received a huge wet lick from our dog who promptly lay down beside me and put his head on my chest. I think he was saying don’t tell mom what I did. All I could do was reach around, scratch his ears and tell him. "So she trained you too."
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