Monday, February 05, 2007

When You Really Gotta Go, Cut Out the Middleman

Here's a cute story. Or perhaps it's sad, because it just proves how boring and predictable our lives are. My husband and I often spend time in our respective offices. My office is upstairs with the dog crates and dog food. His office is downstairs, off the hallway that leads to the back door, which opens out to the dog potty area.

One evening after nearly an entire Saturday spent with each of us holed up in our offices, Felanie came to me groaning and snorting, which is her way of saying "Dinner time!" And I saw that it was, in fact, time for their dinner, so I got up and poured food into the dogs' bowls, and they wolfed it down like the fat little monsters they are. This is part of the evening routine.

What I expected next was for Felanie to come to me sniffing and "whispering," which is a noise like a hushed bark, a sign that she needs to go out and potty. (I would like to say that Dozer is smart enough to do this too, but frankly, he's not. He just tags along behind Felanie with an all-purpose whine that essentially says "I second her motion, whatever it is.") Then I use our telephone intercom to call down to Byrd's office and ask him to call the dogs down and go outside, because his office is right next to the back door.

This is the routine. I have never understood why the dogs come to me to be let out; Byrd is the one who ultimately opens the door if he's down in his office. But they have always, always, always come to me, as if they thought that I was the reason why Daddy took them outside (and I guess they would have been right).

Anyway, this particular evening I was waiting for Felanie to come ask me to be let out and was surprised at how quiet it was in my office. I looked around and noticed that both the dogs were missing. Then I heard a noise coming from downstairs, and as I listened harder I could hear Byrd's TV muttering faintly, and just a little louder than that, Felanie's "whisper" (which wasn't really a whisper anymore because she had to be louder than the TV). On cue, Dozer seconded: Whiiine. Then I heard Byrd say, "Okay, okay, let's go potty." And the back door opened.

For the first time ever, the dogs did not come to me to ask Daddy to let them out to potty. Clever old Felanie, she just cut out the middleman altogether. Now they have a new evening routine. Ask for dinner, eat dinner. Check to see if Daddy's in his office. If yes, ask him to let us out... if no, go find Mommy.

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