Posted 01-11-2004 at 10:42:39
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That puppy we got six months or so ago, currently tips the scales at about a hundred pounds, and he's only half grown. Fred and I were marveling over him the other day. His size, his intelligence, his weird little idiosyncrisies. Like the habit he has of having his nose in everything you're doing. Not pushy or a hindrance, mind you, just watching, head cocked to the side, not missing a thing.
He watches us constantly, and if we get still anywhere on the property he will come and lay right beside us. If we don't acknowledge his presence, he will place one of his huge feet on our arm or leg and just leave it there until we pay attention to him. We have pretty much agreed that he is one of the better and smarter dogs on the place.
"Well, I knew that a long time ago." Fred said.
"How do you mean?"
"Well, just look in his mouth." He peeled back the dog's upper lip and revealed his gums. "Look at his gums, see how dark they are? Black in spots? He's got the black mouth"
"So the old timers will tell you that that makes for an all around good dog. Good natured, good tempered, smart." He tapped his own temple and winked.
"Think there's anything to that?" I asked, wondering if Elvis or any of the other dogs have black mouths.
"Who knows. It probably applies mainly to strays and mutts." He shrugged. "But he seems to be a real good dog and he's got the black mouth."
Yesterday I was standing at the sink washing dishes. Fred was out front feeding, the red pup following him step for step as usual. I saw it coming, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. Even if I had wanted to call out a warning there wouldn't have been time.
Fred was walking across the yard, minding his own business, lost in his list of things he had to do, when the pup took off at a dead run, shaking the ground as he went, and leapt into the air, catching Fred right in the middle of the back with both massive front paws, and knocking him fully to the ground on his face. Down they went. looking like a Fred pretzel with big dumb dog mustard.
There was about a five second period there where neither of them moved, and then in a rush they began to untangle, the dog yipe-ing his head off and Fred cussing a blue streak.
"You stupid no good worthless bast*rd! What tha HE11 are you DOIN'?! Are you trying to cripple us BOTH?!"
By this time they had both found their feet and limped off in different directions, Fred with a scowl and the pup with a whimper. It took about a minute or so before the giggles set in and I had to close the window lest Fred hear me laughing but I couldn't help myself.
Maybe this 'black mouth' thing takes a while to kick in.