Saturday, November 9, 2013

Problems in the End Zone - Barkley Adventures

Saturday mornings is when I usually get up and write, something reflective, something that's stirring around in my brain.  But not today, as it was sort of a short night.  No, the bat phone didn't go off, but I was awoken twice in the night and then couldn't get back to sleep.
There aren't many dogs in my little neighborhood of the crash pad.  There's a large dog in a home behind me that has what is either a great lumbering dog or a Shetland pony which I only see when I am out the door before 5 am., the owner walking him on a lead out into the mist.  A couple doors down is a little yappy dog  of mixed heritage that looks like a big Twinkie with legs. The owners just let it out to do it's business sans leash and sometimes it wanders around the neighborhood, though it knows to stay out of the street.  Barkley mostly ignores her and they have a relationship of distrust and mutual avoidance except when there's a camera out, much like the Clinton marriage.
Barkley IS the king of the block, however, this morning he's simply sleeping on the twin bed in my office after an interesting night of "guess what I ate".

He rarely gets people food as it tends to upset his stomach. The occasional little piece of plain roast chicken, bits of cheddar, frozen peas (he loves them, nibbling them from your bare fingers like little ball bearings). But he's not particular. I've seen him chew on my old slipper, a lemon and Styrofoam packing peanuts, all with the same gusto. But he'll seek out the smallest crumb if left unattended.
Last night he snagged something off the counter when I was out of the room briefly, licking his lips as I returned  while my piece of pizza looked clearly disturbed and rather lacking in sausage.  Later, I caught him in the garbage looking for more (once they've had a taste).

But spicy or greasy food and Barkley have never seen eye to eye.  He did pretty well though other than a couple delicate sage scented burps and one episode where he came in while I was taking my bath.

I had my camera with me as I was hoping to get a shot of him trying to steel my socks, like he did the night before. But instead, he just sat down with this LOOK on his face

"OMG Mom, what's that SMELL!  He then turns around and looks at his butt as if it was suddenly possessed.
No, Barkley, you can't put Vicks Vaporub in your nostrils.
 That's Mommy's Vicks.

Well that emptied me out of the tub faster than realizing NCIS starts in 30 seconds. A quick spray of air freshener and an open window and he settled down for the night after leaving a quick calling card on the tree by the garage for the neighbor dog.
I knew the night wasn't going to go as planned when I woke up after midnight and realized I'd not closed the garage door. The back door into the crash pad is heavy and well secured, but I've got a bike and a few tools in the garage I wouldn't want stolen.

With only the hall light on, I stepped out into the garage, only to have some furred creature rush out at me from under the truck.

Holy *(#*!!!!

Seeing just a soundless flash of fur and tooth, my foot instinctively went out in a kick, catching the creature under the rib cage with the top of my slipper and punting it OUT the garage door like some sort of overtime field goal. Georgia against UT couldn't have done any better!

At which point I heard "YIP!    YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP"

Oh, crap, I just dropped kicked the neighbors yappy dog. How am I going to explain THAT? I look out, the dogs not out there injured, he headed straight back towards home, the garage door being up a foot or two for him to go in and out.  I'll go see to him in the morning to make sure he's OK and explain what happened. My pulse is still racing like Speed Racer.

Back to bed where I tossed and turned, heart still racing, hoping the rest of the night and weekend would go better.
All was well until about 4, when Barkley stuck his nose in my face (and not to say hello). "I gotta go! I gotta go!"   I know that panting and that dance and it means NOW.  I threw on something over my jammies and headed out the garage with him. He made a beeline for the corner of the property, 82 pounds of muscle pulling me like a Nantucket sleigh ride through the dark, realizing I'm standing out there in a tiny Victoria's Secret polka dot number covered with a day glo yellow first responders coat. Somewhere there's probably a calender composed of women in outfits like that, but it was not a look I wanted my neighbors to see. (Officer, not only did she drop kick our dog but she goes around dressed like the Village People but half naked).

Barkley wasn't kidding. He didn't just have to GO. . . .
Remember the Darwin Award where the guy allegedly attached a JATO bottle to the back of a car and it launched him into a cliff?

There are certain circumstances when there is not much difference between a JATO assisted 1967 Chevy Impala, and a Labrador retriever digestive tract.

Just saying

Once emptied, he seemed OK , drank some water and just went back to sleep. At least HE could get back to sleep.

In the morning, I checked on him while I was making some corn muffins for breakfast.   He still wasn't too perky.
Mom, I think I'd feel better if you made me a bacon omelet.

By late morning, the bat phone was still quiet, a half priced book finished, and the little yappy dog was happily running around in it's front yard none the worse for wear, though it was steering quite clear of my driveway. Barkley also ate some breakfast and wanted to play with his toy without any further detonation. Hooray!

I think this calls for a little celebration. So after lunch, Barkley and I took a little road trip, not too far, as I have to be ready to go to work if needed, but for one of his favorite treats..

Barkley huddles with some frozen yogurt and all is well in the world.


  1. Life with Barkley, never a dull moment !

  2. Ha the yippy dog punt! Reminds me of when one went through the creek and while still dripping wet, tried to crawl under the electric fence. Yip yip yip clear out of sight.

  3. I've seen your 'NO BARKING' pic before! :-)

    Always reminds me of an accident report listing numerous citations I reviewed once - (mumble-mumble) years ago.
    It was for 'Unsafe Backing', but I and my PI partner swore it read, 'Unsafe Barking'
    Glad Barkey Barkerson is better. Hope you did have the bacon omelette!


  4. Glad he is ok and that post is one of the reasons I have a NEMA 4X rated keyboard! Still works after you spill something on it =)

  5. He definitely won the "Mommie Lottery" Ms. B . . .

    I had a granddaughter last night that had a "blowout" . . . . I feel your pain! :)

  6. Brigid,
    I am so sorry you had a sleepless night. I am very glad that Barkley is feeling better. They so easily eat things they shouldn't. I have a cat that picks little pieces of blue cheese out of salad. I don't think cats were meant to have blue cheese either !

  7. LOL at that last picture, that must be the bliss expression. I had a garage experience like that once, only it turned out to be a raccoon. The Most Unfriendly Raccoon Ever.

    Yeah, I can see why you don't let Barkley have too much people food. Way to dangerous for noses, decor, and his back end. Excuse me for giggling at some of it, at least from the safety of other side of a no smell screen. You'd think he'd not be so quick to steal things that he knows will come back to haunt him, though. LOL.

    And he's lucky the bat phone didn't go off.

  8. Well, it sounds like Yappy learned an important message last night! Glad to hear he wasn't hurt in the process. We have neighbors that let their dogs roam and it is very frustrating. I prefer other types of fertilizer for my lawn.

  9. Ah yes... when they GOTTA, they GOTTA... and you better open the door... Sigh... Glad Barkley is perking back up!

  10. What a guy. Life with Barkley is certainly not calm and quiet.

    We are down to one more night with a bed full of Labrador Retrievers with us before daughter comes home and they all move one deck, er, floor up to her bedroom. Although they only allow us to sleep on the edges of our bed, we don't argue too much because we miss them so much when we can't be home most of the time. We'll just go with the roll of the Labs and enjoy the cuddles with our fuzzy little kids for one more night.

  11. Lu - "You read Brigid Yet?"

    Me - "Not yet. Why?"

    Lu - "Barkley is just like Angus. Heh heh."

    Me - "Uh oh. Your evil laugh. Gastrointestinal issues?"

    Lu - "Yep. Just like Mister Poopy Pants over there."

    Me - "Speaking of, where's the rest of my garlic burger?"

    Lu - "Oh crap..."

  12. Should you encounter the little yappy thing in the garage again (unlikely, but one never knows), sending it home after a dousing with skunk scent should get it back on a leash and keep it there.

  13. Way to funny. I just love his look with the tongue sticking out. Talking about bad smells try a cat that is having issues and uses the litter box, apartment clear for sure. :)

    I am also surprised you did not end up shooting that dog, but safety first. :) I have quite a few racoons around the place so I no if I kick one they would let me know.

    Have a good night.

  14. "Yippy dog punt."

    That's why I call 'em "kick me" dogs!



  15. Yippy little dog, aka. Punt Puppy.
    A Lab on pizza sounds a whole lot like a Chessie on salmon.

  16. LOL! I was in one of my "why do I have dogs?" moods. Morgan and Molly were sitting together looking at me with their "I'm cute" look, but by the time I got my camera ready to shoot, they refused that cute look and I was really mad at them. Then I read your post about kicking what turned out to be the neighbor's dog in the middle of the night and I laughed again!

  17. Oh. My. Poor you. Poor Barkley. But he really does have the most beautifully expressive eyes -- and you take great pictures of them, haha. Barkley, behave yourself!!

    Purple Magpie

  18. Very good! And Barkley looks wonderful! (Sorry about your night's sleep - or lack of it :-)

  19. Second picture from last: I know that look. Your dog's hung over.

    My aunt kept labs and they'd eat *anything*, given half a chance. One, each year after bonfire night, would manage to find a spent firework and devour it showing every sign of joy, only to explode from both ends an hour or two later with a "never again" look on her face. The year after that, rinse and repeat...

    The same dog, plus her daughter, left unattended for two minutes during an emergency, managed to break into and force down an entire bag of dog biscuits. Aunt returned to two spherical, groaning dogs.

  20. When our German shepherd/Husky cross was maybe five or six months old, we noticed one morning that the can of Bag Balm was on the floor, lidless and empty.

    We were debating whether she needed to go to the vet, but worries were assuaged when I found in the backyard either (a) Martian protoplasm or (b) a canful of Bag Balm that had passed as an intact bolus through a dog's digestion.

    Even the flies wouldn't land on it.

    I picked it up with the long handled shovel and buried it in a far corner of the yard, doubtless to be discovered intact someday by mystified archaeologists.

    For real havoc, though, you need a Great Dane. I'm sure that enthusiasts of the breed will explain that I simply haven't been around any good examples, but I can speak only for the few I've known well: a 150 pound dog with not enough brain cells to operate a hamster.

    When I was a kid, our downstairs neighbor Ann came by one Sunday afternoon, asking if by any chance we'd taken her roast.

    That seemed like an odd question. She thought maybe we'd had a dinner emergency and seen fit to go into her flat and borrow something. That would be strange enough, but my mother diplomatically avoided mentioning what really seemed peculiar about that idea -- our neighbor's cooking skills were such that I thought the expression about having a hard time making ends meet was "...making Ann's meat". Had smoke alarms existed back then, hers would have been going off all the time.

    Also, had we seen her dog? It would seem difficult to lose a Great Dane in an apartment, but, like their would-be dinner, he was missing and unaccounted for.

    Then she started hearing moaning sounds, followed them into the pantry, and realized that her dog -- easily capable of reaching the kitchen counter flatfooted -- had had what must have seemed like a good idea at the time. He could do nothing except lay on the floor in a dark and private place, undoubtedly saying in dog language, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing."

    Thankfully the inevitable consequences were something she dealt with herself, possibly using a bulldozer.

  21. James - dull is not a word associated with this dog.

    Sunnybrook Farm - zippy yippy. Ouch!

    gfa - unsafe barking! ha! Better than the one the campus cops place on my beater Volvo for "impersoninating a motor vehicle"

    keads - glad nothing short circuited!

    eiaftinfo - Hope the little one is feeling better.

    Jane - blue cheese is a new one. One of Midwest Chick's cats ate the mug of bacon greese once. That did NOT end well, though the cat seemed happy.

    naturegirl - "the most unfriendly raccoon ever". Oh the images that came to mind, racoon attacked bunny slippers, racoon stealing your credit card and taking other women out to dinner on it, racoon with a blade. . .

    Cactusneedle - my other neighbor the cop has reminded them about leash laws, not to mention the dog's safety, they still just open the garage door and let it go out.

    Old NFO - he went to the dog park today and was his old self.

    Lois - I understand. Barkley is well taken care of at home by friends when I'm gone, but when I get home he is extra snuggly.

    Six - I can just picture Angus snatching that burger. haha!

    Nosmo King - that reminded me of a small trading post up in Alaska. WAYYY up north (no roads, you had to fly in). There was some bear spray that was out of the package, so a person could see how much it weighed, etc. One idiot tourist from California assumed "tester" meant just that and sprayed it in the store!

    Dennis - He's avoiding me for some reason now. :-)

    Idahobob - Yippy Ki-Yay!

    zdogk9 - I would hate to think of salmon aftereffects in a lab. Pizza was bad enough.

    Sherry - the pooches were probably thinking "Why doesn't Mom give us some of that really good soup she made this weekend?"

    purplemagpiesnest - He has such personality and definitely would not be good at playing poker (though he'll eat the chips like they're Pringles if you let him).

    AussieAlaskan - thanks!

    Roger C - you're right. You're also right in that he'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    Ad Absurdum - oh, what a wonderful story. Bulldozer, I bet. My worst experience was a husky of mine named Shamu that ate my budgies Orville and Wilbur (don't ask).

  22. Ah, the stories we could trade about our dogs...
    Cody and the pineapple.
    Charlie and the squirrel.
    Shiloh and the pork steaks.
    Cody and the smoke detectors.
    The list goes on...

  23. Oh Brigid, I needed that Doggie laugh so bad! Thank you for sharing it with us.


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