Sunday, March 1, 2009

Man (and Ken's) Best Friend

There is no reason for false modesty on this one - we have an awesome dog. Her name is Brownie and she is the coolest dog in the animal kingdom. For one thing, she is a mutt. And not just any kind of mutt, but a whacked out mix of German Sheppard, Black Lab and Basset Hound. It must be the secret recipe for a great temperament. Unfortunately it's also a recipe for bad hips. Anyway, she loves everyone and with all the time that Kenny was spending with her during the day, she took a special shine to him. It got to be where she would lay in the shower base while Kenny tiled the shower or she'd nuzzle her nose under his arm while he tried to set the toilet bowl. She was basically stuck to him like glue. Our cat Spike was a little more stand-offish than the dog, but after a week or two he was also a Kenny fan.

The one problem that we have with Brownie is that she does not like the vacuum. She barks at it and bites at it as soon as it starts moving. Certainly makes cleaning a challenge. I have tried to calm her by giving her treats and praise if she sits still while I vacuum, but she can't help herself. The vacuum is her mortal enemy and she will not rest until she has slayed it. Given this hatred for air suction devices, we should have anticipated her reaction to Kenny's nail gun. It was like she went on full alert as soon as he started up the compressor. The hair on her back raised up like a Mohawk and she ran to his side to attack the offending creature. As Kenny blasted nails into the wall she wedged her nose in to get at the evil air compression devil. She was snout to snout with it and he couldn't stop her. She was crazed and fully determined to fell her enemy. We panicked every time he fired that thing up, knowing that this could be the time that she eats a nail. How do you explain that particular brand of bad pet parenting to the vet? It's certainly the kind of thing to get "Dog Protective Services" at your door or at the very least, to get hate mail from PETA. Eventually we got smart and put her outside when nailing time came.

Nail gun maneuvers were not the least of Kenny's problems with his new found doggie friend. One day he was spackling the ceiling and he saw something moving outside the window from the corner of his eye. It was Brownie out in front of the house. She had managed to open the front storm door and escape into the street. He quickly turned to run down and get her and in the process, dropped his Spackle knife on his head, point first. Dave came home from a Home Depot run to find Kenny in the kitchen with a bag of peas on his head. Note to self - you really need to remember to fill the ice trays.

All in all, I think he liked being with her as much as she liked being with him, even if she did get under his feet and bite his nail gun and cause him to lose a hunk of flesh from his forehead. I even think that after he finished the job, that she pined a little bit for him. I think the same thing about Dave, it's like he's had a playmate for the last six weeks and now he's back to the empty house and the sound of his own voice. He's even mentioned something about redoing the kitchen, which we have never discussed before. With two kids in braces and college educations to be saved for, it will be a couple of years before we can actually do that. But I am sure that it will be a welcome project for Dave and for Brownie. Come on nail gun, Brownie is ready for whatever you've got!