When we adopted our latest doggy, little Bentley, we were told that he was sweet, affectionate, funny and sometimes stubborn.
Nobody mentioned the fact that this adorable little basset hound/ black lab mix has the incredible ability to ooze across the floor like a freakin’ amoeba.
No. We were left to discover this skill on our own.
Here is how it works.
I sit the kids down at the table to eat breakfast. I serve up some fruit and some nice buttery waffles.
Bentley immediately jumps to attention and runs under the table. As the strong, alpha, leader member of our family pack, I stand up and command, “Bentley, out!” My adorable little floppy eared baby boy looks up at me as if he has never heard this word before. “Out?”, his big brown eyes ask, “you mean, like sit down and beg?”
“OUT!” I say more sternly.
“You mean crouch down under Johnny’s baby seat?” the puppy asks, all innocence and sweetness.
“OUTIE OUT OUT OUT!!!!” I cry.
Bentley lowers his head, and acts as if he’s embarrassed by my lack of self control.
I flash back to the wonderful puppy training classes that we took with Lennie when he was a
n obnoxious little pain our new puppy. I remember how our trainers, Karen and Claudia, told us to use positive reinforcement to get the dogs to obey.
I change my tone, and grab a few little treats. “Bennie, honey, come!” I hold out my hand. Bentley looks at me and conveys the words “you gotta be kidding” with his eyebrows. I go to the fridge and grab a piece of cheese.
“Bentley,” I say firmly. “Come.” I hold out the cheese.
He comes. He eats the cheese in the living room, away from the kids. “Good boy!” I say. “Now stay!”
I go back to the table, serving up more fruit and toast and a couple of newly toasted waffles. The kids eat. I sip my coffee.
I look for Ben.
He is lying on the floor, his nose just barely across the dividing line between “under the table” and “out.” I can’t really object because, you know, most of him is actually “out.” I sip my coffee. I take a bite of toast. I glance back at the doggie.
He is in the exact same position as the last time I checked on him. Nose on paws, looking half asleep.
But now he’s four inches closer to the table. How did he DO that? I frown. “Stay out”, I tell him sternly.
Johnny asks for more fruit. By shrieking at the top of his lungs. I grab the bowl of apples and kiwis and start to slice. I give John a helping. I glance back at Bentley.
Same damn position. Same appearance of sleep.
But now his big nose is within an inch of my foot.
“Ben!” I hiss. “Stay. Out.”
He looks up at me, his entire demeanor one of innocent outrage. “I haven’t MOVED”, his face proclaims.
But then….how is it that he is suddenly all the way under Johnny’s chair? He’s still lying still, still resting his nose on his big paws. Still looking Totally. Innocent.
What the absolute hell, I ask myself. Has anyone else out there ever experienced the phenomenon of a dog who can actually ooze across an entire room? I swear, this dog is like an oil spill. You think he’s contained. You don’t ever see him move. But there he is, all the way across the room from where you thought you had planted him.
It’s a damn good thing he’s so cute. Or else I’d be ready to mop him up with a ShamWow and send him off to someone in need of a nice oozing puppy to slide across the bed and land on their backbone at midnight.